That’s about 31/2 weeks from now. Are you going to get screwed?
Penguin typically affects a 2% of sites. If you’re reading this content, I doubt you’ll be one of them.
Why? Because you care.
You care about content and news and keeping up to date. The idea of spam repels you.
It repels Google Penguin as well, and that’s why it’ll take a good bite out of those spammy sites’ revenue come Thanksgiving.
Now…why do I say Thanksgiving?
Because that’s what Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land hinted at today.
The post was called Google’s Next Penguin Update Should Be Within The Next Two Months.
It was quite short, but said that Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst mentioned on Twitter that he expects Penguin 4.0 to come out “within 2015.”
After reading the post I felt pretty confident right away that Penguin 4.0 would come out around Thanksgiving. I even mentioned that to Barry Schwartz:
Schwarz also tells us that this will be in real-time, meaning you could be forced to stare at your analytics report as the traffic is dropping.
Whether that’s as bad as coming in the office and seeing a complete train wreck of your business is unknown to me – I don’t engage in spam.
Yes, I have no pity for these fools. And let’s remember, the last Penguin algorithm only affected about 2% of sites out there.
Let’s go through a rundown of past Penguins right now and get a feel for why I think Thanksgiving is the date to watch.
- Penguin 1.0 came out on April 24, 2012
- Penguin 1.1 came out on May 25, 2012
- Penguin 1.2 came out on October 5, 2012
- Penguin 2.0 came out on May 22, 2013
- Penguin 2.1 came out on October 4, 2013
- Penguin 3.0 came out on October 17, 2014
We get a few dates in October, but nothing in November. What the hell’s going on here?
Perhaps you’re forgetting about last year’s “Thanksgiving update.”
Ah yes, that one.
Let’s get into the reasons why Thanksgiving is Penguin Day this year.
#1 Google Likes to Unroll Algorithm Updates Around Thanksgiving
The post does a good job detailing the updated rollout of Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014, as well as the November 27 “Thanksgiving Penguin.” Three additional versions may have been put out in early-December as well.
So what does it all mean?
The article profiles a wedding dress site that saw its traffic drop by 75%. One online gaming site had a 300% drop.
Imagine if that was your income and you didn’t have any savings. That’s why algorithm updates are so important and why you hear a lot of news about them.
There are some winners profiled in this post as well, but I don’t feel the gains are nearly as spectacular as the losses. See what I mean by giving this one a look-see.
How Google’s Penguin 3.0 Is Playing Out Across The Web is something you might want to look in on.
Philip Petrescu had this post on Search Engine Land in December 2014. Of course, the post is a bit dated. Does that matter? I don’t think so.
You want to acquaint yourself with these updates because similar updates will continue to roll out…as we’re about to see. After all, they’re numbering them so you know they’ll appear again.
For Penguin 3.0, the changes weren’t much. “Less than 1% of the English language queries” were affected, the article states.
Whew – got off light on that one!
Google likes putting Penguins out for Thanksgiving, they’ve done so in the past. Look for them to do so this year.
#2 Google Could Be Interested in Hitting Spammers Where it Hurts
Yep, we’re talking about Black Friday, which is on November 27 this year.
What’s more, Cyber Monday comes right after that, on November 30 this year.
Look to that Cyber Monday.
Imagine if you were a spammy site that’s just counting on getting tons of traffic and tons of money that day.
Now imagine that Google swoops in the night before and knocks your site from 100,000 hits a day to 10,000 or less.
Damn, you’ve just lost a lot of income.
Worse, you’re not going to recover anytime soon. Your whole year is shot, you’re out of business.
This is what Google wants. It’s tired of these spammy assholes always screwing things up.
Think about it as coming into work on the weekend.
That’s what these spamsters do – they make Google engineers come in on the weekend to see to them.
I’m sure people like Matt Cutts have actual important things to do at Google. Sadly, all we see is him talking into a computer, chastising SEO-types for all the stupid stuff that they do.
When will it end? Maybe Cyber Monday, November 30.
#3 Google Doesn’t Want to Be Malicious, It Doesn’t Want to Surprise
In fact, Google wants you to know it’s coming.
Google is not a malicious company. It wants to help businesses because that helps its own business. What it can’t abide, however, are the continual efforts of spammers.
You’ll be seeing a lot more Penguin 4.0 posts come out over the next few weeks. That’s fine – Google likes that.
Google wants those sites to clean up their act before the new Penguin rolls out. Will they? I doubt it. After all, they never did so last time.
We know that Penguin 2.0 only affected 2.3% of the English search queries, yet those sites lost 90% of their traffic.
Maybe that low number, and the fact that so many recovered, made us think Penguin wasn’t so bad.
You might remember that some ways people recovered from Penguin 3.0 were to:
- Remove link from guest blogging networks;
- Remove links from spam sites;
- Remove exact match anchor text links;
- Use only “no follow” links for guest posts.
The main thing that Google wants with backlinks are high quality links that are put there for editorial reasons, not to get traffic.
And my God, should it be a surprise that these links can’t be against Google’s best practices?
It shouldn’t be. Again, it’s little children breaking the rules even when they know what the rules are. That’s what a spam linker is.
We know that Google Penguin 4.0 will come out in 2015, as Google reps said and as Barry Schwartz pointed out for us today.
Since November and December are it, it’s likely the slower Thanksgiving holiday time will be it.
We know that traffic will be slower across the internet as a whole on those few days because of the American holiday.
What’s more, Google isn’t going to rock the boat around the Christmas holiday season. They want to do that before.
Look to Thanksgiving this year…if you’re not too busy with family.
And let’s face it – you will be. It’s only the spammy site that are taking shortcuts that need to worry about this. Chances are good you’ll be just fine.
So grab some leftovers and get on the internet that weekend. You’ll be seeing a lot of doom-and-gloom Penguin 4.0 posts.
Should be fun.