Today, the eyes of webmasters are on Google Penguin 4.0 update, aren’t they? Since its last update on October 17, 2014, Google has finally revealed out its Penguin algorithm update as a part of core algorithm in all languages.
What is penguin?
Google Penguin is a kind of Google algorithm update that was first launched on April 24, 2012. This update was introduced to combat spam links and black hat SEO techniques such as link schemes, cloaking, keyword stuffing, etc. and scrutinize the quality of links to a specific site. Webmasters who use any of these spam techniques are penalized and their websites experience tremendous impacts on the SERPs negatively. Since its first update, Google Penguin has caused major undulation in digital world. Sites failed to adhere to the updates have suddenly dropped their rankings and missed from search results as well.
History of Google Penguin:
Since its first announcement in 2012, Google has released seven Penguin updates and they are as follows:
- Penguin 1.0:
Launched on April 24, 2012, Penguin 1.0 has taken a number of spam factors into consideration and had impact on 3.1% English search queries.
- Penguin 1.1:
Released on May 25, 2012, Penguin 1.1 update is not a complete change to the algorithm, but just a data refresh, impacting 0.1% of English queries.
- Penguin 1.2:
Came into effective from October 5, 2012, Penguin 1.2 is considerably a minor update that brought about 0.3% of impact on search queries.
- Penguin 2.0:
With its launch on May 22, 2013, this Penguin 2.0 update is geared to the page level. The tweak in the algorithm has hit a lot of webmasters, impacted 2.3% of queries and affected websites’ ranking negatively.
- Penguin 2.1:
Introduced on October 3, 2013, Penguin 2.1 was primarily a data update rather than being a single change to the algorithm. While the overall impact was moderate around 1% of queries, many webmasters experienced a hard hit.
- Penguin 3.0:
Penguin 3.0 update released on October 17, 2014, had a comparatively smaller impact contributing less than 1% on English search queries.
- Penguin 4.0:
After two years of its last update, Google Penguin has finally revealed out its core algorithm in all languages. This update is more granular and is claimed to have real time impact.
What’s more about Penguin 4.0?
- Real time:
With the latest update, Penguin has become real time. Earlier, the websites affected by Google Penguin was refreshed periodically, but now, the data is refreshed in real time and the impact will be felt within a shorter timeframe, once a page is re-crawled and re-indexed.
As Google said, Penguin 4.0 is more granular. Earlier Google Penguin had impacts on entire website, but now, it becomes page specific. It reduces spam by influencing ranking based on spam signals, instead of affecting the ranking of entire website.
- No future confirmation on penguin update:
With the introduction of this real time core Penguin algorithm, Google has announced that it will not confirm any update in the future. As the updates are real time and constant, Google will not make any confirmation for future updates.
So, it is very clear that Penguin algorithm is now likely to fulfill its ultimate goal of catching spam link profiles and affecting ranking of low quality sites in the search results.
Consequence of Google Penguin 4.0 update:
- The real time update can have impacts on ranking much faster in a negative and positive way.
- Google Penguin will have impacts on all factors such as domain, pages, keyword, keyword groups, folders and everything that contributes in organic ranking.
- As several factors are involved in influencing the ranking, it can be difficult for webmasters to identify small penguin penalties.
- As Google Penguin has become more granular, the forcefully SEO-ed part of the site journeys through the filter whereas other part of the website ranks better.
The webmasters have to worry when any algorithm is introduced or updated as their websites could be hit by a penalty. However, the real time update reduces the time taken to reestablish their websites in SERPs. So, if you want to stay away from a Google Penalty, you need to audit your links regularly and take required measures whenever necessary.
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Image source: Google Image search