There was exciting news about the upcoming update of Google Penguin at the recent SMX East in New York City, the world’s largest search engine marketing conference and expo. Gary Illyes, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, confirmed that the update is coming in the foreseeable future, and said that he hopes to see it implemented by the end of the year.
Illyes didn’t give a specific timeline, perhaps thinking of the last update when a date was given only for Google to push it back by a couple of weeks. However, his words, which were echoed by his colleague John Mueller, mean we can be quite confident that the update will be forthcoming pretty soon.
The Penguin algorithm was launched in 2012 and is aimed at punishing web pages which violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Such techniques – collectively known as ‘black hat SEO’ – involve the deliberate manipulation of Google’s ranking indices by repeatedly using keywords to the point of spamming, and using ‘link spam’ whereby pages link to one another in an artificial manner. These kinds of techniques undermine Google, which strives to represent web pages in its rankings based purely on merit.
Penguin has constantly evolved since its inception to counter black hat SEO strategies, and makes these updates known to the public, so that people are aware of what they could be penalised for in advance.
Currently, Penguin works comparatively slowly and has to be manually refreshed; what makes the impending Penguin update particularly interesting is that it will process pages in real time. This means that you could be liable for a Penguin penalty very quickly if a new page is deemed suspicious by the algorithm – but, equally, you can recover from a penalty very quickly once you have removed or disavowed links which you’ve been punished for.