Google Penguin not updated yet.

For many months it has been a mystery to a lot of domain owners as to why they haven’t seen any improvement in their search results or SEO efforts in general after having cleaned up toxic links or duplicate content that had been giving them problems with the Penguin algorithm beforehand.

Google’s Matt Cutts announced a change in the way the data for Penguin was collected back in mid 2014 in order to do “rolling updates” and allow websites to recover from penalties much more quickly and be rewarded for cleaning up by allowing them to detoxify their site and links and essentially keep their existing positive backlinks whilst allowing the Penguin algorithm to fully appreciate and analyse new data rather than going through outdated stuff in big data updates annually. This was in order to help those people that genuinely wanted to clean up their act and was a great idea in order to encourage businesses to do correct and positive SEO rather than things that could be seen as malicious.

This change was announced shortly before Matt Cutts went on leave, and after this time it was assumed that this would be happening on a regular basis (it was assumed monthly) ever since. However, things didn’t exactly turn out this way and unfortunately the information that we were giving about the data update didn’t turn out to be entirely correct. In some ways these claims have been lived up to but in others they aren’t quite what we expected from the update, as really those optimistic businesses who may have purchased bad SEO in the past were ultimately looking to clean up their content and move on to bigger and better things didn’t exactly get what they are looking for.

The thing that Google has actually done extremely well and continues to do with regards to this is that way that they interpret the existing data that they have. Penguin and Panda alike are constantly changed and tweaked in order to identify spammers more easily and also to identify those that aren’t spammers and do have good quality link content ratios when compared to low quality ones. Essentially they are a good example and representation of what can be done with positive SEO and are rewarding for doing stuff efficiently. These changes are coming through and have been consistent since early December, and so we can definitely see improvement from this standing point.

However, the problem with the Penguin algorithm at the moment is the non-renewal of the data that is being changed on domain names is causing some massive problems with the sorts of clients that are looking to implement positive SEO to their site. As much as the general Google search engine algorithm will notice and appreciate these changes the renewal of data that is being put into the Penguin penalty is just not there. Old data is being used through the ever-updating Penguin algorithm, and whilst this will help those people who are having older data more recognised for being high quality for those that are trying to fix problems with older content this really is a massive problem as any effort they have is not really going to make a difference until the data is renewed.

Ex-spammers or website owners who have decided to clean up their black hat SEO should be able to see improvement in results and be rewarded for adapting their approach. Unfortunately this just simply isn’t the case and without a proper adaptation and refreshing of the data going into the Penguin algorithm a lot of people are at the mercy of Google until this data has been refreshed and most SEO that is currently being done to become a shining example is not going to do anything meaningful until this change is made.

This is not to say that SEO is absolutely meaningless at the moment and disavowing toxic links and cleaning up your backlinks is something that is always going to be worth doing. However, you will need to wait for Google to renew their data for Penguin and Panda analysis in order to see results and so be sure to keep up to date with what is being done about the effort for a rolling update of data on around a monthly basis, as it is likely to happen in the near future and is massively needed in order to make current SEO worthwhile again.

Source: Google Webmasters