Will there be a Google Penguin Update in October?
September and October may well turn out to be a busy months for online businesses. Not only did September see a significant Panda update, coined 4.1, but there is likely to be Penguin update in October. It could happen as soon as this week so it may just be around the corner.
While the Panda 4.1 update has seen a few tweaks to Panda, of the two, the Penguin release is likely to be the more significant. Known as Penguin 3.0 this is more than an update. You could think of it as the next generation of the algorithm, but in any event it is the 5th refresh post introduction.
Panda and Penguin
To jog your memories Panda is focused on on-site quality while Penguin’s focus is over optimisation – primarily through linking.
It’s been about a year since Penguin has been updated and although some thought there had been interim updates, it’s believed not to be the case. Rather, it’s more likely Google’s been testing Penguin 3.0. This new edition of Penguin is likely to result in an algorithm more like the monthly Panda updates; a filter that can be run on a regular basis. After all, sites hit hard by Penguin, have had to wait a year for redemption from Google. So if this applies to your business site, and you have made changes to remove spammy links, you may see improvements. However, it’s important to fully work through the issues that got you penalised. A link clean-up must be thorough – this can be harder said than done. You also need sufficient good quality links gained from social media and content marketing. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. You must also use the Disavow tool correctly.
Penguin – the Game Changer
For those of you who remember the original introduction of Penguin in 2012, it proved to be a game changer. Not only did it change SEO practice forever, but also culture. Prior to Penguin and Panda business owners (and webmasters) may not have known very much about internet marketing bar two things. The first went along the lines of the more links you had the better – links became an end in themselves. Second, you had to have the right keywords, but this often led to keyword stuffing. How times change. Panda took care of content along with Google’s new semantic based algorithm. Penguin on the other hand penalised sites with poor quality links or where evidence of link building could be found.
Penguin however has only seen 4 updates since its introduction. Why only 4? The truth is no one knows. Some have suggested it could be due to a technical issue with the complexity of implementing Penguin. That may well turn out to be partly true. I think the sparse nature of the Penguin updates may be due to the volume of false positive sites.
In a sense, Google encouraged webmasters to build links. If you recall a link was essentially a “vote” for a site. But of course, many of these links were poor quality and ultimately reflected badly on the site being linked to.
This culture was so endemic it’s likely most sites have undertaken link building at some point, to some extent (be honest, it’s what many SEOs were paid to do) . Google can’t give 75% of sites a penalty. However Penguin has been a blow to many. For Google to introduce (say) a monthly edition of Penguin it would have to be refined further.
It is my belief then that this new iteration of Penguin will be further finessed so it can be updated more regularly. If you value your business’s domain and brand, it’s important to be conversant with the impact and implications of Penguin 3.0. You’ll be able to read about it here in the coming weeks.
Always be prepared!
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