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Next Penguin Update: Could It Be A Monster?


At the SES San Francisco held last August 15, Google’s head of spam fighting team Matt Cutts, answered some questions regarding the impending Penguin update that got many SEOs and webmasters worried.



According to Danny Sullivan in his blog post entitled “Google: Further Penguin Update “Jolts” To Come; Panda Is Smoother & Monthly”, Google is saying that Penguin is an ‘adjustment’ rather than a penalty websites can get. Penguin is simply meant to reduce rewards that spam and several link building activities used to get in the past.


Cutts also explained during the conference that Penguin will be more “jolting” for websites it’ll affect because of the fact it’s new thus requiring bigger adjustments. He added more to this in a comment from Barry Schwartz’s post at SearchEngineRoundTable.com:


“I was giving context on the fact that lots of people were asking me when the next Penguin update would happen, as if they expected Penguin updates to happen on a monthly basis and as if Penguin would only involve data refreshes.


If you remember, in the early days of Panda, it took several months for us to iterate on the algorithm, and the Panda impact tended to be somewhat larger (e.g. the April 2011 update incorporated new signals like sites that users block). Later on, the Panda updates had less impact over time as we stabilized the signals/algorithm and Panda moved closer to near-monthly updates.


Likewise, we’re still in the early stages of Penguin where the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm. Because of that, expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact. It’s not the case that people should just expect data refreshes for Penguin quite yet.”



Since the initial launch of Google’s Penguin update last April, there has only been one update that followed it. Initialized last May and dubbed as ‘Penguin 1.1’ because it was only a minor update that affected 0.1% of searches, Penguin is unlike Panda, which happens more stably each monthly.


With Cutts describing the next Penguin update as “jarring and jolting,” “you don’t want the next Penguin update,” and adding, “engineers have been working hard” for it, should you be afraid of the incoming Penguin update? 


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