Google Announces Real-Time Penguin 4.0 Update

Google announces Penguin 4.0Google announces the long anticipated Penguin 4.0 update today on the Webmaster Central Blog.

Penguin Now Part of the Core Algorithm

Penguin joins Panda as part of the core Google algorithm. Gone are the days of site owners having to wait on Penguin refreshes to recover from penalties. It is now real-time, so sites negatively impacted by Penguin can recover much faster. As soon as Google recrawls and reindexes your pages, Penguin affects your pages shortly after. Though they are still rolling out this update, I recommend you use fetch and render to get Google to recrawl some of your more important pages if you’ve been waiting for Penguin to refresh.

No More Announcements of Penguin Refreshes

This also means no more announcements of Penguin refreshes. Since it is real-time, Google will no longer announce Penguin updates.

Penguin to be More “Granular”

Penguin will also be more “granular,” meaning Penguin will impact sections of your site rather than affecting the entire site.

What’s the Real Impact? Our Predictions

Like any algorithm update, it’s a matter of waiting and seeing the full impact, but a real-time Penguin update seems promising for SEOs and webmasters alike.

  • We predict disavows will become much more effective. Instead of having to wait for a Penguin refresh, site owners can expect instant gratification on their link cleanup efforts.
  • Likewise, it’s expected sites might also receive new Penguin penalties because it’s now part of the core algorithm. Webmasters and SEOs should keep an eye on their webmaster tools account and watch for any jumps or dives in their website traffic.
  • Because Penguin will be more granular and affect sections or specific pages of the site instead of the whole site, it could be good idea to silo your content into deeper directory structures instead of a flat site architecture. Instead of having a page called www.domain.com/this-is-my-post/, you would have www.domain.com/post-topic/this-is-my-post/. This way, all the content you add under the /post-topic/ directory structure will be rewarded or penalized as one section of the site.
  • Because the update is still rolling out, don’t be alarmed if you haven’t noticed any changes quite yet.

Have you noticed any changes due to Penguin 4.0? Join the conversation below!

3 Comments
  1. Bill Hartzer says:

    From what I’ve seen so far, I really like this latest update. I have seen a few sites go down in rankings and a few sites go up, and it appears that it all happened in the past few weeks for in the past week or so.

    Luckily, though, the nature of this update is that it’s now real-time, so if you get links updated (like getting spam links removed), you won’t have to wait two years for that to be recognized. Real time is good.

    This also means that we can, in fact, get a site’s links updated and see changes in rankings within a relatively short period of time.

    1. Rachel Morgan says:

      I can’t think of a way this update would be bad for SEOs unless you’re still practicing black hat link building. But now, people actively trying to clean up their link profiles will be rewarded much much faster!

      1. Bill Hartzer says:

        Rachel, generally it’s very good for SEOs but even better for website owners. It means that if they do have “over optimization” or web spam on their site or pointing to their site via links that it’s possible to clean it up. It’s possible to hire an SEO company that knows the difference between good links and web spam links. Previously, it’s been very frustrating in the past–if your website was hit by Google Penguin, and you cleaned up your site’s links (if that was the issue), then you’d have to wait a long time until Google updated Google Penguin.

        But now, thanks to Google Penguin real time, we’re able to make changes such as removing bad web spam links and actually seeing results fairly quickly.

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