Penguin 4.0: Integration Into The Core Algorithm

On September 23, 2016, Google announced that they would be integrating the Penguin filter into their core algorithm with version 4.0. The update came in two parts, which rolled out on September 27, 2016, and October 6, 2016.

What’s It For

It’s crucial to note that Penguin was developed to monitor the SERPs for websites with bad links and devalue them. The filter is one of many ranking signals that make sure the search engine delivers only the most relevant results to users.

These are the two significant changes that came with Penguin 4.0:

  • Real-Time Refresh Before the update, the filter was run separately from the search engine’s crawling and indexing process. So, when your website gets hit by the Penguin penalty, and you make the necessary changes to ease the repercussions, you’ll have to wait for a data refresh to lift the punishment which could take months.
    Penguin 4.0 has real-time data refreshes. This means that you can see the changes taking effect right after search bots recrawl and reindex your page.
  • No More Penalizing an Entire Site While Penguin can still penalize an entire domain, it typically opts to devalue spam by adjusting your website’s ranking according to how many spam signals it triggers. The penalty may be imposed if pages involved in suspicious activity dominate your site.

What Were Its Effects

SERP flux began a few days after Google made the announcement for Penguin 4.0. It led to massive changes in the positions since pages with sketchy links were moved lower, and those that practiced the right link building tactics moved up the ranks and got a boost in visibility as well as organic traffic.

The update was rolled out internationally. There was positive feedback on the integration of the filter into the search engine’s core algorithm. Some webmasters believe that it would make the algorithm fairer since you get rewarded for high-quality content instantaneously.

What It Means for You

As a site operator or owner, you cannot control all aspects of your backlink profile, especially in the comments section and guests posts. Fortunately, Penguin now updates its data in real-time, and any penalty can be lifted as soon as you make the changes in your end.

Here are the things that you can do to resolve penalties brought about by Penguin:

  • Eliminate Spammy Links from Your Website You can ask webmasters to remove spammy links from the sites or disavow them through Google’s Disavow Tool in the Search Console. It allows you to disqualify the value of an inbound link and stop Penguin form imposing a penalty for the page.
    Common Penguin triggers that you should avoid are:
    Sketchy links from disreputable websites
    Backlinks from link farms
    Irrelevant links from sources not related to your industry
    Purchased links
    Keyword over-optimization
    Black hat on-page SEO like deceptive redirects and hidden content
    Thin content
  • Improve the Quality of Your Content The ultimate way to emerge victorious over Google’s hundreds of algorithmic changes is to focus on building your brand instead of putting all your effort and resources in getting links. Having unique and linkable content attracts your target audience as well as potential business collaborators.
    Be diligent with your keyword and market research to get a holistic idea of what your target audience is searching for and what information they want. Have a publishing plan to plot out the content that you’ll be delivering to consumers. Moreover, establish your credibility as a trusted source of information by supporting your blog posts with facts while writing in a way that makes sure your readers understands what you’re trying to say.
  • Work on Your Link Building Strategy As mentioned above, your content should be a linkable asset that will entice your readers and prospective partners to know more about your brand. You can also reach out to the key authorities and influencers whom you have referenced in your works to see if you can get a backlink from them.
    Acquiring those backlinks from prominent people and brands in your niche is an excellent way to boost visibility for your company by getting the opportunity to introduce your products and services to their subscribers. With this, you can increase traffic to your website and prove to Google that your domain is trustworthy.
    Link building is more than obtaining links from authoritative websites. Your priority should be in establishing solid relationships within your niche by participating in discussions in your online community and offering your insights on the latest industry trends, which may help your peers.