If you’re one of the many people who’s been eagerly waiting for Google’s long-anticipated update to Penguin, or dreading what it may bring, it appears that you’ll be waiting for a little while longer – in a statement, a Google spokesperson said that “it looks like the penguins won’t march until next year.”

Google has told some media outlets that the delay is due to the holiday season, when many Google staffers take vacations. It may be that the algorithm is ready to go, but its release is being delayed until after the holidays in order to decrease the workload on staffers. Alternately, as some have speculated, there are still some last minute tweaks to be made to the update and Google doesn’t want to release Penguin until it’s definitively ready for prime time.

Whether you’ve been excited for the update or dreading it, the delay may actually be a good thing. Google updates have historically caused a bit of turmoil upon release and it may be a blessing for many online retailers that their sales won’t face even the smallest possibility of becoming collateral damage during the update.

E-tail businesses aren’t the only ones breathing a sigh of relief either. SEO firms and consultants may have been looking forward to a year-end influx of business from clients seeking help adjusting their sites for Penguin, but there’s a bright side here as well – these professionals can spend this holiday season with their loved ones instead of working overtime trying to get their clients ready for the update.

The penguins will on the march again soon enough, but since it appears that this won’t be happening until at least January of next year, maybe it’s a sign that every SEO professional and webmaster should take a little time to relax, take a deep breath and start preparing themselves for the latest Google algorithm update without having to rush things.