The anniversary for Google’s fifth Penguin algorithm update is coming up, and a lot of people are still recoiling in its penalising damages. 11 months and 8 days can be a long time for a webmaster who has to clean up their links – especially if their site was impacted heavily. They’ve likely sorted out all their onsite/offsite problems by now, though they’ll be keeping their ears keenly peeled for any indication of a new update from Google to their Penguin algorithm. If you’re one of those who’ve sorted your website out but haven’t listened to good advice for the long-run, you can bet your life Google will impact you once again.

And as it seems, this update may not be a long way off. John Mueller, working for Google, said on a Google Hangout this morning that Penguin 3.0 – the 6th refresh – is expected for release within 2014. In John’s words: “I am pretty confident we will have something in the reasonable future.”

“The reasonable future”, however, is a bit cryptic. And some would say that 11 months without a refresh is unreasonable in itself – leaving people in suspense for what Google may have in store for them next. Will it be a knife or a meat cleaver this time? A lot of people would have hoped to see a mini update before the anniversary, and it would indeed be reasonable if they’d manage to release it by then, but who knows? It could be released at any time.

Penguin 3.0 is expected to be a big update, no doubt, making the algorithm better at running more frequently so that those impacted won’t have to wait too long before seeing a refresh. A lot like how Panda now runs monthly.

Google have themselves admitted that refreshing the Penguin algorithm has yielded many challenges, but it now appears to be close to completion.

As soon as it’s released, we’ll be the first to tell you.