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Penguin 4.0 Update


It’s here! After nearly two years of waiting, Gary lllyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google and a member of Google’s search ranking team, announced that Penguin 4.0 is now live.

So, what do you need to know about the real time Penguin update? I’ve got you covered.

1. Penguin is now part of Google’s core algorithm

Joining Panda, Penguin is now embedded into Google’s core ranking algorithm, which consists of over 200 different signals.

2. Penguin is now in real-time

The long delays of waiting to be back in Google’s good graces after being penalized are now a thing of the past.

Rather than something that refreshes sporadically, Penguin is now in real time.

This means site owners will no longer need to wait for a Penguin update to recover from being penalized.

With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page” said Gary lllyes in his announcement.

3. Penguin is Universal 

Penguin will be in full effect to all languages and all countries.  Searchers all over the globe will be able to see these changes taking place.

4. Penguin is more Granular

Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting rankings based on spam signals, rather than affecting rankings of the whole site.

Few things to keep in mind…

  • This update is NOT fully live yet – it’s still rolling out
    • If you removed negative backlinks and didn’t see a recovery right away, be patient. The roll out may take some time…
  • Penguin does still negatively impact sites with bad link issues – sites can now discover they have a brand NEW Penguin issue
  • September was a very volatile month in the SERPs
  • Disavowing / removing low quality links is still important
    • Once you remove and disavow negative / low quality links, the changes will be reflected much faster in the SERPS (you will no longer have to wait for a refresh or update)
    • Important to note, it’s still important to try to get the low quality / negative links removed and disavow as needed (no changes have been made to the disavow tool)
  • Google hasn’t changed their linking guidelines

Penguin History

Here’s a rundown from Search Engine Land on Penguin updates over time, as well as the impact they’ve had on queries, according to Google:

About the Author

Andrew is the Senior SEO Manager at Teknicks where he leads the SEO team in developing and executing various SEO strategies. Outside of work, Andrew enjoys playing tennis, watching movies, and supporting his favorite sports teams.

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