Penguin Update … Update

Penguin Launch

We’ve been hearing for a while not that there’s a Penguin Update scheduled for 2015 and we’d heard it was switching to everflux but some additional light has been cast by Google’s Gary Illyes on Twitter in response to a question from Todd MacDonald.  The exchange was:

There’s even more to it and followup questions which you can read here if you’re interested but the Cliff Notes is:

  • This is not a refresh, it is an update.
  • There is confirmation that Penguin will switch to everflux.
  • Gary won’t talk about the inner workings of algorithms because he’s not an idiot.

So Why Is This Important?

The difference between a Penguin refresh and an update is significant.  With a refresh all Google’s doing is taking in new data and applying the same rules to it.  This can be a great time for those hoping to get out from under the boot of a penalty but there is nothing huge about the event past that.  With an update the algorithm itself is changing meaning the way they are calculating spam signals and perhaps even what’s being looked at will change.  This is far more dramatic and I expect to see some very large swings and likely a lot of complaining.

The switch to realtime is huge and long overdue.  The current time lag between updates is significant (over a year in the last two instances) and this has resulted in people who had Penguin-related penalties having to wait over 365 days to recover even if they immediately took action to repair whatever caused the problem.  Moving to everflux will setup an environment where people can repair issues and expect those action to be factored into the results  far faster.

Happy Holidays?

For those who’ve been in the industry long enough, you’ll remember the Florida Update of 2003 that rolled out November 16th.  That was back when Google updated every 4 to 6 weeks in what was known as the Google Dance and it caused a lot of issues over the holidays that year.  I can’t see them doing this again and I would bet that we’ll see it roll out on the 18th of December.  This is of course a guess and I’m more likely to be wrong than right but this would place it after that majority of the online shopping is done and also place it on a Friday which they tend to like to do.

Personally I’m hoping to be wrong and see it roll out on the 1st of December after the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are completed giving us time to adapt before the holidays and for the folks who’ve been hit with penalties to make something of the season.

Either way … be sure to review your backlink profile and content and check it twice as Google will soon be finding out who’s naughty and nice and while the algorithm may be going to everflux we still don’t know what that means for penalty recoveries though I’m quite certain it doesn’t mean it’ll be instantaneous.