Google’s Next Penguin Update To Roll Out Within ‘Weeks’

Much has been predicted regarding Google’s next Penguin update, the last of which was over a year ago and dealt with its link spam algorithm. Now it’s about to happen.

Gary Illyes, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst confirmed on Twitter that the next Penguin update is set to happen within “weeks”. That being said, the statement confirms that the update should start to roll out by the end of first quarter of 2016.

Google’s last update to its link spam algorithm, Penguin 3.0, was rolled out in October, 2014, and that was only a “refresh” which affected only 1 percent of U.S. English search queries on Google.

While Gary estimated the new real time Google Penguin update to happen in weeks, and aiming for “this quarter,” there’s been no exact date revealed and it could be this month or sometime in March.

Before the last Google Penguin update, Penguin 2.1 rolled out on October, 2013, which was an improvement to the previous Penguin 2.0 launched in May, 2013. Penguin 2.0 was said to add new signals to the algorithm which contained several spam-fighting technologies to combat against bad links.

The major difference between a “refresh” and an “update” is that an update adds no new signals to the algorithm. A refresh demotes sites with new spam signals that were not added previously while it also helps to correct spam issues for websites that have maintained themselves with Google Webmasters’ terms and conditions.

A new Google update was rolled out in January and several SEOs and webmasters predicted the update to be Penguin. However, Google readily answered the same question and said that the major ranking changes were due to the core algorithm update and not Penguin.

Gary Illyes from Google confirmed the update and said on Twitter that the fluctuations occurring in search results were part of the “core algorithm.”

The Google Panda update is now a part of the Google’s core ranking algorithm and that there will be no other Panda updates in the future. This update was considered to be one of the most significant algorithms together with the Penguin update which was first launched in February, 2011. The update filtered websites with spam-fighting abilities, reports Search Engine Land.

According to Jennifer Slegg’s post on Panda Guide, Google has included Panda as a part of its core ranking algorithm. This statement was further vetted by Google’s PR Team.

“Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals.”

“It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly,” she added.

Many webmasters try to build spam links and come up with several private blog networks to boost their website’s ranking quickly on the search results. This is where Google’s Penguin update comes handy for the search engine to eliminate and demote websites built with such processes.

According to Brian Dean of, what Google requires for a website to stand out on the first page of search engine is high-quality content, high authority, natural links, and 198 other ranking factors. Apart from such ranking factors, email marketing and proper squeeze page design has also been a major concern for online companies to boost their revenue.

If you’re penalized by Penguin, according to Google, you’ll notice that:

  • A specific keyword, or group of keywords has suffered a sharp drop in rankings. (Example: Your page goes from position #2 to position #364 in the rankings.)
  • The page containing the keyword might be de-indexed while the rest of the site is indexed.
  • You may or may not have a message concerning unnatural linking inside your Webmaster Tools, under “Search Queries” and “Manual Actions”
  • In some cases, pages on your site that are not supposed to be ranking are now showing up for the penalized terms. (ie: Your contact page now ranks instead of your homepage when you search for your main keyword.)

Google also explains the recovery process if a website has been bit by Penguin update inside the Panda Breakthrough program.

“The webmaster must extract the link list associated with his website through the webmaster tools ‘latest links’ and remove the links that fall into an unnatural pattern. Removing the links, followed by a reconsideration request and a new link building campaign will lead to a traffic recovery.”

[Image via Shutterstock]