From the time of Google’s Florida update in the month of November, 2003, it has upheld an unofficial but staunch promise not to tamper with the Google ranking algorithm at the time of the holiday season. The massive rise in the number of Penguin Updates this year has heralded a never before seen change in Google’s unofficial policy of no updates during the holiday season.
Penguin is used by Google for fighting the spam which breaches its usual spam fighting safeguards. This filter is often used and when sites are hit by Penguin, they receive huge penalty that deals a solid blow to them till they iron out their spam problems. The sites then have to wait till the next time the filter is run through so that they can be released from the penalty. In fact, the penalty is only lifted if Google’s filter sees the site has reached a satisfactory status spam wise.
Publishers placed in the penalty box by Penguin during the Penguin 2 update in 2013 had to wait a complete year until Penguin 3 was released during the month of October last year for release from it. In direct breach of the unofficial “no updates during the holiday season” rule, there have been three further Penguin updates at the latest count.
Many times, Google has said it does not approve updates during holidays such as in 2011 and 2013. During the former year, it had said :
Search weather report: no major Panda updates until the new year. Context: goo.gl/XqLuN
Then in 2013, Mathew Cutts tweeted that Google aims to minimize updates just prior to the holiday season.
This time around, though rules are meant to be broken as users hit by Penguin 3.0 saw changes on Thanksgiving Day. There have been other major changes on Saturday, 6th December, as well as the Friday and Tuesday before this.
The Thanksgiving update was added as part of the Penguin 3.0 rollout while it was still continuing to be launched indicating it was part of an ongoing process. But updates usually do not last for so long-in this situation, 6 weeks- for rolling out. Moreover, they do not cause fluctuations at the end point of the launch. Such a fluctuation is an indication of a change to the filer in the form of a new update.
Users are still trying to get Google to provide confirmation for these updates during the holiday season.Google Refreshes and Updates Penguin Despite No Update Rule During the Holidays!,