google penguin

Penguin Update 4.0: Everything You Need To know

Google’s Penguin Update 4.0 has been long awaited! Finally, it has rolled out but what does it mean? What has changed compared to the last update? And how do you make sure your website hasn’t fallen off the face of the Google?

Let’s start by understanding the basics of what the Penguin update is.

Google designed the Penguin update to stop users spamming the search results by having poor and unreliable links to their site. The new algorithm update occurred in April 2012 and handed out a lot of Google penalties that caused them to drop out of a search result. This ensured that users were getting valuable, relevant and natural links to their site so Google is delivering appropriate results to search queries.

However, one issue occurred with these Penguin updates: the endless waiting. After Google rolled out an update and dished out their penalties, you would then have to wait until the next update before that penalty can be removed. On top of all that, if just one page had a few bad links, it meant the whole website was penalised and the website would be ranked to lower positions.

So, Google have picked up on these annoying factors and now their new update has been released and it is very different to the previous ones:

  • More granular
    Instead of whole websites, Penguin is now only selecting individual pages where bad links are directed to and these will get penalised if there are any bad links, therefore the rest of your website will still be ranked.
  • Set in real-time
    In the past, users would have to wait for an update or Penguin refresh before being able to recover from any penalties or to see your new ranking position. Being real-time means that everything happens immediately – after Google re-crawls your website, your pages will be monitored and then penalties or change in rank will occur. The good side is that you can recover from Penguin much quicker than previous updates but this also means that your page can get pushed off the ranking tables pretty quickly.
  • Updated in all languages and countries
    No longer will webmasters have to wait for their updates in different areas of the world – everyone has received the update at once.

Biggest advantage

  • If you have taken the right steps to recover from a penalty by the Penguin update, you should already be able to see improvements to your SEO.
  • For potential new leads/customers, they will be drawn to more relevant sites, so you will get better quality conversions as a result.

Biggest concern

  • Penalties to individual pages are much harder to track and you do not get told if your website is penalised. Therefore, you need to really keep an eye out for any hints that your site may be penalised, i.e. sudden drop in organic traffic.

Where to go from here

  • Track your ranking changes, set up email alerts to see if your ranking positions have changed.
  • Ensure your backlink profile is up to scratch by monitoring the links, so that you know they are relevant and good quality links.

If you have been affected by the new Penguin update and unsure what to do next, why not contact one of our trusted advisors on 01256 517 473 or fill out one of our contact forms.