Tag Archives: Google

Google Penguin Update Still Lurking, Keep An Eye Out

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It’s been a while since Google launched the most recent version of its famous (or infamous, depending on how you want to look at it) Penguin update. If you haven’t seen any changes in your rankings, don’t assume you’re in the clear just yet. After all this time it’s still rolling out. Keep holding your breath.

With Matt Cutts not due back at work any time in the foreseeable future, we’re going to have to continue to rely on Googlers like John Mueller and Pierre Far to give us updates on what’s going on with the ever-changing algorithm.

About eighteen days ago, Google launched a long-anticipated Penguin update (it took over a year to finally launch).

Far said a few days after the initial roll-out announcement that this Penguin would be a “slow worldwide rollout” and that it would settle down “over the next few weeks”.

Confirmation came on Monday that the update is still in fact rolling out. Mueller participated in a Webmaster Central Office Hours hangout (via Alex Graves at David Naylor), and said as much.

Mueller said he didn’t know about any specific sites, but said as far as he knows, the data is still rolling out.

“You might just be seeing fluctuations from that,” he said, then reiterated that it’s still rolling out “as far he knows.”

Mueller also said that Google probably wouldn’t take into account any new disavow files for “this round,” but that it’s never too late to use them. The reason why it won’t take them into account this time is because they have to re-crawl all the links. It’s not the case that these files are processed instantly.

“We essentially have to re-crawl all those links, and then that data is taken into account the next time the algorithms use that data, so it’s never too late. It’s something where if you see problems, I’d definitely submit that file, and make sure that you have it in there, but it’s probably not going to take effect for this round,” he said.

Who knows how long it will take for the next round to come? It took over a year last time, but Google has implied that Penguin will be refreshed more regularly going forward. We’ll see.

By the way, remember when Google basically used to say that most people shouldn’t use the disavow tool?

Googler Gary Illyes said ahead of the Penguin roll-out that this particular update should make webmasters’ lives easier, and that people would find it to be a “delight”. Considering it’s still rolling out, I guess the jury’s out on that one.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Google “Pigeon” Local Search Algorithm Launches

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Last night, Google pushed out a major local search algorithm update. The update has been pushed out to U.S. English based search results and seems to have had enough of a significant update that many SEOs, webmasters and local business owners have taken noticed. The update impacts both the organic local listings within Google Map Search and Google Web Search.

We are naming this algorithm update the Pigeon update, for more on that, see our post over here.

The algorithm is more tied into the traditional web search ranking signals, including search features from the knowledge graph, spelling corrections and other search features. Google also said there were relevancy improvements to distance and location ranking.

Google would not tell us how much of an impact this would have on local businesses but based on the early feedback we’ve seen in the comments at Search Engine Land, as well as other local search blogs – it seems there were significant ranking changes with this update.

Mike Blumenthal reports 7-local listing packs have dropped out, many real estate related searches have dropped out, while SEO and web design local packs are back after being dropped in 2009.

Matt McGee reported on Search Engine Land that this update has also fixed the Yelp problem with Google.

At the Search Engine Roundtable I covered how many SEOs and webmasters noticed significant changes in rankings. I shared some examples, including this one comparing a search for [ice cream] from earlier this week to today, clearly showing completely different organic local results.

Earlier this week:

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Today:

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Image credit to ShutterStock