Google’s Penguin 4.0 is now real time! Are you ready to Chase?

Posted by Maulik Patel

October 07, 2016

SEO 22 min read

The web has significantly changed over the years and webmasters focus on creating compelling, amazing websites. Google updates like Penguin are just the algorithmic signals which help Google to determine the rank for the websites.

What Is The Google Penguin Update?

First launched in April 2012, Google Penguin aimed to target the webspam and catch the websites deemed to be spamming the search results by violating Google’s webmaster guidelines. This included the sites practicing Blackhat SEO techniques that do not benefit the users and find loopholes or shortcuts to rank higher than they actually deserve.

There have been half a dozen updates since the initial launch, and the most recent update before Penguin 4.0 was Penguin 3.0 back in October 2014.

Penguin 4.0 Announcement

In this article, you’ll learn what Penguin 4.0 is, how the latest update impacts the SEO community and how the bold and brave can safely continue to improve their online visibility without fearing the consequences of search engine penalties.

The Penguin 4.0 Announcement

Google finally released Penguin 4.0 on 23rd September 2016 after two years of updating the third version. –Source The latest version of the Penguin algorithm is now a part of its core algorithm and set to make significant changes to the Google search results.

After a period of development and testing and experiencing few weeks of turbulence in the
SERPs, Google finally made the announcement that many had predicted with these two key changes:

Penguin Goes Real-Time

The biggest innovation of all is Penguin switches to real-time – really good news and the new signal will be a part of the core search algorithm.

Before the update, all sites affected by Penguin periodically got refreshed at the same time. And, it wasn’t until a Penguin update that the sites had to wait for months to recover or get out of jail.

With the updated Penguin running in real-time changes, all the changes, positive and negative happen much faster than ever. Now, the data is refreshed in real-time so the changes in rankings will be visible much faster and the alterations you make to your websites will be reflected at a rate of knots.

Penguin is now more granular

Now, this is a little more curious thing, Penguin 2.0 added the page-level and the keyword-level penalties which were more granular than the Penguin 1.0 release.

Penguin Granular

With things getting more advanced, Penguin has now become page-specific and devalues the webspam by altering the rankings based on the junk signals, rather than affecting the ranking of the whole site.

Penguins will now hit individual pages or the sections of a site which means companies need to distribute high quality content equally and they can no longer rely on a particular section of a website to keep them ranking high.

Another interesting nugget in the update is that there will be no more notifications for Penguin updates. It will keep updating constantly as Google crawls the web, so tweaks to the key points of this system will not be announced.

This is a good step for webmasters as they can now concentrate on performing good SEO and marketing rather than nervously waiting for the hammer of penalty to fall on some of their artificial link building activities.

Has Penguin Gone Live Yet?

This is what people are buzzing about. As Google announced, it would no longer be announcing the updates, and the Penguin 4.0 being a constant process, there’s actually nothing to be confirmed because changes will be reflected as and when they’re needed.

Though Google has said they’re rolling it out, it will probably take time for Penguin 4.0 to fully become active. However, new parameters are already out there. Everyone knows that getting out of Google’s trap is a nightmare. So, it’s significant for the companies to make changes now or they’re going to struggle to compete in the coming days or weeks.

What Google Wants You To Do?

It is always useful to briefly analyze Google’s recommendations. You need to make sure that you’ve carefully worded Google webmaster guidelines and the press releases to derive more clarification than we often seek.

If you think that these updates would threaten the ranking of your company, you should think about Penguin 4.0 as a wake-up call and check out whether you are delivering high-quality content and need to make the necessary changes to your website.

Google’s eyes seek high quality, valuable content

The first step in this process goes with looking at your existing content and think whether it adds real value to your target audience. Do users respond well and get engaged with your website. Fix your content and consider the Google Penguin update as an advantage, not a hindrance.

High Quality Content

Search Engines Manipulation Now Gets Harder

SEO is an integral part of maintaining the quality of your website. To be more specific, Google considers artificial link building schemes and keyword stuffing as web spamming techniques.

The best SEO comes from common sense. Spammy directory listings, links with no/irrelevant content does not make sense. All the time and efforts spent on such activities don’t add real value to your site and just put you on Google’s naughty list.

Search Engine Manipulation

Unfortunately, we live in a world where folks are looking for cheaper SEO services and they even find some provider to fill that gap. The demand for cheap SEO actually creates cheap SEO. And we often delve deep into it… unless Penguin 4.0 finally puts pay to low-value and risky tactics.

The bottom line is that delivers unique and valuable content, stay away from craps while building links, do not overdo SEO, keep things natural and practice Whitehat SEO techniques.

Penguin 4.0 simply needs some fine-tuning with your website, but quality link building tactics in 2016 and beyond will look towards tackling your website first by building something great and then letting people know about it.

There are various SEO services providers available in this digital space, but the ones that provide ethical & whitehat services to help you recover from the punitive Google Panda and Penguin algorithms and get out of the Google trap are the best ones.

I hope, this article has helped you understand Google’s Penguin update and what should you do to stay on the safer side. What do you think about such major changes in Google’s search algorithms? Let me know in the comments!


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