In latest webmaster hangout John answered more questions related to Penguin update.


Latest webmaster hangout had lot more questions on penguin than I previously thought.

Google is feeling the pressure to bring out another penguin update as soon as possible. I am both nervous and excited because we still handle clients and I am concerned they might lose some positions. But this time we are clean with our links. People keep your sites and your search engine optimized client sites clean hopefully you don’t have to wait one more year if you lose your rankings. This time Google cannot allow competitors to damage our rankings.

First question:

Hello John, Wouldn’t it be better if instead of penalizing algorithms you invested resources in developing and launching rewarding algorithms that would dramatically increase rankings for good websites? ( something like an invested Panda / Penguin )
Essentially we do this, with things like Panda where we try to recognize higher quality content and show it appropriately in search and even with all our other algorithms if at some point we are recognizing lower quality content , we show it lower in search then we show the higher quality content a bit higher so it is always that we have two sides of an algorithm never the case that we penalize all these websites we demote them so nothing else shows up for these websites. But something else will be shown because we need to show something to the users so it is always that there are both sides for these algorithms and that is also something we include in our analysis on how the algorithms are doing and how we need to treat them and it’s not that we are removing sites from search but also we are replacing good sites we test to make sure they are the right kind of sites .
Second question:

Can you please go into a little more detail on why this Penguin refresh/cycle is almost 12 months old, compared to previous data refreshes of averaging 6 months?

I don’t have any specific details to share with you guys and I know the team is working on this so it’s something where we are trying to find a way to improve that overall and that takes more time, so sometimes things don’t move as quickly as you like but that is not that we are completely ignoring the feedback or ignoring these algorithms.


Third questions

Do you upload a disavow to help with a Penguin Update and if you do will you see any difference before the next refresh?

So uploading the disavow file will make those links essentially nofollow links and we don’t give value to them and if we do that we will take into consideration of links in that file. So it could have an affect on the penguin refresh if those links weren’t specifically tied to any penguin related problems it should have because of manual actions , if there is link based manual actions there in place for your site and it could have an affect on the penguin refresh and that if these links are successfully processed by then, so it is something that I wouldn’t relate for penguin but rather would clean up this old link issue that you know about or you don’t want to have associated with your site anymore.

Fourth Question:

Hi John,

Have you spoke to the Penguin team in the last month and have they updated you on any progress? You hinted that a refresh should happen by the end of 2014, is this still looking possible?

We do regularly speak to the search quality teams on these algorithms and we kind of catch up to see what we can do to help them and to see where they are so I am assuming that this is for sure that it will fall within the end of this year, but as always I cannot make any promises on these kind of things because things can change and maybe this is something we might come out next week if everything is ready by then or maybe it will take a little bit longer but I do know that these teams are working on these updates so hopefully we will have something for you guys soon.

Last question related to Penguin update.

Did Penguin 2.1 only look at website’s inbound link profile? Penguin 1 looked at onsite issues as well as links now Panda covers onsite was Penguin 2 and 2.1 changed to only look at link signals?

We called Penguin algorithm a web spam algorithm and it will take into account various webspam aspects so I don’t think it is fair to say that it only looks at links so that is something that we try to take in general. Panda on the other side is a quality algorithm where we try to focus more on the quality of the content and the quality of the website overall so those are essentially 2 different aspects sometimes they overlap a little bit sometimes there are web spam issues because the quality is so low, sometimes they are completely independent and so if it web spam issues and it is a really high quality website and obviously it won’t go along well and that’s hard for us to handly correctly because on one hand we want to discourage webspam aspects on the other hand we want to show great results in searches.


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