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14 November 2016

Penguin 4.0 Roll Out - How This Real Time Update Affects SEO

Now that Penguin 4.0 is finally out and a real-time part of the Google Algorithm, there are a few changes that are bound to affect SEO. To give readers a brief recollection about Penguin, it is an Algorithm, which Google specifically introduced to combat link spam. The previous versions being Penguin 1.0 – 3x, Penguin 4.0 was finally rolled on Friday, September 23rd 2016. Since it is now a part of Google’s core algorithm, we will look at how the recent update is affecting SEO and also follow up with a few recommendations as well.

Penguin 4.0 Roll Out - How This Real Time Update Affects SEO
Penguin 4.0 Roll Out - How This Real Time Update Affects SEO

Penguin- the previous avatars

Was run intermittently

To begin with, let us understand how Penguin would work in its earlier avatars. Basically, the Penguin algorithm was used to penalize websites with link spam, but it was run intermittently. Hence, if your website happened to be penalized, it would be a long and slow process to get it removed. Hence, the wait could last months to get the penalty lifted as Google itself would depend upon rolling out the algorithm to do it. Hence, until the next time, you would be left twiddling your toes over it.

Would target the entire site

Also, instead of targeting specific pages which had bad links, the algorithm would target the entire website. This would mean that the entire domain would be buried, meaning thereby that it would be very tough for these websites. However, things could be changing with the coming of the new Penguin Algorithm.

Worked in a peculiar manner

Hence, the process, although designed to remove or suppress the impact of the link spam on search results, worked in a somewhat peculiar manner. The penalties of the previous avatars of Penguin would affect entire websites and not the specific pages that had the bad links.

Penguin now works on a more real time basis

Some industry trend watchers believe that once Google has come to know what bad and sketchy links are through the disavow file process; they have created a huge database of what these look like. Now that Google has acquired enough disavowals, they can now make Penguin work on a more real-time basis.

The Implications of Penguin 4.0

Site could get penalized when it gets crawled

Thus, now that Penguin 4.0 is incorporated in the Google core algorithm, it means that as soon as Google is able to crawl and index a site, it will be in a position to update in their database at that time. So, what this really means is that your site could get penalized when it gets crawled.

Changes will be visible faster

Although Penguin no longer necessarily penalises an entire domain, it might still do it in case there are lots of pages that are getting bad or sketchy links or if Google thinks so. According to Gary Illyes on the Google Webmaster blog, the changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after Google re-crawls and re-indexes a page. (Google Webmaster blog)

Rules to be the same for everyone

Since Google was released for all countries and languages at the same time, the rules are going to be the same for everyone. SEO will become more dynamic and any page’s rankings may change each time your website’s page information is updated by Google and so will be the pages that link to it.

Faster recovery from penalty

However, this also means that the real-time algorithm will allow you to recover from a Google penalty faster in case your website go penalized but you did a good job of improving it and removing harmful links. In this instance, you will be able to see positive results sooner, which could be right after your website is crawled by Google.

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