Google Penguin 4.0
Google has recently released Penguin 4.0, the latest update of Google’s Penguin algorithm. It’s the last release of this type as now Penguin is a real-time signal processed within Google’s search algorithm.
SEO agencies have been expecting this update for quite a long time now since the Penguin algorithm had an impressive impact on most of their clients’ sites when it was first released and each of its following updates have always been source of concern.
Penguin 4.0: What Does It Mean?
As SEO agencies and those working in SEO probably know, Penguin is a filter designed to capture sites that are spamming Google’s search results. Those sites deemed spammy would remain penalized even if they improved and changed until the next time the filter ran, which could take months… or even years! In fact, the last Penguin update took place on October 2014; any sites hit by it have waited nearly two years for the chance to be free.
However, with the release of Penguin 4.0, Penguin becomes real time so these long delays will be a thing of the past. Since Penguin becomes real-time, every time Google recrawls and reindexes pages, sites will be assessed by the Penguin filter. As a result, pages will be caught and/or freed by Penguin as part of this regular process. This means that changes will be visible much faster.
Another important characteristic of Penguin 4.0 is that it becomes more specific, not sitewide only. According to Google, Penguin is now more granular. It now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals instead of affecting the ranking of the whole site. It is very likely that this real-time Penguin update is not fully live yet. As it is now rolling out, you can expect it to be fully working in a couple of weeks only. If Google visits your site more frequently, you’ll notice the changes quicker. If Google comes to your site more infrequently, it may take longer for you to notice the changes.