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