Google Confirms: Penguin Update Imminent!
John Mueller, a webmaster trends analyst at Google, recently announced they are working on the announcement for the launch of the latest Penguin algorithm; version4.0. Yes, you did read that correctly, they are working on the announcement itself, which may or may not mean they have finished work on the actual update. It could also mean the update may have already been fully tested as Google is not known for announcing something before it happens. It has been almost two years since the last Penguin algorithm update which rolled out in October 2014, however, in the interim time there has been a great deal of talk about the functionality of Penguin being written into part of the main Google search algorithm and so negating the need to ever run a specific update again.
Skip to the 44 minute and 30 second mark for announcement…about the announcement itself.
For those of you who may not know the Penguin algorithm is designed to identify poor quality and unnatural backlinks. A site that is hit by a penguin update can be severely penalised and knocked a long way down the rankings across a wide range key terms. Many sites which were penalised by Penguin 3.0 have attempted to clean up their backlink profile using Google’s disavow tool in preparation for the next update, in hope they may recover from their penalty but it is still a point of some debate whether or not it is even possible to regain old rankings after a penalty.
It remains to be seen what the announcement will bring and some people are even suggesting Mr Mueller may be playing a slight prank on a lot of over eager SEOs by describing the work on the announcement itself rather than the update. Throughout all of this current wave of debate the critical fact remains that link building is critical for good rankings and taking short cuts leaves sites at great risk. After all, why sit around hoping for an update that might fix a mistake made by you or your SEO agency when you could have avoided the penalty in the first place by sticking to top quality links.
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