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Why no Penguin update? Have they scrapped it?

     
7:49 am on Jul 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's been months and months since Penguin was last run (as far as we know). I believe it was last October. Has Google shelved it? Even scrapped it? Seemingly a lot of sites recovered from Penguin last time it was run. My site is pretty much back to normal levels after being released. I'm wondering if that was it? Of course, I worry what will replace it if that is the case.
8:13 am on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I've been caught up in a Rip Van Winkle moment but that is the first statement I have seen from anyone claiming to have recovered from Penguin.

Sir/Madam.... you are sitting on a gold mine.
8:58 am on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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OP, your speculations are just as good as ours.

Iím afraid that only Google has the answers
10:03 am on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Yes, in my opinion they are in the process of letting the Penguin die. I'm sure they will roll a few components into the main algo but as a standalone I'm sure it's going to the google boneyard...
(just drifted off thinking about the Vegas neon sign boneyard and replacing all the Vegas signs with failed/shuttered google products.)
10:07 am on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Lol austtr! I think quite a lot of people either made a full recovery or at least some if you consider that most people would have had their link profiles decimated! Maybe I'm wrong but just the fact that hardly anyone even mentions it any more makes me think that recovery's have happened.
1:56 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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John Mueller said in a recent hangout that they are working on it. I hope to God that they are. I got hit by negative seo and need to recover to get my life back.
3:11 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I think quite a lot of people either made a full recovery or at least some if you consider that most people would have had their link profiles decimated!

I don't think Google wants small businesses in the organic search results if they can avoid it. Instead of providing a platform that allows people to find new and interesting things, Google appears more content with being a brand engine.

There's been a few claimed Penguin recoveries, but some of them were tied to manual actions. I think many people just bought a new domain and transferred everything over or built new sites while letting their old ones rot. That's easy to do for adsense and affiliate sites, but just is not too easy when it comes to existing brands - regardless of how small they may be.
3:19 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Mine is a definite recovery from Penguin, the algorithmic type. Hard to say if it's 100% but at least 80 to 90%. Hard to say due to lost links and changes in the website. All in all though, a result.
3:30 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I don't think Google wants small businesses in the organic search results if they can avoid it. Instead of providing a platform that allows people to find new and interesting things, Google appears more content with being a brand engine.


I think it's more a case of what users want than what Google wants. Remember, Google relies heavily on testing. If users are more comfortable with brands, then Google is likely to give weight to brands when all other things are equal.

Also, if by "small businesses" you mean e-commerce businesses, you need to remember that Google's focus is on content and site authority. We often see complaints here that Google gives preference to Amazon or another big site even if Joe-bobs-store dot com has more products in stock, quicker shipping, etc. Such complaints show an unrealistic view of what Google Search is and what it's capable of.
3:42 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@jez123, I was also of the understanding that almost no sites had recovered from penguin, even in the Oct 4 2013 release.

Do you mind sharing the exact date of your Penguin recovery so I can compare with our own statistics (we have occasional movements but none I have attributed to Penguin)?

Thanks
3:44 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Such complaints show an unrealistic view of what Google Search is and what it's capable of.

Trust me, I can clearly see what Google search is. They've made it extremely difficult to find small businesses in the search results that use our widgets, unless they opt to participate in Adwords. Is it Penguin, Panda or some other animal nobody knows but the end result is the same.

I base my opinion on profit/loss statements and monitoring those who purchase the patented products we manufacture. What basis do you have for your opinion EdiotorialGuy or is it just pure speculation as it is in most of your other posts?
3:53 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Do you mind sharing the exact date of your Penguin recovery so I can compare with our own statistics (we have occasional movements but none I have attributed to Penguin)?


I was hit on the first run of Penguin in April 24th 2012 and subsequently received virtually no traffic from Google. That remained the same until Penguin 2.0 was run in May 2013 when I got an increase (about 30 percent I reckon) in traffic. Then when Penguin was run in October 2013 I recovered fully or as close as I can tell with all the changes I made in that period.
4:10 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I think it's more a case of what users want than what Google wants. Remember, Google relies heavily on testing.


What is it you think they are testing for? My logical brain and common sense dictate they are testing which updates result in a higher CTR for ads, the updates that improve CTR for ads stick, simples!

Itís a real stretch for me to believe itís to improve organic result in order to keep the users away from part that makes them money? Every profit driven business would do the same, business logic 101.

Iím not sure why this is ever in contention, especially when there is now graph data that prove these rises after every major update?!

[a.disquscdn.com ]

That graph says to me users were immediately unhappier with organic results straight after the penguin update so turned to ads as a more relevant choice...
4:28 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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What happens if you follow the money here?

Penguin, whether by design or by happy accident ended up doubling google's stock price after years of no significant growth in share price. They went public at $100, quickly zoomed up to $600 a share and stayed there from 2005 to 2012. Penguin hits and within 6 months they are trading at $1200 a share. (since then there has been a 2 for 1 split back to $600 a share, sort of covering the tracks for anyone not paying attention). This surge in stock price happened because the websites that engaged in questionable link building techniques were almost exclusively companies chasing a profit from high rankings. Penguin knocked most of that segment out of organic results with penguin forcing those companies to paid search in droves thereby selling more clicks and cranking the CPC, driving google's revenues and profit very quickly, resulting in the doubling of their share price.

Google had to offer a built in a mechanism to "repent" for the guilty sites, by both removing links and filing a disavow. Clean up your link profile and you could get out from under penguin.

My understanding may not be perfect here, but say you have been hit by penguin but NOT a manual penalty. If you remove links and file a thorough disavow, I believe those corrections will not register until google refreshes penguin and all that new data (removals and disavowals) can be factored in. Correct?

Now, here is a conspiracy theory to chew on: Google has looked at the big picture and knows that vast numbers of companies currently under a penguin penalty that have actually cleaned up their mess:

1 - huge numbers of spammy link seller websites and directories are out of business and many of those websites have been taken down. So even if someone didn't do any clean up at all, they have dramatically less spammy links than 2 years ago.

2 - There is some degree of success in getting links removed from the sites that remain and companies are engaged aggressively in this and have made real headway.

3 - Thorough disavowals have been filed that resolve the stubborn problems that remain.

Do you think google hasn't done an analysis of how much recovery there will be on the next penguin refresh? What if they calculate that tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of sites will recover partially or fully from penguin, restoring huge amounts of organic traffic collectively to the sites that are now paying much more than they normally would for clicks in adwords? What if the degree of recovery would cause a severe stumble in google revenue and profits, causing an overreaction by the market and a serious tumble in googles stock price? The ramifications of this are vast, all the way down to individual employees getting stock options that suddenly would be underwater, likely with no hope to recover.

How else do you explain that they have not updated penguin for 10 months? And now Matt Cutts goes on an extended sabbatical? Well they couldn't possibly undertake an update as significant as another penguin with him out of commission could they?

Delay, delay, delay.

?
4:35 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Delay, delay, delay.


Excellent conspiracy theory!

My understanding may not be perfect here, but say you have been hit by penguin but NOT a manual penalty. If you remove links and file a thorough disavow, I believe those corrections will not register until google refreshes penguin and all that new data (removals and disavowals) can be factored in. Correct?


That's correct.
4:36 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I don't care about any updates because i rely on referral traffic.
4:47 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I base my opinion on profit/loss statements and monitoring those who purchase the patented products we manufacture. What basis do you have for your opinion EdiotorialGuy or is it just pure speculation as it is in most of your other posts?


It's no secret that Google does user testing, and it's no secret that Google is a data-driven company.

It's also no secret that consumers trust brands, or at least some brands.

Still, if you want to believe that people like Amit Singhal have traded their information-science degrees for CPA credentials, you're welcome to do so.
4:51 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Still, if you want to believe that people like Amit Singhal have traded their information-science degrees for CPA credentials, you're welcome to do so.


Is it really that hard to imagine that Google's business goals sometimes drive requirements, or timing, of code releases?

Edit: wording
5:07 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I MAY have experienced a PENGUIN recovery, but the date of the recovery was this May 16th, 2014, the exact date of PANDA 4.

I was NEVER hit by Panda (as far as I can tell).

I was hit by Phantom on May 9th, 2013 (the update that wasn't) and then hit by Penguin 2.0 on May 22nd, 2013

My traffic was just about cut in half.

If I compare year-over-year Jul 1 through Jul 27, 2014 to the same time period in 2013, I am up:

Sessions: + 67%
Users: +69%
Pageviews: +76%
Pages Per Session: +5%

If I compare my stats for July 2014 with the year PRIOR to the year I was hit by Penguin 2 (in essence, July 2012), I am, for all purposes, at the same level:

Sessions: +1%
Users: -1%
Pageviews: +10%
Pages Per Session: +9%

~~~~~

I know many of you will think that I was hit by Panda since I recovered with Panda 4. However:

1) The dates I was hit (May 9th, 2013 and May 22nd, 2013) are associated with PENGUIN / Phantom, not Panda, and

2) The only "fix" I did was to ask a friend to remove a couple of exact match anchor links he had placed to my site from a couple of his blogs, and then submitted a disavow file for links that looked "spammy".

Most of the links were from scrapers. There was a handful of SEO directories (around 5 to 10), a couple of natural links that would otherwise be good but they were on hacked sites and also had links going out to lots of naughty sites.

There were other sites that the links were entirely natural that I disavowed. They were on forums that were completely unrelated to my topic. There were "off topic" sections of the forum (much like the foo section of webmasterworld) and a couple people got into a debate about something. One of the posters used my site as a reference for their side of the argument and linked to a page on my site.

Maybe it is a bad idea to disavow links that are truly natural (John Mueller has said though that if they think you are shooting yourself in the keister by disavowing a good link, they are likely to ignore the disavow directive for that link).

Anyway, hope this helps.

[edited by: Planet13 at 5:16 pm (utc) on Jul 28, 2014]

5:16 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Is it really that hard to imagine that Google's business goals sometimes drive requirements, or timing, of code releases?


And is it really that hard to imagine that Google releases code when it's ready (or at least when it's ready by Google's standards), not on an arbitrary schedule? We aren't talking about software that's sold (New! Improved! Update to Google Search 38.1!) or delivered by subscription.
5:43 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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"A business corporation is organized and carried on primarily for the profit of the stockholders. The powers of the directors are to be employed for that end." Michigan Supreme Court, 1919.

That said, one can plausibly argue that google creating quality organic results is attempt to stifle competition and therefore in the long term interest of the stockholders.

I don't personally think that the organic search results are the best that they could be. User satisfaction survey show that the average searcher is happy with google.

I think my website should be shown in the search results more than it is. I think my website is the best possible result for many searches. My site is shown to the searcher because I advertise through AdWords. The searcher wins, the searcher is happy, google makes money, I make money.

If I had a choice between getting free traffic from google and paying for traffic from google I would chose free traffic. If I have to chose between getting no traffic from google and paying for traffic from google I will pay for it. That's my obligation to my stakeholders.
5:51 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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At SMX west Cutts told me personally they can't run penguin as it is too susceptible to negative seo. and they don't care who is affected... So don't hold your breath :-(


also he didn't care that penguin is holding "spammy" sites under the water for so long, they can all go out of business as far as he was concerned. because in his mind they were second class citizens.


[seroundtable.com ]


Based on these comments it sounds like Penguin was a one/two year fix to wash away the filth that had built up over the past server years? Like a Noahís ark?

To be honest I liked Penguin, shame!
6:05 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am also waiting for Google Penguin update...
However recently Google have released Google Pigeon Update.
6:50 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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And is it really that hard to imagine that Google releases code when it's ready?


Having been a software engineer in a corporate environment, I can honestly say...yes. Every big company I've worked for has had moments where business desires trumped the advice of those on the technical side.

That said, premise here is that the business side has asked them not to touch Penguin because it's current state is really boosting revenues.

I have no way of knowing if that's true, but it's certainly possible. And what might a team member do if they really resented that sort of decision? Maybe take a leave of absence :)
7:12 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Well, the bottom line is that the answer to the OP's question is "Nobody but Google knows the answer."
8:13 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It might be better if the thread stayed closer to the original topic of this thread.

I tried to answer in my (long winded) response above that my site is one of those sites that saw a "release" from Penguin that happened to coincide with a Panda update.

It would be great to hear of other site affected by a Penguin update that saw an increase in rankings on a date that did NOT correspond with one of the confirmed Penguin updates.
10:31 pm on July 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Just a thought:

Google has made some pretty major changes over the last 10 or 11 months (Hummingbird and Panda 4.0 come to mind), so isn't it possible that those changes have complicated the task of rolling out a new version of Penguin?
7:48 am on July 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google has made some pretty major changes over the last 10 or 11 months (Hummingbird and Panda 4.0 come to mind), so isn't it possible that those changes have complicated the task of rolling out a new version of Penguin?

Not according to Cutts; see the CaptainSalad2 post higher up.

But, to speculate; I saw a strange slap on Panda 4ís release, there might be more than a chance that Google united Penguin with Panda 4.
7:58 am on July 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@ greybeard.

When I got a small boost in traffic before I got released in the last Penguin update, that boost coincided with a Panda update I seem to recall. You could be right in your speculation.
3:46 pm on July 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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"...there might be more than a chance that Google united Penguin with Panda 4."


Yea, if only some poster would come on these forums and show how they were slapped by Penguin but recovered during a Panda update, that would be great.
 

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