Are the effects of Google’s Penguin 4.0, a boon or curse?

Google has officially confirmed on 23rd September, via the Google webmaster blog that they’ve began rolling out the Penguin 4.0 real time algorithm. It has been almost two years since we had a confirmed Penguin update, Penguin 3.0 in October 2014. Though it is assumed not to be fully live yet (because Google just mentioned its rolling out), it can be predicted to be live in just a couple of weeks.

What is Google Penguin?

Google first launched the Penguin update in April 2012 to catch sites spamming the search results. It specifically targeted the webspams, who used link schemes to manipulate search rankings. This algorithm affected approximately 3% of search queries.

Google Penguin Update is an update related to back link process. Under this update, all the sites that have a bad link profile, unnatural links and low quality spam links will be thrown out. Penguin basically hunts down spamming sites; the ones bought or placed solely for the sake of improving search rankings and penalize them. Those sites would remain penalized even after they improved and modified, until the Penguin filter ran again (which could take a brief time).

Penguin 4.0 — A real time Algorithm

Google Penguin goes real-time and is a part of Google’s core ranking algorithm. Which means Google will be changing and filtering the link records on a regular basis rather than periodic refreshes. According to Google, “With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we re-crawl and re-index a page.” Hence, if you can get spam links removed, Google will presumably recognize, adjust and recover your website from penalty in a very short period.

Penguin 4.0 — A Granular Filter

Google also said that the new Penguin is ‘more granular’. Earlier, Penguin filtering impacted in site wide penalty. But now, it can be presumed that the Penguin filtering impact would be page specific, or section specific or path specific. With this improvisation, Google says, “Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.”

Penguin 4.0 — The last Update

Because Penguin 4.0 is a real-time algorithm, Google said, “We’re not going to comment on future refreshes and updates.” It means that, Google would now not give officially, the percentage of search queries this algorithm affected. This is because the updates would be constantly happening and as a result the percentage of affected search queries would also change.

Penguin 4.0 — Effects on websites

Whether SEO companies and website owners will benefit from Google Penguin 4.0 solely depends upon their link building techniques. Without fancying it if spoken, it means for those who have used WHITE HAT SEO techniques — techniques strictly abiding to Google’s guidelines — are supposed to be benefitted from this major update, while for those who have used BLACK HAT SEO techniques (obviously the opposite of former), may not be too excited about the update. Given below are the predicted pros and cons of Google Penguin 4.0 by the digital marketing experts.

Positive

  • Penguin is real-time! So when you update or optimize your website, Google will now recognize these changes quickly; and your rankings will change accordingly – no more lag time!
  • Penguin 4.0 penalizes all the webspam sites. Therefore, if you have created an amazing and compelling website and have earned a genuine place in your marketplace online then it’s likely to see a positive effect on rankings.

Negative

  • Penguin is real-time! Even though this change can lead to positive effect for your website (as explained above), yet you need to be cautious! You now need to be double sure that your site is being updated correctly – Google will now notice errors faster than ever, and that can quickly alter your ranking.
  • Search engine optimization is becoming much more urbane over time and Google is getting faster at seeing unnatural links, of I may say, in hunting webspams. Regularly updating your SEO strategy and constantly scrutinizing your websites back links is essential to remain amenable with Penguin 4.0.

All these facts lead to only one conclusion. Penguin 4.0 will prove to be a BOON for the websites built using the WHITE HAT SEO techniques and a CURSE for those built using the BLACK HAT SEO techniques. But as you know, “ITS NEVER TOO LATE”! So, start improvise and modifying your websites now.

Penguin 4.0 — Precautions and Suggestions

You should always check on back links. The main difference between natural and unnatural links depends upon the quality of website they are on. And unnatural links will get your site penalized.

If you notice instability in your websites rankings:

  • Clean out the harmful links
  • Review keyword density on your site. Is the keyword repetition natural and making sense?
  • Create some genuine links. The fastest way to do this is through local business listing (citation building).

Penguin 4.0 has literally just rolled out and we’re bound to learn more in the coming weeks as it gets live. Keep your eyes out for more insights.

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