Every once in a while, Google will release an update to its search algorithm that changes how websites appear in search results. Some of these updates are minor, while others drastically shift what order the websites are presented in. Since many websites rely on Google search traffic, a big shakeup in the algorithm could have a large impact on your business.
There has been talk for the past several months that Google would release an update to its Penguin algorithm some time before the end of the year, and that date is quickly approaching. Many are expecting that with this update, Google will make the entire system run in real-time. As it stands now, half of the system runs in real-time, but it still requires manual updates to its data.
So, let’s say you just received some backlinks from a well-known source. Rather than waiting for Google to update its information, this will be done in real-time, and you’ll see the results right away. Or if some “bad” links start pointing to your website, you’ll notice the penalty right away.
Whether this real-time update will be a part of the new algorithm remains to be seen. Google knew that this was going to be a months-long process in order to implement it, and are unsure if it will be ready in time.
Once it is released, however, it will be interesting to see the impact it has on websites. With all major Google updates, it takes a little while for the smoke to clear and to notice just what kind of impact was made. More than likely this will be the scenario again, making it hard to make preparations. If you continue with good SEO practices though, you shouldn’t have too much to fear, and maybe even a lot to gain.