Did you know a group of penguins is called a waddle? And Google has informed us that there will be no waddle until 2016.
The delay was announced at the beginning of the month with this quote by a Google spokesperson,
“With the holidays upon us, it looks like the penguins won’t march until next year.”
As a reminder, “Penguin” is Google’s link quality algorithm. This algorithm is designed to analyze the links to a site and determine how those links should affect the ranking of the website. Links are evaluated primarily in terms of their relevance and authority towards the content and site’s subject matter.
The expected Penguin update will be the roll out of a real-time Penguin algorithm. This means the algorithm will analyze and rate links as soon as they are discovered, which could mean more frequent ranking changes based on the links.
This real-time update should alleviate much of the stress experienced by marketers and business owners hit by Penguin because now the opportunity to recover from a Penguin penalty is much easier. The way the Penguin algorithm has worked in the past is that once you were hit, you were penalized and the penalty remained even after you made changes to clean up your links, until the next algorithm update to see if your changes had been enough to remove the penalty. These updates were often rolled out every 13 months.
The dates of all the previous Penguin releases:
- 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)
While we wait for the newest Penguin update, now is the time to take a hard look at your links and the links that you are in the process of acquiring. Rate them as Google would, and prioritize your energies on the most valuable links. A few tips to help you evaluate your links can be read here.