Rumors are swirling around that Google intends to release an updated version of its Penguin algorithm before the year 2014 is over. It has been nearly one year since Google last updated Penguin.
The conversation about a potential Penguin update started during a Google Hangout this morning when Google’s very own John Mueller (a Webmaster Trends Analyst) said he expected an update to happen before the New Year. He said, “I am pretty confident we will have something in the reasonable future.”
No one has a good understanding of what “reasonable future” means so your guess is as good as ours.
Penguin 3.0 is expected to be a significant update that will allow it to run more frequently. The Panda algorithm runs on a monthly basis if not more and many feel Penguin will start updating in a similar way. If that’s the case any website that gets penalized may be able to recover much faster as long as they take the steps to eliminate what got them penalized in the first place.
As a reminder to those who aren’t familiar with Penguin, it’s an algorithm that targets link spam. Link spam is a broad term that includes paid links, irrelevant links, links with unnatural anchor text, and so much more.
What can you do to avoid a Google penalty? The best thing you can do prior to an update is take a look at your backlinks and make sure they are high quality. You want to check and see if competitors have performed negative SEO against your site. If you find links that are low quality, do you best do contact the webmaster of the site and have it removed. If that doesn’t work you can use Google’s disavow tool.
Are you ready for the next Penguin update?