Over the last ten years, Google has been in the holiday spirit, in terms up not releasing any new Algorithm updates or changes during the holiday season; however, this year, they don’t seem all that cheerful! Google has been actively pushing out Penguin Updates: it is alleged that Penguin 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 & 3.4 have all been released; Google has not confirmed nor denied these allegations!
Just a refresher, Penguin is Google’s spam fighter, which is used periodically to punish sites who break Google’s link-building guidelines. Once a site is hit by Penguin, there search results will almost be non-existent, until they clean up their spammy behavior.
Once your site gets hit by this spam filter, you have to wait until the next round of updates is released to have your punishment lifted (if you cleaned up the spam). For example, those sites who were punished by the Penguin 2 Update in 2013, had to wait a whole year until another update was released to escape the punishment.
According to many sources, since Penguin 3, this past October, Google has released three more updates, all happening from Thanksgiving and onward, which of course violates Google’s “unofficial” promise not to mess with search rankings during the holiday season.
Since Thanksgiving 2014, there have four major Penguin updates, which have affected the search results of quite a bit of sites! There was an update released on Thanksgiving night, one last Friday (December 5), last Tuesday (December 2), and this past Saturday (December 6). So much for not releasing any updates during the holiday season!
The alleged updates that were released December 2, 5 & 6 were not confirmed by Google as actual updates; but based on the change of traffic and search results, we are fairly confident that these are in fact the latest Penguin Updates.
There will be more information released later on in the week; please stay tuned for more information about the alleged updates that took place last week!