When the current Google Penguin update first began to rollout throughout the search results, we were told that we should be getting ready for a timely update due to the sheer volume of the sites that the update needed to process, with John Mueller telling us that he expected that we would see rankings begin to start to settle down "in a couple of weeks" however today's (03/11/14) Google Webmaster Help Hangout saw Mueller tell us that the update was still operational.
Many expected the latest Google Penguin update to have completed last Friday based on the comments of Mueller however with clear movement still very much alive and kicking within various marketplaces, it has been confirmed by John that the update is still processing, making this the 17th day in operation.
As well as being told about the update still rolling, we were given a little more insight into a variety of other questions that were asked by those on the hangout, including:
Have Google thought anymore about the inclusion of an algorithm penalty signal being placed into Google Webmaster Tools?
John Mueller revealed that Google have looked at this a number of times in the past and that it is always a long discussion, however they are struggling to see a clear way to be able to make this actionable but to the vast criteria that the search algorithms cover while looking at a website.
He said that they were looking for other ways in which they could set benchmark areas which would allow for them to inform webmasters about issues such as these, however they are still to come up with a suitable way at the moment.
IP Filter – Is it real and can it affect two different sites on the same IP, selling the same products?
Mueller said that he did not believe that this should be considered to be "that much" of an issue as Google are aware that this can happen on a natural basis, however he did point out that if Google were to see thousands of similar sites set up all focusing on one specific keyword, that is something that the algorithms would look at and take action against if they were considered to be "doorway" sites.
Ranking data in Webmaster Tools – Why is it so different to what our rank checker tools see?
Mueller pointed out that the information within Webmaster Tools in regards to rankings takes into effect a number of things, however ultimately it comes down to what people see when they are searching specific queries.
These rankings can be affected by geo-targeting, personalisation and how far people search within the search results that they are shown for their chosen query, however you should be able to see from the impression numbers whether these are legitimate rankings based on the number of impressions that are shown.
Links from online statistic websites – Are they harmful to your site?
Mueller pointed out that not too many tools out there at the moment are set up like this however told us that Google are aware of these links as this is how they used to work historically, meaning that Google have had plenty of practice with them.
He revealed that they are not something that you should be worried about as they are aware that there are sites out there like this and said that he believed that there was nothing to fear in relation to negative effect from them, however said that you can get peace of mind by disavowing them if you wish.