As far as we know, webmasters can expect Google’s Penguin update to make a return before the year is over. It’s possible that this won’t be the case, but based on previous comments from Googlers, it should be.
The SEO and webmaster communities have been waiting for Google to launch a new Penguin refresh for a long time. Google has been promising a new version that will update in real time, so those impacted by it won’t have to wait for Google to push another one to have any hope of recovery. It will instead be constantly updating.
A couple months ago, Google’s John Mueller said he expected Penguin to be here before the end of the year. Google’s Gary Illyes said it was in the “foreseeable future” and that he “hoped” it would be here before the end of the year.
Late last month, Illyes talked about it a little on Twitter with curious parties, tweeting that the update was still not ready for primetime.
He did, however, indicate it was still on track for this year:
Illyes also indicated at the time that it was not too late for Penguin to acknowledge disavow files.
This week, Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points to further comments from Illyes on Twitter confirming that the next Penguin will indeed update in real time, and will be an actual update to the algorithm as opposed to a data refresh. He calls it a “huge change”.
Assuming that the update does come before the end of the year, that gives us roughly five weeks, so it should be very soon, but it’s not a given.
It is worth noting (as he does) that Illyes does not actually work on Penguin, even if he’s the one giving the webmaster community the most information about it.
The update will be quite welcome to webmasters waiting for a chance to recover from previous iterations of Penguin, but even more significantly, those impacted by the algorithm in the future won’t have to wait so long to see the fruits of any potential recovery efforts. At least in theory.