Going forward, similar to Panda, the Penguin component will be integrated into Google’s core ranking algorithm, meaning that the data is refreshed in real-time. This hopefully means that sites won’t need to wait nearly as long for the penalties to be lifted. Now that Penguin is running in real-time, Google said that they will no longer issue announcements or confirm future Penguin updates.
Back in 2012, Google rolled out the now infamous Penguin update, which targeted sites that were using manipulative link building tactics to boost search engine rankings. Prior to the Penguin update, link building was relatively easy to game. SEOs used a combination of paid links, link networks, guest blogging, broken link building, press releases and blog networks to push their sites to the top of search results. However since then, many SEOs have put link building on a back burner to avoid potential penalties.
Although Google hasn’t officially confirmed anything yet, many SEOs and webmasters have reported some serious changes in the SERPs today – too much movement to be dismissed as day-to-day fluctuations. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for most SEOs, since just last month, Google’s John Mueller said that we can expect to see Penguin 3.0 roll out before the end of the year.
Although we’ve seen a lot of changes from Google over the past couple of months, one thing that I have found to be a little bit unsettling is that it’s been nearly a year since the last Penguin update. In case you aren’t familiar with the update, Google Penguin was an update that targeted sites using spammy link-building techniques. Hundreds of thousands of sites were impacted and many of them still have not regained their pre-Penguin rankings. In my experience, Penguin has had the greatest and longest-lasting impact in terms of penalties.