A Complete Guide to Penguin 4.0 Google Algorithm Update

A Complete Guide to Penguin 4.0 Google Algorithm Update

Anna Kowalska

After making us wait for almost two years, Google has finally updated its Penguin algorithm. The previous update took place in 2014 and affected a total of 12 billion queries. However, the Penguin 4.0 update is predicted to have an even BIGGER impact.

Google announced that the update will be the last of its kind and will roll out in all languages. Penguin 4.0 is now a leading part of Google’s core algorithm and will be running as a real-time signal. So, what does this exciting new Penguin update mean for your business?

Here is our complete guide to the Penguin 4.0 and what changes you can expect to see from the update:

What is Penguin 4.0?

Google relies on an intricate algorithm containing over 200 original signals to determine search rankings. The original purpose of Penguin is to penalise websites that try to manipulate search rankings. This involves using black-hat strategies such as keyword stuffing, hidden content and various link schemes. Whilst the Penguin 4.0 update still addresses these problems, it has been given even more responsibilities by the giant search engine and encourages users to create more compelling websites with high-quality content.

Penguin operates in real-time

Since Penguin’s main duty is to detect websites attempting to spam Google’s search results, it makes sense that Google would want to bring this feature into “real-time”. When the Penguin algorithm was brought to life back in 2012, it would run its tests on a periodic basis. The problem with this trait arose when sites that were previously penalised, would remain in that state for an extensive time period. Even if they solved the original problem, their website would continue to be affected by the original punishment. Many sites were forced to wait almost two years!

Thankfully, the new Penguin 4.0 update has solved this problem. The real-time aspect of the Penguin algorithm means that its data is refreshed in real time. You will no longer have to wait countless months for a chance to redeem your site’s original ranking. Instead, the Penguin filter will assess web pages at the same time Google recrawls them.

Penguin focuses on spam signals

Google announced that Penguin will take a more “granular” approach to websites found guilty of spamming. This means that if a site is using spam signals, their ranking adjustments will be made based on those web page errors, rather than impacting the ranking of the entire domain.

However, this does not mean that Penguin 4.0 will strictly focus on penalising pages. Instead, Penguin will adjust ranking based solely on spam signals. For example, if your website has multiple pages and only one of those pages violates the Penguin update, only that page will suffer the consequences. Any penalties will be given to the exact page, giving you a fairer chance to amend your website without seeing your entire domain fall through the ranks.

Penguin 4.0 is faster

One of the main advantages brought to you by the latest Penguin update, is the fact that it operates at a much quicker speed than ever before. Links will be constantly re-evaluated as Google crawls the web. Any positive or negative changes you have made to your site and its content etc. will be instantly detected, analysed and evaluated.

In the past, if your site was penalised by Penguin, you would have to wait months for any improvement to be made. Now that Penguin is in real-time, the changes are picked up faster and penalties can be removed (and delivered) at a much faster rate.

How does Penguin 4.0 affect SEO?

SEOs and online business owners who have been working on their SEO strategies have a lot to gain from this latest update. If your SEO efforts have turned south for whatever reason, you no longer must hide in fear and wait for Google to remove your penalty next year (or the year after that!). If you quickly fix the problem, your site will be re-indexed and re-crawled like every other page on the web. This means that you can quickly reclaim your original ranking by getting rid of any black-hat strategies you’ve been using and replacing them with white-hat SEO strategies only.

How does this update impact my ranking?

Many businesses may see their ranking position changing quite often as the new update finds its feet. Google crawls your website regularly and analyses aspects such as links, domain authority and backlinks etc. On the bright side, this latest update gives you a chance to climb higher and reap the rewards.

Taking time to improve your website by publishing high-quality content and focusing on user experience, will give you the opportunity to strive ahead of your fiercest competitors. Don’t look at this Penguin 4.0 update as a threat, look at it as a unique opportunity to improve your business, boost your rankings and increase conversions.

When will I start to see changes?

The Penguin 4.0 update is not just the last update of its kind, but Google has also stated it will no longer inform the public of any future updates. This is not a surprise since the real-time aspect of the update eliminates the need for Google to make any confirmations as the process will remain constant. Like previous Penguin updates, Penguin 4.0 is using a “rolling out” process. This is expected to last for a couple of weeks, so businesses should expect to see changes quickly.

If you are an online business, you should embrace Penguin 4.0 and utilise it to better improve your site and its rankings. It’s fast-paced nature and real-time existence means that your site is constantly under Google’s radar. You can use this to your advantage by utilising the power of SEO to boost the quality of your website. Spam related tactics such as low-quality links directed towards your site will no longer cause a site-wide penalty. You now have a fairer chance to fix site problems and see results in an efficient and timely manner.