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A whole lotta talk about Google Penguin

Our International offices have reported some major rankings fluctuations over the weekend, as well as respected SEO resources. What has coursed them exactly? Only Google knows.
For anyone not staying within the guidelines, the roll-out of a real-time Google Penguin or other algorithm update could be bad news. This much we know. We also know that Google has long worked to penalise those who take part in spammy linking to boost their websites. So then what’s so different about Penguin 4.0? What else could possibly change?

What’s all this talk about a Penguin? For those who aren’t quite fluent in all things Google, Penguin is a Google-developed algorithm that works by changing how links are assessed. It’s aimed at reducing the search engine rankings of websites that infringe Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. So, for those involved in dodgy link schemes, watch out, because with Penguin 4.0 the algorithm will be constantly updating.

While we might immediately think that a real-time update could only be beneficial for those of us practicing SEO the right way, some of those in the know are a little cautious about a real-time Penguin update. The real-time update could mean less wait-times for black-hatters who’ve done a dodgy, which could potentially mean more link spamming, not less, as they learn what they can get away with.

Penguin 4.0 has been a long time coming by web-world standards. There was talk back in October last year that Penguin would be introduced before the year’s end, but there’s been no definitive answer or announcement from the search engine giant just yet as to whether they’ve commenced the official roll-out.

There has been a bit of noise from SEO practitioners and commentators who say they’ve seen changes in rankings and search results. Certainly, here at Results First, we are seeing some notable fluctuations that are making us sit up and keep a very close eye. Indeed, many of our clients’ rankings have either benefited from the (possible) changes, or have remained stable.

If this isn’t Penguin 4.0, then what’s going on? It could be, as some experts are suggesting, just batch testing of the new algorithm that appears periodically and then disappears altogether. On the other hand, there are those who are speculating that it might have nothing to do with Penguin at all. After all, Google is notorious for heaping together a whole lot of updates all at the same time, for the very purpose of keeping us digital marketers and SEO practitioners on our toes. So watch this space, because it seems big changes are afoot.

BREAKING DEVELOPMENT

Search Engine Land are reporting that Google have confirmed that there has been a ‘core’ algorithm update on Twitter. Watch this space!