Did Google Just Unleash a Penguin Update?
SEO forums are once again buzzing with rumors of a Google Penguin refresh or update though, as is normally the case, hard details are hard to come by. As of this writing, there has been no official announcement from Google on the subject.
Most of those claiming to be hit by the refresh/update are based in the UK, though a few Americans have chimed in as well. Most forum users who thought something was up posted something similar to this post from Richard Merry:
Hi Barry, I’m in the UK and on the 27th July 2012 many of the keywords my site ranked at the top, moved down to over 100 places and a few of my clients sites significantly moved down as well.
Any idea what this could be and have you heard any other similar issues on the 27th July?
Rumor Mill or Jungle Drums?
As writer Barry Swartz points in an article on SEORoundtable yesterday, webmasters are anticipating a Penguin refresh any day now. The last refresh came back on May 25 and that’s a pretty long wait by Google standards.
Swartz speculates that Google may be holding off on a full refresh until they’ve finished work on a link disavow tool. Though there’s no official word on when that might be released.
Live and Die By Google
Given what’s at stake, it’s not surprising to see these types of rumors pop up on a regular basis. Penguin seems to have had a big impact on small businesses who relied heavily on paid backlinks. Panda’s impact definitely hurt site operators, but those fixes were a little easier to make.
Plenty of webmasters and affiliate partners have been hit hard by Penguin and have spent long hours manually cleaning up backlinks. Google updates normally come without warning, so these folks really don’t know whether all that effort will pay off or not.
Until an official update is announced, speculation will be all they’ve got.
Have you noticed a possible Penguin update? Share your experiences in the comments below.