Google confirmed on the 23rd September that Penguin 4.0 has finally been released. The last edition of Penguin; Penguin 3 may have affected less than 1% of UK/US searches so why worry?
If we look at the numbers 1% of searches translates into an enormous 12 billion search queries.
In a statement Google announced that “Penguin is now part of our core algorithm” and goes onto explain: –
“Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to surface what you might be looking for. These signals include things like the specific words that appear on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank. One specific signal of the algorithms is called Penguin, which was first launched in 2012 and today has an update.”
What is Google Penguin
Penguin tracks down spammy or inorganic links, links that were either bought or placed solely for the sake of improved search engine results page (serps) rankings.
Before the implementation of Penguin bad links were simply devalued and required replacement in order to recover search rankings.
According to Search Engine Watch after Penguin Google ensured that bad links became “toxic”, effected the entire website and extremely were difficult to recover from.
What does Penguin 4.0 mean to you?
In previous editions of Google Penguin the list of sites effected was only updated updated occasionally in in a single batch.
According to Google until Penguin 4.0 “Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google’s algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed.” In real terms this means that your site could struggle for up to 2 years.
Googles Penguin 4.0 data is now refreshed in real time, this means that any repairs to pages containing bad links will be implemented once the affected page is recrawled and deindexed.
Penguin 4 penalises pages and not entire sites
Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking on effected page rather than the entire site.
It is worth remembering that the web has changed significantly over the years, Webmasters don’t need to worry as long as they create compelling websites and refresh them often. Penguin is just one of more than 200 signals that Google uses to determine your page rank.