A Guide to Google Penguin 4.0

A Guide to Google Penguin 4.0

Anna Kowalska

It’s been a long time coming but Google have finally released an update to Penguin which now functions in real time. It’s said to be the last update of its kind given the intuitive algorithm. This builds upon previous updates which didn’t quite hit the mark. As a relief to most webmasters and developers, Google now penalises in a more practical and efficient process.

What is Penguin?

If you’re left scratching your head when you’ve suddenly dropped down the rankings then you’re probably not familiar with Penguin. It’s part of Google’s core algorithm which seeks out those websites which are employing black-hat tactics to crawl higher up the rankings. While the technology was smart and those bending the rules would be brought to ‘justice’, it was considered too harsh as a deterrent.

What happens if you made an ‘unlawful’ mistake or you employed a developer or SEO company on your behalf, only to discover they were using black hat tactics? Previous versions of Penguin would have seen you penalised for months or even years. Due to the nature of the algorithm, it would only reassess your site and remove those penalties once Penguin received an update. That left many webmasters with poor rankings for a very long time with no way of redeeming their position.

Penguin 4.0 is fair and effective

Thanks to the latest update to Penguin, those painfully long delays are no longer a concern. Penguin 4.0 is much better at catching those spammy websites as quick as possible without penalising the good ones for excessive durations. As it works in real-time, Penguin will re-crawl and re-index pages as part of a frequent process. It means you’ll be penalised much faster than before but you’ll also be ‘freed’ from any penalisations after making the required changes.

That’s good news for those of us who play by the rules. It gives a fair system where the spam led sites are discovered sooner and you’ll be given the chance to undo wrong SEO tactics without having to endure endless days spent on the 3rd or 4th pages of Google.

Another impressive feature of Penguin 4.0 is the movement towards a more granular approach. Before the update, a site would be penalised across all pages despite where the ‘spam’ occurred. Now Google will penalise the individual page within a site rather than the entire domain.

Again, this gives the opportunity to learn and change according to our mistakes without losing a worrying amount of traffic. It should act as a deterrent by penalising those who continually make these errors while offering a more friendly approach to those who are willing to change.

Google Penguin 4.0 was rolled out several weeks ago but it wasn’t expected to be fully in place for several weeks. That said, as this new algorithm becomes the norm, you should expect a slight adjustment in your rankings with quicker gains and penalties than ever before.