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penguins

If you’ve paid any attention to the SEO space at all in the last year or so, you’ll know that a frequent topic of conversation is when will Google finally release another update to its Penguin algorithm, which targets what Google considers to be low-quality spammy links.

The last update happened on October 17th, 2014, and while it supposedly impacted less than 1% of English queries, the SEO world erupted with news of websites being toppled by the update. Unfortunately for these sites, they will not be able to regain their rankings until Google releases another update to the Penguin algorithm.

While some SEOs are facing an extended period of poor rankings and low traffic, those of us who weren’t negatively affected have been having fun challenging each other to guess when Google would release the next update.

Originally, the company had hinted that it would be released before the end of 2015. That deadline came and went, and Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes took to Twitter to claim that it would be released in Q1 of 2016. Later, in March, he decided that it would be better not to give us any more estimates. Finally, just a little over a week ago, Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller claimed that he was hopeful that the next Penguin update was “not too far in the future.”

Heather and Andrew weigh in

I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring with a guess of my own. Seeing as how said ring would be rather empty with only one hat in it, I reached out to Heather D. Fulton, a social media and branding specialist to get her estimate as well. We’ll start with her guess:

“I predict Penguin will drop on September 3rd, 2016. This syncs up with Google's dusty roots and the multi-story crackle and eye-socket-scalding explosion of the man burning would symbolically line up nicely with what is certain to explode many aspects of SEO as we know it, leaving a potentially comparable tide of chaos and melancholy glee in its ashes. At least, one can hope they'll be that poetic.”

Certainly an interesting guess, Heather! I especially like how it ties into an aspect of Google’s history that I had not known of.

My estimate isn’t nearly as exciting. John Mueller’s claim that the update will be “not too far in the future” suggests to me that it won’t happen this summer, but likely will happen in the fall. This would also be consistent with Penguin’s past update releases, three of which took place in October. With that in mind, I’ll go ahead and suggest that the next update will also happen in October, probably on the 3rd.

Want to throw your hat into the ring as well? Add your guess in the comments below!