Yesterday we reported that Google’s John Mueller had confirmed the new version of the Penguin algorithm had finished rolling out. “As far as I know,” he said in a Webmaster Hangout, “it has rolled out completely.”
However, according to Search Engine Land, Mueller retracted that statement a few hours later. So, what’s going on?
A Google+ post by Google UK’s Pierre Far seems to put paid to most, if not all, of the uncertainty. Published yesterday morning, the post reads:
Penguin update rolling out
On Friday last week, we started rolling out a Penguin refresh affecting fewer than 1% of queries in US English search results. This refresh helps sites that have already cleaned up the webspam signals discovered in the previous Penguin iteration, and demotes sites with newly-discovered spam.
It’s a slow worldwide rollout, so you may notice it settling down over the next few weeks.”
Let’s take a look at this in more detail.
“On Friday last week…”: Nothing new here. Google has already confirmed it started rolling the new update out last Friday.
“Affecting fewer than 1% of queries…”: We previously speculated that this update might be a big one, much like Penguin 2.0, which affected around 2.3% of queries. However, despite reports suggesting Penguin 3.0 was a major rewrite of the algorithm, it’s impact seems more in line with an incremental update.
This is good news for those fearing a penalty, but it may disappoint many who have worked hard to ensure their sites are compliant with Webmaster Guidelines.
“It’s a slow worldwide rollout…”: Then again, if you haven’t yet seen an impact in rankings or traffic, it may still be on the horizon. Contradicting Mueller’s original statement, Far says the rollout is going to take weeks, not days.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this story as it develops, so keep checking back for further updates.
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