Should Google Be Rolling Penguin Out During Holiday Shopping Season?

Chris CrumSearchNews

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As you may recall, Google finally launched a new Penguin update in October after an entire year of not releasing one. The update, Google said, would roll out slowly. It was unclear just how slowly, but we knew it was still chugging away roughly a month ago.

Now, we learn that the very same update is still rolling out. In other words, when Google said it would be a slow roll-out, they really weren't kidding.

With the holiday shopping season underway, do you think Google should have timed this update better? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Late last week, Search Engine Roundtable reported on various rumblings from different forums, suggesting that Google had launched a major update. This was somewhat troubling, as the holiday shopping season is now in full gear, and it's not very cool of Google to mess with people's businesses around that time. Google actually appeared to have learned its lesson on that after the notorious Florida update many years ago. In more recent years, Google has indeed indicated that it tries to avoid major changes at such critical times.

SER's Barry Schwartz is now reporting that Google said the mystery update was actually just still that same Penguin update. While Google hasn't released any new major update for the holidays, I suppose some still may find it troubling that such a major update would still be affecting people during this time of year.

Of course Google is focusing on the users, not businesses.

On the flip side of things, a lot of businesses have been anxiously awaiting Google's Penguin update for a long time. They've spent the time and resources required to clean up their sites, or at least hope that they've done enough. The only way to know for sure is to see what happens when Penguin rolls back into town.

For anybody trying to make some extra holiday sales that have been awaiting recovery, the timing might be a blessing.

There's also the obvious possibility that if you were hit negatively by the Penguin update this time around, you were doing things you shouldn't' have been. Google doesn't always get it right, but it usually does. Longtime search reporter Danny Sullivan, who was already a vet by the time the Florida update happened in 2003, wrote a post comparing Penguin to Florida just after Penguin initially launched. He looked at the similarities in comments from people hit by each algorithm, and noted that in all the Penguin examples he looked at, he found clear cases of spamming. He later recalled a common "complaint" by angry businesses:

Ah, but perhaps Google’s just trying to let the big companies win. Sure, I heard this after the Florida Update, that Google was going after the mom-and-pop, trying to wipe out the “little guy.” But it’s obvious that this wasn’t the case. If that were true, how on earth did we end up nearly 10 years later with so many people now posting that Google’s trying to wipe out that same class of business. Surely they were all killed in 2003 and never allowed to return?

Google said about its most recent Penguin that webmasters would find it to be a "delight". They shouldn't have to wait a whole year for the chance to recover again. Even if it ends up costing businesses during the holidays, at least there's a silver lining.

Should Penguin's roll-out been timed differently, or are you welcoming with open arms? Let us know in the comments.

Image via YouTube

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.