Google Updates Penguin to 4.0: What does it mean?

The algorithm known as Penguin is Google’s answer to websites that are spamming Google’s search results. Though Google had some spamming systems in place before the advent of Penguin, they didn’t weren’t always effective enough to get the desired results. Penguin was first introduced in 2012, and since then has had a total of four major releases, the most recent one being 4.0. Each update has brought new considerations along with it, and here we will look at what to expect with 4.0.

What’s new in this Penguin update?

The previous update, Penguin 3.0, was released in October of 2014. For nearly two years websites have struggled with the challenges of 3.0 because if a site was categorized as a spam problem then they would be penalized. Sites penalized under Penguin 3.0 would then suffer under that penalty for extended periods of time, even after they had fixed the spam issue to abide by Google’s rules.

The Penguin filter under the previous release would only run periodically, which is where the trouble occurred. Until the page was re-indexed, which could be months later, the penalty would remain in effect. Penguin 4.0 is the solution all of those long-suffering sites have been looking for, because it runs in real-time. That’s right: Google will crawl and index pages over and over again, constantly running them through the Penguin filter.

What does real-time mean for your site?

Since Penguin will be refreshing its data in real-time, your site will undergo constant scanning for anything that Google considers spam and poor SEO tactics. This means that if your SEO is in bad shape then it will reflect on a daily basis. However, if you take fast action to repair your SEO, this will also reflect on a daily basis. No longer will sites struggle under penalties that can’t be lifted until the next scan. As long as webmasters take action quickly, Google will lift penalties just as quickly.

Penguin 4.0 also looks to make penalties more page-specific, so if there are just one or two problematic pages, the whole site won’t necessarily lose rankings. Of course, 4.0 is new and not fully live just yet. It is still in the process of rolling out, so some sites may not be experiencing the immediate ranking penalties and improvements that others are, but you can expect to see these changes taking effect over the next few weeks.