This article examines a topic that is currently of great interest to the SEO industry. Changes to Google’s ranking algorithms can have a significant impact upon how businesses perform on the Search Engine Results Page, so it’s necessary to keep up-to-date with any forecasted amendments to these.
The so-called Google ‘Penguin’ algorithm update was first announced on April 24, 2012. The update was aimed at decreasing the search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s guidelines by using ‘black-hat’ SEO techniques to artificially increase the ranking of a webpage, particularly by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page through unscrupulous techniques and using poor quality websites.
Since then there have been numerous updates to this algorithm change to continually refine and improve the quality of the search results. The last official update was Penguin 3.0, which took place on October 18 2014, almost a year ago. The last time we saw a significant shift with the Penguin algorithm was before December 2014, so the industry is expecting another one soon although Google is being typically coy with the details it releases about it.
In June, Google’s Gary Illyes explained that they’re working on solving the issue of making the Penguin algorithm run in real time, which is a “hard problem” for Google. The most recent information is from John Mueller at Google Switzerland, who said that he doesn’t know for sure when the Penguin algorithm would launch but if he had to guess, it would be before the end of the year and it would be the real time version.
Google has regularly stated that they will be making Penguin run more often and as it’s almost a year now since the last update, the next one is expected soon. Judging by the limited information provided though, there’s the feeling that even Google can have problems with such a technical advancement, causing its release to be frequently delayed. Once it is released however, there may be some more Penguin penalties for unethical links pointing to many websites, so it’s well worth keeping an eye on.
You can read more about the suspected launch of the dynamic update by the end of the year, here. To find out more and how it could impact your website, please contact us.