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Ranking Boost Possible Without Penguin Refresh From Google

shutterstock-144752695It’s possible for webmasters to change their sites to improve rankings without a Penguin update from Google. So writes Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller in the Webmaster Central Help Forum.

Mueller says sites shouldn’t focus on individual factors of individual algorithms, but rather on cleaning up site issues and making sure the sites are as good as they can be in and of themselves.

In the thread, “Has Google ever definitively stated that it is possible to recover from Penguin?” Mueller writes, “Yes, assuming the issues are resolved in the meantime, with an update of our algorithm or its data, it will no longer be affecting your site.”

He also concedes that, in theory, if a site is affected by an algorithm and it fixes the issue that led to the problem, then the algorithm and/or its data must be refreshed in order to see those changes.

However, noting that Google uses more than 200 factors in crawling, indexing, and ranking, Mueller writes, “While there are some cases where a site is strongly affected by a single algorithm, that doesn’t mean that it won’t see any changes until that algorithm or its data is refreshed.”

Mueller uses the example of a site impacted by a Web-spam algorithm and says if the webmaster resolves those issues and makes the site “fantastic,” the site is likely to see changes in search even before that algorithm or its data is refreshed.

“Some of those effects might be directly related to the changes you made (other algorithms finding that your site is really much better), some of them might be more indirect (users loving your updated site and recommending it to others),” Mueller writes.

Further, if the world had just one algorithm, then, yes, webmasters would have to wait for a refresh to see changes, Mueller says.

“In practice, however, things are much more involved, and improvements that you make (especially significant ones) are likely to have visible effects even outside of that single algorithm,” Mueller writes. “One part that helps to keep in mind here is that you shouldn’t be focusing on individual factors of individual algorithms, it makes much more sense to focus on your site overall – cleaning up individual issues, but not assuming that these are the only aspects worth working on.”

At the same time, Mueller also concedes, “We do realize that it would be great if we could speed the refresh-cycle of some of these algorithms up a bit, and I know the team is working on that.”

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