Waiting (in Vain) for a Manual Google Penguin Update

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If you're waiting for Google to make an update to Penguin, you'd be wise not to hold your breath.

In a recent Google Webmaster Hangout, John Mueller was asked whether a site owner could request a manual Penguin refresh/update for a site. The answer? No.

"So we don’t do manual updates for a lot of our algorithms, we essentially wait for the algorithms to get updated to run automatically.  So there’s no manual update that’s possible in cases like this. If you fix all the issues, then with the next update, then that’ll probably look a little bit better."

Why is this important? Well, as you may know, Penguin is related primarily to the quality of links, so when Mueller talks about "fixing all the issues," he's really talking about cleaning up a site's backlink profile (e.g., perhaps using the link disavow tool or having sites remove low quality links manually). While Google's other algorithm updates can essentially be updated manually, that's not the case with Penguin, which means you will have to wait to see the virtual fruits of your SEO efforts in regards to link removal.


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The next iteration of Penguin is widely expected to be real-time in nature, so those responsible for search engine optimization may be able to make improvements and changes and then see the impact faster than they have ever been able to do so before. That development will be well received by those in the SEO community for sure.

Google doesn't actually provide any notices within Search Console for Penguin issues which is one of the reasons you hear so much about it. That's actually good news and ensures that Google isn't giving preferential treatment to some sites that have been impacted by Penguin, but the search engine could certainly do more to help SEOs identify links that may be problematic as it is often outside of their control who is linking in their website.

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