Time to Rejoice: Google's Penguin Moving to Continuous Updates

By Rebecca Stewart, Organic Search team

First, I’d like to apologize for my writing hiatus — the SEO team and I have been working tirelessly to roll out a new and improved Advanced SEO service for you. We’re super-excited about it, and you can be part of its unofficial launch by joining our 2015 Online Retail Guide to Search Marketing webinar on January 14, 2015.

Now for the good stuff. As an early Christmas present, Google announced on December 10 that it will be updating the Penguin algorithm continuously and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. Google previously updated this algorithm annually, each October, going back to 2013. Online merchants that were impacted by the original Penguin updates wouldn’t begin to see any evidence of recovery (and in turn, improvement) before one of the October updates, despite working to clean up their backlink profile during this time. That’s because Google wasn’t updating the algorithm continuously or refreshing its data. The move to continuous updates is poised to significantly minimize the wait time for merchants attempting to assess the progress of their backlink-cleaning efforts.

We’ve been seeing a trend of Google moving toward rolling updates and I’m guessing this move for Penguin will be similar to when Google switched Panda to continuous updates. This means more stability for sites’ traffic and opportunity for quicker recovery, with sites receiving credit — in the form of improved performance — sooner for the work they put in to meet Google’s guidelines. The one downside is that, as with Panda, without announced updates, pinpointing the reason for any organic drops on a site becomes more difficult.

Hopefully, this announcement will only mean good things for all of you. If you’ve been listening to our webinars and taking our advice, you haven’t been trying to build links or keyword-stuff content in an effort to game the system. We know that this is an ineffective strategy and I hope this isn’t news to you. Instead, you should’ve been continually updating and optimizing your content for users, getting rid of spammy links and anchor text, and trying to create the best possible site experience for your users. With this approach, you will stay out of Google’s crosshairs and leave your competitors to feel the wrath of Penguin and Panda.

Rebecca has been with EXCLUSIVE for more than seven years, and is currently the Director of Organic Search. She majored in Marketing at Bentley University, with a concentration in Global Studies. Her favorite part of her job is analyzing data to make successful site recommendations. She enjoys cooking (and especially eating), good food and drink, working out, shopping, golf, and travel.