Has Google changed the organic search algorithm again? Many signals that webmasters and SEO experts rely on to detect such changes point in that direction, leading to the consensus that there has indeed been a significant update. Tracking tools as well as noticeable differences in the search rankings of individual sites support the theory.
Google itself, however, isn’t commenting on an algorithm update. In fact they’re on record as saying that what people and tracking tools are witnessing are simply normal day-to-day variations. When Google’s John Mueller was asked on Twitter if he had anything to share about the observed shift he responded by saying, “nothing specific, sorry – we’re always working to improve things!” He later tweeted a reassurance that “fluctuations in search are normal and a sign that our #algorithms & #engineers are working hard.”
That seems like a clear indication that the long-expected Penguin filter update is yet to be released. It’s been almost two years since Penguin 3.0 was released (702 days for those who are keeping careful count) and most webmasters believe another refresh is imminent. Prior updates came within a few months, or a year at the most, but it seems we’ve got longer to wait until 3.1/4.0 arrives.
For those who are stuck being penalized by the current version, it can’t come soon enough. While some sites that got flagged as spamming the search results mistakenly may manage to escape the filter by removing perceived spammy links or backlinks with the Google disavow links tool or using other methods, it can be a big hassle and isn’t always effective.
Whether or not your accounting firm’s search rankings are suffering from an assault by Penguin, your best option is running as clean a site as you can by keeping a close eye on all links and focusing on quality content. Winter is coming, and fresh Penguin power may not be far behind.