Today’s article is about the recent Google Penguin update and how it will influence your SERP tracker. For those of you who are not exactly familiar with what the Penguin update is and why it’s so important, let’s start with a quick reminder of how it came to be:
At the dawn of Google, it was a sort of wild-west gold rush frontier for SEOs who used to their advantage Google’s algorithms (still in their infancy) to easily gain ranks and make a ton of money. In those olden days, you could rise in ranks solely by inserting the right keywords into a webpage and updating the meta-data correctly. All of which opened up the flood gates for an abundance of spam and shady websites to rise. Google of course wanted to put a stop to that, and so Google and SEO’s have been battling it out ever since. One of the most major algorithm updates in this “war” was Penguin. First introduced by Google in 2012, its main premise and objective is to fight spammy link building that was meant to bump a website in search ranks. It does so by devaluing website’s ranks based on various spam signals. This was a welcome addition for the general good of Google users and very devastating for some SEOs and advertisers.
Up until recently, Penguin was running separately from Google’s core algorithm, but the new announcement from Google is that Penguin will now be running in real-time as part of their core algorithm. What it means is that changes in rankings will now happen much faster for websites affected by Penguin. In fact, they will be taking effect shortly after Google re-crawls and re-indexes a page, whereas before it needed periodic refreshing. Penguin’s spam signals were updated over time (and will continue to do so) and are part of over 200 signals* that are used by Google as a part of their core algorithm to determine website ranks. Some good news is that instead of affecting the ranking of an entire website according to its spam signals, Penguin will now devalue the ranks of individual pages instead.
As you know, SERP tracking is all about ranks, so when an existing ranking algorithm is changed or a new one is introduced, it is bound to cause some fluctuations in ranking displays in your SERP tracker of choice. (Hint: just about every SERP tracker in the market utilizes more or less the same methods of acquiring ranking data.) However, it is just a temporary, mild discomfort that will stabilize over time, so fear not. Just continue using your tracker as you usually would and don’t be alarmed if any strange fluctuations happen to your ranks.
Even with those fluctuations in mind, PRT will remain the most accurate rank tracker on the market and will always bring you the clearest picture of your ranks that you can get. Today’s industry standards for a SERP tracker are accuracy and the ability to track a wide scope of rank types across all major search engines. So if you’re new to PRT you should get on board and give us a spin!
*Google defines these signals as “clues that make it possible to surface what you might be looking for.”