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It’s December! Time to put up the tree, hang the lights, and wait for Google’s latest update. Traditionally Google has put through updates in December near Christmas. For all of you with eCommerce sites, that’s exactly when you need your site rankings the most. It happened last year on Christmas Eve, causing thousands of sites to lose money. Whether it happens the same way this year or not, they’re going to roll out a Penguin update before the end of the year. And the best thing you can do is to get ready before it happens.
Google is switching Penguin from an occasional crawler to something in real-time. Whether this means hourly, daily, or weekly we don’t know, but it will crawl your site much more frequently than before. In the past, Penguin was only activated once in a while, whenever Google wanted to pull the switch. Now it’s meant to be a more automated process that works much more often.
What does that mean for you and your site?
If you’ve fixed site problems in the past, you may have found that it took a long time before Google noticed it and raised your rankings. With Penguin updating more frequently, site improvements should result in higher rankings much quicker.
It’s important that you make sure your site is ready. Do a search for spammy backlinks and disavow them now. Use the Google Search Console and look for links to your site.
Download the latest rankings to get the most current list. Make a file of the backlinks you want to disavow. Run a Google search for the Disavow Backlinks tool, and then upload your file of links to disavow.
Once Penguin updates, your site should rise in the rankings. It’s crucial for you to do this now so you don’t lose sales in this busiest season of the year.
Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.