Home / BlogExpect a Few “Jolts” to Your Site in the Future, Penguin Will Finish Panda’s Job
August 27, 2012

All has been silent in the SEO world after the first major Google Penguin update.¬† However, expect a few major updates in the future. According to Matt Cutts – the head of Google’s spam fighting team, they are still adjusting the algorithm. Since the Penguin is still quite new, the adjustments are expected to be more of a jolt, rather than a small tweak.

The last update was last May, so it’s about time that for a data refresh, adjustment, or a large revision. In the meantime, keep an eye on your traffic and see if there’s any large data changes.

If your SEO strategy includes spamming Google, beware. Google Penguin, Google’s new ranking algorithm, contains new features for attacking spam. The previous Panda algorithm aimed to downgrade low quality pages, but did not have the desired success. However, Penguin is likely to do better.

Google’s head of spam fighting, Matt Cutts, spoke recently at the SES conference in San Francisco. He said that adjustments are still being made to the Penguin Update. The aim is to ensure that sites which spam Google are penalized.¬†Strictly speaking, Penguin is not a penalty for those sites. Instead, it is a way of adjusting the rankings so that there is no benefit to spamming. As an example, some linking activities will no longer provide any advantage.

The Panda Update was rolled out last year as an attempt to control sites with poor quality content. Subsequent updates refined the search results, with consequent effects upon particular sites. However, the effect of each update was progressively less, and ultimately the monthly updates had very little impact. Because of this, it is unlikely that there will be any further major changes to Panda.

Google Penguin will be different. According to Matt Cutts, it is a newer algorithm and will therefore contain bigger adjustments. This will have the effect of providing an immediate shock to spammers, although over time that shock will lessen, as it has done with Panda.

A more recent statement by Cutts addresses the question of whether Penguin updates would be done on a monthly basis. He reiterated that it took some time to smooth out issues with Panda, but that, towards the end of its use, the monthly updates had little effect. This was because its use had stabilized.

He said that Penguin was now in its early stages, and that adjustments were being made to optimize the algorithm. He expected subsequent updates to be less than monthly, incorporating new signals as they arose, so that they would be more noticeable. He did not anticipate regular data updates for Penguin in the immediate future.

Only one change to Penguin has been announced so far. This arrived in May, around a month after Penguin was first launched. It was a minor change: Google stated that it affected fewer than 0.1% of search results.

The question is whether the next update will be another minor one, or a more major revision (Penguin 2.0 perhaps), and whether it will arrive soon. Those in the industry who work with SEO feel that it is now due, and that it may be a major update. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that for every loser there will be a winner. In some cases, the winners may be those who lost out previously.

Andrew Teh

In Bueno, Andrew works as Chief Marketing & Service Performance officer. He focused around client services and education, service quality assurance, marketing, business development and business operation. Andrew oversees the growth of Bueno and drives the strategy development of global pitches. His industry experience span 10 years and includes software and website development, business development, business management, service quality assurance, training and support.

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