We knew it would return eventually. Every year since it's release, Google's Penguin update has been shaking up people's rankings by stamping down on spammy sites. As of yet, there's no official date but Gary Illes from Google has suggested there will be a new, permanent Penguin update by the end of the year.
What is the Penguin update?
Google originally launched Google Penguin in April 2012 in a bid to stop websites spamming their pages with lots of keywords and violating other Google Search Console guidelines. If Penguin judges your site as spammy, you can lose rankings and receive damaging penalties.
Penguin has been updated every year since it’s release. The last update was October 18, 2014. So far, this year we’ve been waiting for the return of the Penguin and it seems it will appear again before the year is out. However, this time, there are suggestions the new Penguin update will be set to ‘real time.’
Real time Penguin update
John Mueller has said the new release of the Penguin update will work in real time. In the past, Penguin has hit spammy sites every time a new update has been released but now there has been suggestions the Penguin's attacks will be more regular.
Turning Penguin into a real time algorithm has been an idea discussed by Google for a long time now but the release date of the real time update has been pushed back again and again as bugs are fixed. We’re not complaining, it’s better to get it right!
The pros of real time
Usually the approach of a Penguin update can make SEO technicians feel apprehensive but a real time Penguin can be a good thing.
Any fixes or improvements you make to your website can be instantly rewarded instead of waiting a long time for the Penguin's return. Marketers can improve the status of their site faster.
The cons of real time
If Penguin is set to real time that could mean some webmasters will see immediate declines in their rankings, if Google believes there is evidence of spamming on your site. Webmasters reported significant changes in rankings when the last updates came out. However releasing a real time Penguin update can potentially cause even greater fluctuations.
As the new update is supposed to be released by the end of this year, Penguin could negatively affect e-commerce websites. With Christmas getting closer, you don’t want your website to get a hit in search rankings.
How to keep Penguin happy
If the Penguin is unhappy with the state of your site, you can lose your valuable high rankings and competitors can easily take the opportunity to overtake.
Here is how you can keep the Penguin happy when he looks at your site:
- Avoid having spammy ads on your site
- Have high quality original content
- No duplicated content
- Don’t have many pages with little content on. Aim to have 300 words or more.
- Don’t spam your pages with keywords.
As Google originally released Penguin to catch out spammy websites, you don't have to worry if your site is following the rules. Follow the guideline SEO checklist for all businesses to help avoid any devastating hits this Christmas.
Make sure your website is strong and healthy before the new Penguin update by grading your site with our FREE grader. Don't let the penguin take a bite out of you.
Do you have any concerns about the new update? Share your thoughts in the comments below.