The much-awaited Google Penguin 4.0 update has finally been announced as of Friday 23 September. Outlined below are our three main takeaways for how this will impact websites in coming months:
1. Google's Penguin Algorithm is Now Real-Time
An example of unusual linking patterns (Source: Google)
The original Penguin filter, released in April 2012, was designed to screen and devalue sites of a low quality or spammy nature. Any websites affected by the Penguin update would only be released from penalty upon the next update to the filter. This meant that if a website was deemed as spam and its quality was then improved, there could be a substantial wait until the next update to see the site freed from that penalty. In fact, the last Penguin update was in October 2014, and sites caught by the filter since have had to wait almost two years for improvements to be recognised.
As Penguin is now refreshed in real-time this means that changes take into effect much faster, shortly after Google re-crawls and re-indexes a page.
2. Penguin 4.0 Will Target Individual Pages
The other welcome news is that along with the change to real-time updates, Penguin will devalue spam on a more focused basis. Rather than the filter affecting an entire site for sending spammy signals as it did before, the new update may see only pages or sections of a site impacted.
3. Now is The Perfect Time For a Backlink Clean-up
Google's Disavow Tool allows you to disavow bad links (Source: Google)
What does this all mean for website owners? It means that now would be the perfect time to perform a spring clean of your backlink profile and remove or disavow any unnatural links to avoid being penalised by Penguin.
For more information, you can call our team or head over to read the official Google announcement.