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  • The latest announced release, Penguin 4.0, will also be the last, given its new real-time nature.

    After a nearly two year wait, Google’s Penguin algorithm has finally been updated again. It’s the fourth major release, making this Penguin 4.0. It’s also the last release of this type, as Google now says Penguin is a real-time signal processed within its core search algorithm.

    Penguin goes real-time
    Penguin is a filter designed to capture sites that are spamming Google’s search results in ways that Google’s regular spamming systems might not detect. Introduced in 2012, it has operated on a periodic basis.

    In other words, the Penguin filter would run and catch sites deemed spammy. Those sites would remain penalized even if they improved and changed until the next time the filter ran, which could take months.

    The last Penguin update, Penguin 3.0, happened on October 17, 2014. Any sites hit by it have waited nearly two years for the chance to be free.

    Those long delays are now to be a thing of the past, according to Google. With this latest release, Penguin becomes real-time. As Google recrawls and reindexes pages — which happens constantly — those pages will be assessed by the Penguin filter. Pages will be caught and/or freed by Penguin as part of this regular process.

    As Google said in its post:

    With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page.
    Penguin becomes more page-specific, not sitewide only
    Google also said this new Penguin algorithm is “more granular.” From its post:

    Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.
    Previously, Penguin was a sitewide penalty. So, does being “more granular” mean that it’s now page-specific? Yes and no, it seems. We asked Google for more clarity about this, and we were told:

    It means it affects finer granularity than sites. It does not mean it only affects pages.
    Our best interpretation of this statement is that Penguin might impact specific pages on a site, or it might impact sections or wide swaths of a site, while other pages are fine.

    Google will no longer confirm Penguin update
    Google also said with this update, it will no longer confirm future Penguin updates. That makes sense. Since it’s a constant process, there’s nothing to confirm.

    Is Penguin fully live?
    This real-time Penguin update is probably not fully live yet. It is now “rolling out,” Google said. Google didn’t tell us how long it may take to roll out, but I suspect it won’t take that long, maybe a couple of weeks. If Google regularly revisits your pages, then you should likely see the change quickly. If Google comes to your site more infrequently, it may take longer.

    Some swore they saw this roll out yesterday, but Google would not confirm that.

    Past Penguin updates
    For history buffs, here’s the rundown on Penguin updates over time, as well as the impact they’ve had on queries, according to Google:

    Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
    Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
    Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
    Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
    Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
    Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 (impacting around 1% of queries)
    Penguin 4.0 & real-time on September 23, 2016

    Penguin 4.0, Google would not give a specific number of the percentage of queries it impacted, mostly because the update is constantly happening and the percentage will constantly be changing.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav |  Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs
  • Google's algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or "clues" that make it possible to surface what you might be looking for. These signals include things like the specific words that appear on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank. One specific signal of the algorithms is called Penguin, which was first launched in 2012 and today has an update.

    After a period of development and testing, we are now rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm in all languages. Here are the key changes you'll see, which were also among webmasters' top requests to us:

    Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google's algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change, Penguin's data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we're not going to comment on future refreshes.

    Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.

    The web has significantly changed over the years, but as we said in our original post, webmasters should be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling websites. It's also important to remember that updates like Penguin are just one of more than 200 signals we use to determine rank.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav |  Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs
  • So we had this from John Mueller a couple weeks ago, that the next Penguin update that Google plans on releasing will be real-time and hopefully by the end of the year.

    Gary Illyes kind of echoed what John Mueller said yesterday at SMX. He was careful this time to not give the attendees a date. It seemed like there was a timeline in his head and that he wanted to share it but he refused to. Last time he shared a timeline, Google pushed back the date a bunch of weeks.

    Gary said that the next Penguin update is in the "foreseeable future." I think that means that it can come as early as the next few weeks. But again, Google can push it back. For him to have a timeline in his head, it must mean it is coming really soon.

    He also said it should be the real-time/continuous version that we are expecting. So if you get slammed by Penguin and the algorithm is real time, as soon as Google processes your link removals (i.e. disavows or links are actually removed) you can potentially recover immediately.

    Will it all happen? Who knows. But if I had to guess, we will see a Penguin update by the end of this month.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav | Seo Company India - Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs
  • Yesterday, as I covered at Search Engine Land, Google said at SMX East on stage that the Google Panda 4.2 update that began rolling out around July 18th of this year is indeed still rolling out.

    Google's Gary Illyes said on stage that he checked on Wednesday with the team and it is indeed still rolling out.

    It is expected to continue to roll out, as I said earlier this month, because Google back then said it would take several months. And several months from July means probably into early next year.

    While the Panda 4.2 update seemed to have reversed itself in late August, it now does seem to be back on track.

    Looking at my traffic data, since I know I was impacted by the Panda 4.1 update and recovered in Panda 4.2, I can check a lot of these metrics.

    Around July 17th I noticed a ~10% lift in my Google organic traffic, then on August 17th, it seemed Panda 4.2 reversed itself. Then on September 3rd, the Panda gains I saw returned.

    I am not seeing on average 20% gains after September 3rd Panda 4.2 from my Panda 4.1 penalty days.

    The gains do slowly continue, so it does seem to be rolling out very slowly.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav | Seo Company India - Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs

  • Yea, we are all waiting for the next Google Panda refresh, we have been told time and time again it is coming soon.

    But as you know, it has not yet come.
    The thing is, it may already be too late to make changes to your site for this Panda refresh cycle. What I mean by that is that if your site was hit by the last Panda update and today you decide to refresh all your content by having experts write the most authoritative and useful content pieces, it still may be too late. Google may have already ran all the data for the Panda refresh but they have not yet pushed the release. There are many stages of a Panda update and if it is coming soon, I suspect the data aspect has already been refreshed and the Panda score your site has, probably is set in stone for the upcoming Panda 4.2 or Panda 5 (whatever we name it).

    I asked Gary Illyes from Google about this on Twitter last night:

    And unlike Gary, he did not answer the direct question. He gave a Google-like response and avoided the question. He basically said keep improving your site, stop focusing on specific Panda refreshes. The lack of an answer, to me, implies it is too late. But I am just reading into the lack of the response.

    Here are his responses when I pestered him last night about this:

    The second response means that although you are hit by Panda, other algorithms might take notice and you may see a small gradual increase.

    Either way, I think any changes you make today won't be recognized in the next Panda refresh. I can be wrong but that is my gut.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav | Seo Company India - Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs

  • Google's Gary Illyes said over the weekend on Twitter that a Google "Penguin refresh is months away."

    The last official Penguin update we had was Penguin 3.0, which took place on October 18, 2014 or almost 9-months ago. The last time we saw a shift with the Penguin algorithm was before December 11, 2014, which was over 7-months ago.

    So realistically, even though Google has said time and time again, that they will be making Penguin run faster - we are likely not to see a Penguin refresh for a while. Maybe it will take over a year like we saw between Penguin 2.1 on October 4, 2013 and Penguin 3.0 on October 18, 2014. Before that, Penguin 2.0 on May 24, 2012 and the original Penguin release on April 24, 2012.

    At this rate, I suspect Penguin won't happen for a year or so after Penguin 3.0.

    Here is Gary's tweet:

    We did hear from Gary at SMX that the goal is to make Penguin run in real time, not Panda. And that it will take a while for that to happen. So Google is still working on a faster Penguin, believe it or not.

    But to wait over a year, or even several months, for a Penguin or Panda refresh, is a bit too long.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav | Seo Company India - Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs
  • So it didn't happen last week over July 4th, it didn't happen within the 2-4 week time frame we expected from Gary Illyes message out of SMX Advanced. It is not happening this weekend either.

    Gary Illyes posted on Twitter yesterday "heyya, it's [the Panda refresh] still in the "soon" phase, but can't give an ETA for technical reasons."

    I am not sure what he means for technical reasons but it does seem to imply that Panda will not be refreshing today or this weekend. Will it be next week? I am not sure, I am starting to believe this is going to take longer than any of us expected.

    The last official Panda update was Panda 4.1 which was on September 25, 2014, or over 9.5 months ago. I believe the last unofficial Panda refresh was October 24th or over 8.5 months ago.

    I really do hope it comes soon and those sites that have "cleaned up" their web sites can come back to life. Of course, new sites will be hit, but Google needs to refresh these algorithm more regularly. Both for the sake of businesses failing and for the sake of the quality of the search results.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav | Seo Company India - Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs

  • Yesterday we covered a statement where Google said you should not even ask for links. It was from the Portuguese Webmaster blog written by Diogo Botelho from the Google webmaster team. It said then "do not buy, sell, exchange or ask for links."

    I emailed Google about it over 24-hours before I published my stories about it, to make sure they were communicating the proper message and they didn't respond. That was until several hours after I published my stories on it and the SEO community kinda of blew up about it.

    Now they are retracting that statement somewhat. They emailed me that they've since updated the blog post to change that line to read "not buy, sell or ask for links that may violate our linking webmaster guidelines."

    It makes you think, does the changed language change much?
    On the one hand, we have Google seeing the community reaction and deciding to actually change the statement. That is a clear sign that asking for links, is NOT against Google's guidelines. There is no other way to take the message of them changing the line of text. If it was against their guidelines, they would not have changed anything.

    On the other hand, what changed? Their guidelines say unnatural links can be penalized. Are links you ask for natural? That is up for interpretation.

    But the clear message Google made by changing this statement was that asking for links is NOT ALWAYS considered against their guidelines, but only when it violates their guidelines.

    Got it? Thought so.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav | Seo Company India - Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs
  • Google has issued new guidelines on the guidelines for representing your business on Google page, specifically around how SEM/SEO companies can represent their clients within Google My Business/Google Maps listings.
    The new guidelines don't really seem that enforceable, but it at least sets the groundwork for spammy SEO companies that hold their client's Google Maps business listings hostage.
    Google said that "only business owners or authorized representatives may verify and manage their business information on Google My Business." They then listed the "additional guidelines for authorized representatives."

    Here it is:
    Any individual or company that manages business information on Google My Business for a business that they don’t own is considered an authorized representative. Examples: a third-party SEO/SEM company; a friend of the business owner; an online ordering, scheduling, or booking provider; and an affiliate network provider.

    Authorized representatives must:
    Never claim a business listing without express consent from the business owner.
    Never make false, misleading, or unrealistic claims.

    Never use harassing, abusive, or untrustworthy tactics with potential or existing customers.
    Always work directly with the business owner to complete verification. Learn more about verification

    Always ensure that the business owner understands what Google My Business is and where Google My Business data is used. Authorized representatives should share the following resources with the business’s owner:

    Google My Business: Be Found
    About Google My Business
    Edit your business information
    How Google uses business information
    Someone else verified my business
    Always keep the business owner informed about which actions the authorized representative will take on the business listing.

    Always follow Guidelines for representing your business on Google. Note that the phone number and website for a listing should always be the single, authoritative phone number and website for the business and be verifiable by the business owner. Website content must be owned and managed by the business owner.

    Always respond to management access requests promptly, and always transfer listing ownership to the business owner immediately upon request. Authorized representatives must, whenever possible, encourage the business owner to create an account, own the listing, and add authorized representatives as managers. Learn more about transferring ownership

    And if you don't follow these guidelines? Google says, "failure to adhere to these policies may result in a suspension for the listing and/or account."

    So there you have it.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav | Seo Company India - Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs
  • A month ago today, we reported that Gary Illyes from said a Panda refresh is coming within 2-4 weeks or so. Well, it has been over 4 weeks now and still no refresh, but that is not uncommon, launch dates with Google often get delayed, yes - even with the Panda updates.

    Yesterday, in a German Google Hangout, John (Johannes) Mueller from Google said in German that the refresh is coming soon. Oliver Engelbrecht from seo-portal.de transcribed it, "I think the next update, I don't know if it's coming this week or next week, but in any case it should be released soon."

    But I was nervous even with the transcription by a German speaking individual, that something got lost.

    So I asked John Mueller in the English hangout this morning on Google+ about what he said at the 24:15 mark.

    He basically said, yes, it is still coming "fairly soon," but he wouldn't expect it to go live on the July 4th weekend. Today, July 3rd, is an official holiday, so Googlers are off in Mountain View. But he did say expect it to happen "in a few weeks." If I had to guess, maybe next Thursday night.

    Here is the video at the start time:

    Here is the transcript as I typed it:

    We have this question from Barry *sigh*

    On Thursday, in the German hangout, I am told you said the Panda refresh is coming this week or next. Or did you still mean it can come even later than next week?...

    So a few weeks ago we said that this refresh will be happening in a few weeks and so it is kind of coming up. I doubt it is going to happen this week because it is a holiday and it is Friday and people are busy doing other things.

    But I imagine in the next couple of weeks this is something that might be happening. So that kind of sets expectations. We try not to provide an exact date for when these things roll out because things can always change. But I expect this to happen fairly soon.

    Next week, John is on vacation and I am pretty sure Gary Illyes is traveling - so I am a bit nervous the communication line around the Panda refresh will be delayed. But I will do my best to keep you updated.

    Design by Vikas Kumar Raghav | Seo Company India - Seo Agency India -Seo Blogs


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