The internet has jumped through hoops trying to cater to Google’s Panda or Penguin algorithms. What most webmasters and small business owners do not know is that Panda and Penguin do not run automatically. The search engine specialists still run these algorithms manually, as referenced by John Mueller, “Both of these algorithm (Panda and Penguin) currently do not update data on a regular basis. We need to run the update.”
Panda 4.1 was released September 2014. October 24, 2014 saw another update.
Penguin was last updated December 6, 2014.
This brings Google’s transparency into question, again. The algorithms are Google’s product, and they have the right to determine how they rank websites. But they are bouncing back and forth, changing the search environment. And, this is the environment that today’s businesses are trying to survive in. Many businesses despair of thriving online within this ever-constant flux in search ranking rules and the associated expensive website redesigns.
The latest subject at hand was brought to light by Search Engine Land founding editor Danny Sullivan, who documents Google’s “flip-flopping” on messages regarding Panda and Penguin.
“Google has suggested that having to wait months between Panda and Penguin updates would be a thing of the past, since these were supposed to be happening on an ongoing basis now,” he writes. “But the company flip-flopped about this last week. Both still work on a periodic basis, with months elapsing between updates.”
The fact that Google runs the algorithms randomly makes it almost impossible to determine whether a website is ‘on the right track’. This is where a marketing team, with a strong SEO analyst, can help your business. In fact, last December Google admitted that they were still rolling out the last big update, as Penguin was shifting into more updates.
SEO analysts look at a website over a 3 month span. They look for spikes in the trends. For example, the “Drunk” penguin update that caused the holiday fiasco in December 2014. What happened? Did Google penalize ‘thin’ sites that lack content? Or was the update designed to penalize websites with too few words on a webpage?
Mobile Update April 21, 2015
Google is bringing out another major update next week. Google has been using their Webmaster Tools to send out warnings to websites that ‘failed’ the new changes. Mobile search continues to grow, and the number of shoppers using mobile devices to make purchases continues to spike. Meaning, mobile search is now more important than ever as this consumer trend continues to drive ecommerce spending.
To accomplish this, Google needs to make sure the websites at the top of the mobile search satisfy consumer demands. However, this new algorithm does not take into account any of Panda or Penguin’s guidelines, leaving businesses and experts scratching their heads.
If you feel lost in how to make sure your website passes with flying colors after this new update, please give us a call and we’ll discuss how Webmaster for Hire can help.