Google Launches Penguin 4.0 – Here’s What You Need to Know

posted by:

Ryan Cohn

23 September

Google announced an important update to its search algorithm today, dubbed Penguin 4.0. After two years in development, Penguin 4.0 could significantly impact how your website ranks for key Google search queries.

Will you need to revise your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy?

What you need to know about the Penguin 4.0 update:

• Google released an algorithm update called Penguin in 2012. It is one of over 200 signals used to determine how content should rank in search results.

• The Penguin “signal” (likely) focuses on devaluing of webspam, poor backlink profiles, and thin/poor quality content. Google is very careful to not divulge what an algorithm update actually does, but that was their stated goal with Penguin.

• Originally, rank changes, penalties, and reinstatements due to the Penguin algorithm signal were enacted in batches, with significant waiting time.

• With this update, a “refresh” waiting period is no longer required. The impact of the Penguin signal is felt in real-time.

• This update has also made Penguin more granular, i.e. individual pages on a site might be impacted/penalized vs an entire site being impacted/penalized.

Why is this important for SEO?

• Your website, or the pages on your website, can be penalized in near real-time due to receiving unnatural backlinks.

• You can recover in near real-time through disavowing/removing bad backlinks.

Some websites may see rapid changes in their rankings and organic search traffic as a result. If your website’s organic search traffic drops significantly starting today and remains low, the first place to look is your website’s backlink profile.

Does your company’s website rank poorly in search engine results? Do negative results surface when people search for your brand online? Our digital marketing team is ready to develop an SEO plan to improve your search engine performance today.