Quick Penguin Updates – What We Learned This Week

Just some quick notes to keep you up to date. More coming, but the East coast folks are already demanding the answers that I promised to give today, so…

  • Penguin = Periodic Updates: Google did confirm what most SEOs assumed… Penguin, like Panda, involves an offline data processing function, which means that there will be “Penguin data pushes” similar to the Panda data updates which have been rolling out every 4-6 weeks on average.
  • This means that whatever work you may have done to “improve” will likely take some time to be reflected in Google’s scoring. Maybe even longer than you think.
  • If it takes a week to “process,” it probably takes a day or two for QA, so figure that the “Penguin data” will be at least 8-10 days old by the time they “push” it out.\
  • Your site is likely only being indexed and updated every couple weeks – the Googlebot may visit all day long, but they aren’t updating your entire site every day in most cases.
  • Add it all up, and figure that it’s likely a minimum of 3-4 weeks from the time you make changes until another “Penguin update” could possibly do anything for you. Possibly much longer.
  • Inbound links are a *part* of this – but not the whole thing. A combination of factors adds up to either work for you or against you in this thing. It’s not as simple as just one thing, but there are some things you can change. More on that (beyond what’s already been posted) later today.

If this doesn’t convince you that Google doesn’t care about what happens with individual sites, I don’t know what will. I am not saying that they should or shouldn’t care, or even that they are capable of caring… it just is what it is.

If this doesn’t convince you that you need to work to stay independent of Google, nothing will.

Other stuff…

  • I will be mailing another update out to our email subscribers later today, with some exercises you can do to examine your site. Getting on our mailing list would be a good idea. The form is over on the right of the page somewhere. It doesn’t cost any money.
  • We’re doing a more in-depth webinar with special guest David Harry of the SEO Dojo next Wednesday, informally dubbed “The Penguinar.” Leslie and I have been doing work on the on-site factors, David has been digging into off-site factors like links.

As with all of our webinar events, we will be recording, and we’ll get a replay posted as quickly as we can, so those folks who live in an inconvenient time zone don’t have to stay up until 3:47 am to hear what we have to say.



  1. Some webmasters are losing their minds because of this update.. i have noticed that some companies start to pay money for webmasters to remove their links from their sites. the point here is not to have any webspam page on your site and not having any webspam page linking to you. it’s hard

    • jossef, I’m not even sure that having webspam pages linking to you is “bad for you” – that’d open up a big can of worms. Although I certainly wouldn’t be seeking such links…

      But consider the possibility that a bunch of webspam pages (most of the web is spam) suddenly lost the ability to influence ranking at Google.

      In that scenario, we would have gone from a state where nearly every site on the web has been “benefiting” from such links, to a state where nearly every site on the web loses the benefit of such links, or at least a large portion of them. Those who benefited the most previously will fall the farthest, and it’s all relative.