Another weekend and with it another major Google algorithmic update. What SEOs have been waiting for over two years has finally happened. Last Friday, September 23rd, Google announced Penguin 4.0 is now baked into its search core algorithm, Hummingbird and is now real-time!
So What is Google Penguin?
According to Search Engine Land,
“Penguin is a filter designed to capture sites that are spamming Google’s search results in ways that Google’s regular spamming systems might not detect.”
The last biggest refresh update Penguin 3.0 happened on Oct 17, 2014. So, if your site was hit due to spammy links, you’d have to wait until the next roll out to see if your site remained penalized after cleaning up your link profile.
Now that Penguin is real-time, this review process will be accelerated, since it will be part of the indexing and re-indexing crawl.
Again according to SEL, “Pages will be caught and/or freed by Penguin as part of this regular process.”
Also, Penguin 4.0 will be more granular and more page-specific. So if it finds something “spammy” it should only affect that specific page and not the site as a whole in regards to rankings.
Finally, this should be the final penguin update and Google will no longer announce updates since it will be constantly updated as part of ongoing adjustments.
Here some key points from the Google Webmaster Blog:
- Penguin is a part of their core ranking algorithm
- Penguin is now real-time, rather than something which periodically refreshes
- Penguin has shifted from being a site-wide negative ranking factor to a more granular factor
What To Do?
- Mark annotations for September 23 in your Google Analytics accounts so you can keep track of any dip in traffic after the update
- Check out any of these tools Mozcast, RankRanger, SERPmetrics, Algaroo, Ayima Pulse, AWR, Accuranker, SERP Watch for any changes
- Use Panguin Tool to check if your site was impacted by Penguin 4.0. It is my preferred tool.
Finally, keep checking out The SEM Blog to keep up with the latest changes in SEO and tips for keeping your website healthy and ranking well.