That’s how many days have passed since Google last released a Penguin algorithm update. That is, until today, September 23, 2016. This update, or Penguin 4.0, is the fourth major release of Penguin. Furthermore, SEO professionals can note that this will be the last unveiling of Penguin, as it is now included in Google’s core search algorithm.
What is Penguin?
Penguin is a filter that is designed to catch sites that are spamming Google search results in ways that Google’s conventional spamming systems may not be able to detect. When this algorithm runs, it catches these spammy sites and levies penalties to their search result scores. Those sites would remain penalized, even if they made updates and improved their site, until the next time Google decided to run Penguin.
The last Penguin update ran on October 17, 2014. Sites that received penalties during the last update have anxiously been waiting for Google to run Penguin again for the chance to be “free” of these costly penalties.
The Official Announcement from Google
According to a statement from Google’s Webmaster Blog, Google states that they are rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm, which will include the following:
- Penguin is now real-time. In the past, Penguin needed to be refreshed to either penalize or reward sites that have made updates to their websites. With this latest update, Penguin’s data will be updated in real-time, making changes visible to webmasters much faster. Changes will take effect shortly after Google recrawls and reindexes a page.
- Penguin is more granular. This update will devalue spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals rather than affecting the ranking of a whole site.
Does being “more granular” mean that the Penguin update is more page-specific? Yes and no. Search Engine Land asked Google what this meant and received this response, “It means it affects finer granularity than sites. It does not mean it only affects pages.” The experts at Search Engine Land interpreted this as Penguin possibly affecting certain pages or sections of a site.
Why is the Penguin Algorithm Important?
At Blue Compass, we have always preached the importance of obtaining quality links from external sources. With Penguin becoming a part of the core of Google’s algorithm, this solidifies what we have been saying for years. Penguin can make bad links “toxic” to your site and even automatically remove spammy links. Furthermore, Penguin hunts down links that are inorganic; ones purchased or solely for the purpose of improving search rankings.
Look at Your Site’s Health with Blue Compass
The Penguin update is an excellent way to ensure that you’re paying attention to the links that are coming into your site. If you need help making sure your site’s links aren’t going to be affected by Penguin, come to the SEO experts at Blue Compass and we can help you keep your site healthy and manual action free!