Google: We cannot fix Penguin penalty manually

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Google: We cannot fix Penguin penalty manually

In a recent Google Hangout, John Mueller confirmed that there is no manual update available for domains hit by the Google Penguin.

In a recent Google Hangout, John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst at Google, confirmed that there is no manual update available for specific domains hit by the Google Penguin Algorithm. Mueller said that you would need to wait for the next update, but he does not know when that might be.

The last Penguin update was back in December 2014, and many webmasters are eagerly awaiting the next update. Of course, frustration is now running high due to the length of time that has passed, with some users hoping that Google can somehow manually release them from their penalty. In the Hangout, one such user asked the question at 25:14 minutes:

The store we acquired a few months ago was punished by Penguin in 2014 due to mistakes from the previous owner and we are waiting for an update. Can we get a manual update?

In response, Mueller confirmed that no manual update can be run for Google Penguin and that they would have to wait for the algorithm to be updated:

So we don’t do manual updates for a lot of our algorithms. We essentially wait for the algorithms to get updated, to run automatically. So there is no manual update that is possible in cases like this.

If you fixed all the issues, with the next update, then it will probably look a little bit better. I don’t have any timing on these updates.

You can see the relevant part of the conversation below:

It is interesting that Mueller commented that they do not know when the next update might be, but this does not come as much of a surprise considering Google's Gary Illyes said that they would provide no more release estimates. In the last year alone, there have been at least eight estimates of a Penguin update release date, all of which have come and gone.

It is not surprising that manual updates cannot be implemented on specific websites suffering from a penalty. Currently, only manual reviews can be carried out for penalties that appear as notices from within the Google Search Console.

If Google opened up to any penalty, then there would be a huge demand for manual reviews. Without the penalty showing in the Search Console, many of the requests would be made by webmasters suffering minor fluctuations in the SERPs, many of which may not be related to one of the major algorithms such as Penguin or Panda. This would create a significant workload for Google, and in many cases creating a climate of favoritism where individual websites appear to be fixed faster than others. Of course, overriding an automated algorithm may cause significant issues from a consistency standpoint.

We appreciate that many webmasters will be disgusted by the length of time it has taken Google to update or refresh the Penguin Algorithm and incredibly unfair on those webmasters that were hit back in 2014. We tend to agree and hope that the update is rolled out soon.

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