Could the long-rumoured '3.0' update to Google's Penguin algorithm finally be about to happen? The answer is a fairly confident 'yes', direct from the horse's mouth.
In a Google Webmaster Central office hours hangout on September 12, Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller said: "My guess is yes," before rushing in with the caveat "as always, there are always things that can happen in between. I'm pretty confident we'll have something in the reasonable future, but not today, so we'll definitely let you know when things are happening."
Mueller had previously set rumour mills spinning on September 8 when, in another hangout, he said: "I think saying there's no refresh coming would be false."
What does this mean for webmasters and SEOs? According to Mueller, Google has been working on making a version of the Penguin algorithm that "generally refreshes a little bit faster."
This could mean websites that are penalised by Penguin could see their rankings improve more quickly after taking steps to clean up their link profiles.
As reported by Search Engine Watch, Mueller himself referred to this issue when quizzed futher, saying: "We see that this is a bit of a problem when webmasters want to fix their problems, they actually go and fix these issues but our algorithms don't reflect that in a reasonable time."
Mueller is remaining tight-lipped on prospective launch dates, but the upcoming one-year anniversary of Penguin XX on 4 October has left some commentators speculating we could see something around this time. Over at Search Engine Land, Barry Schwartz said: "If I had to guess, I'd hope to see [the update] before the anniversary. I think that would be reasonable at this point in time. But your guess is as good as mine."
You can watch Mueller's announcement here.
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