There’s been some speculation recently that the Penguin and Panda algorithms may be running in real-time.
Statements from Google such as “Penguin is shifting to more continuous updates” and “In the case of Panda, some parts are running real-time” fuelled the speculation, but it seems now that that was all it was – speculation.
This is because, since 2014, we haven’t seen any updates from either algorithm – at least none have been confirmed, anyway. In fact, in a Google hangout last week, Google’s John Mueller said “I think both of those algorithms [Panda and Penguin] currently are not updating the data regularly. So that is something for both of them, where we kind of have to push the updates as well.” Which seems to suggest that the updates are done manually, even if the “I think” does appear a little tentative.
According to Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land, Panda 4.1 was the last update, which finished rolling out in October 2014. For Penguin, it has reportedly been around 4 months, with the last reported updates in December 2014.
What does this mean?
The only people this really affects are those whose sites were negatively impacted by either Panda or Penguin and are now waiting to see whether changes made have been adequate. If you suspect that you may have been hit by one of these algorithms then the best thing for you to do now – the only thing, really – is to clean up your site.
If you think you’ve been hit by Panda then you need to improve the quality of content on your site. Remove any duplicate content and improve the general quality of the content produced – ensure it is helpful, factual and without errors.
If you think you’ve been hit by Penguin then you need to remove any unnatural backlinks. That includes paid for links, excessive use of link exchanges, forum comments with optimized links and links created through automated programs.