When Google’s Penguin 3.0 refresh began rolling out this month, it was understood that the process could take several weeks. Now there’s confirmation from Google’s John Mueller, via a Webmaster Help Hangout yesterday, that the update is still in the process of being rolled out.
This marks 18 days since the refresh began rolling out, exceeding the estimated rollout period of a couple weeks. Presumably Mueller is referring to the worldwide rollout of Penguin 3.0, as we already had confirmation that the US English rollout had been completed.
What does this mean?
It means if you’re situated outside of the United States, or you own websites written in languages other than English, you may still see some fluctuations in rankings as the rollout continues. Keep monitoring your rankings and don’t get too comfortable thinking Penguin 3.0 is history and you weren’t affected.
In addition to that new insight into Penguin 3.0, we also learned some new things about Webmaster Tools thanks to some well thought out questions asked during the Google Hangout.
A special hat tip goes to David Naylor for drawing my attention to this information.
An Algorithm Penalty Signal In Google Webmaster Tools
Google has looked at the possibility of including an algorithm penalty signal in Webmaster Tools in the past, but now they are having a hard time finding a way to make that data actionable.
Google is looking into ways in which they can inform webmasters about negative algorithm signals, but they have yet to come up with a suitable way to do so.
Why Is Ranking Data In Webmaster Tools Different From Other Tools?
Rankings data in Webmaster Tools takes into account a number of things, but what it really comes down to are the results people see when searching.
Real life search results can be affected by all kinds of variables, such as geo-targeting, personalization, and how far people actually dig into the search results pages.
However, John Mueller points out, you should be able to tell whether or not the rankings number displayed in Webmaster Tools are legitimate or not based on the number of impressions that are shown.