Matt Cutts of Google let SEOs in on what has been feared for awhile now – Penguin is updating. According to Cutts, the new Penguin update will impact somewhere in the range of two thirds of all webmasters. He didn’t get into any specifics on what the new algorithm would be, or even what areas they would be clamping down on, he made it clear that Google is not messing around. The impression he left on many SEOs is that the new update will target specific SEO practices. Cutts also made it very clear that most webmasters and SEOs should be worried about this update. To say the least, this is not good news for anyone but Google’s own platforms it would seem.
Theories and rumors are plentiful, but no real answers are on the horizon. Some speculate it is going to be a G+ centric update that forces people to use the platform to gain +1 and shares in order to get anywhere. Another theory is that Google is on their way to trying to mimic the Bing social index and they are going to re-rank everything without the benefit of any juice garnered from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest of the sites in the Bing social index. Rather than give any credit, they may be opting to give none at all. It’s not wholly logical, but it’s a theory.
Whatever it is Google plans to do with Penguin, only a couple things are fairly certain. Almost no one is going to benefit from this, SEOs are going to be extremely busy, and in the end Bing is going to look like an even better option. Why Google continues to tinker in ways that contradict their “Do no evil” mantra is unknown. Right now the best advice from most SEOs is to do nothing. Let the update run it’s course and do what can be done reasonably. Google has become too inane to invest too much on trying to beat every update when no one even knows what the rules are.