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Google Penguin 4.0 – Real Time Penguin in Google Core

global honey bee, Google Penguin update,

Real Time Penguin is now live! 

After a period of recent speculations, Google officially confirmed that after a detailed stage of development and testing, they are now rolling out an update to the Google Penguin algorithm 4.0 in all languages.

“Penguin is now real-time.
Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. But with this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we’re not going to comment on future refreshes.”

The “real-time feature” implies that effects of the Penguin algorithmic filter, i.e. demotions and promotions of organic rankings for a website due to link spam (unnatural links) happen faster than in the past. In the past, every Google Penguin update brought drastic changes. Penguin 4.0 is the last Penguin update in history. There will be no other update.

Let’s get a bit into details and answer your questions:

What Is the Google Penguin Update?

Google launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings. When new Penguin Update is released, sites that have taken action to remove bad links (such as through the Google disavow links tool or to remove spam may regain rankings. New sites not previously caught might get trapped by Penguin. “False positives,” sites that were caught by mistake, may escape.

What we can expect from Google Penguin 4.0

Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after Google crawlers recrawl and reindex a page. It also means google isn’t going to comment on future refreshes.”

Important points about the Real Time Penguin

  1. The Google Penguin positive or negative signal is now recalculated on crawl. Therefore, one also need to “test & try” links effects and not only make the disavow work.
  2. Google Penguin now not only affects the whole site (or not). It has its impact on all levels like domain, folders, pages and probably also keywords and keyword groups. So anything that goes into the organic rankings will now be affected by the Penguin algorithm on a fine level.
  3. Because of scrutiny happening at such granular level. it will be harder to diagnose “small Penguin penalties” in many cases.
  4. Since Google Penguin will be more granular, it can mean that an aggressively SEO part of a website trips the Penguin filter, while other parts are ranking fine. This will make the SEO experts do a competitive research using or every main topic a site covers more important to understand different risk level standards.
  5. Because of point 4, there’s the necessity to take appropriate actions right from the foundation level or restructure the whole approach to stabilize for long term effects.
  6. The need to analyze the risk per groups of keywords, groups of source domains, countries, types of links and many more metrics will be high, hence a proper strategy and adherence to guidelines in the only way.

Is My Website Affected by the Real Time Penguin?

So by now you might be familiar with the of concept of Google Penguin, understanding that the last scope to adapt Black hat / Grey Hat techniques is out of the game & there’s need of an all-round appropriate approach for your organic Ranking. If you’ve been keeping your approach to SEO as per the guidelines or you are 100% SURE about your SEO team using the right technique, you need not to worry, but if the technique has been compromised at any level, you should act immediately and get in touch with the right SEO team. The agenda with which it was rolled out. However, what you might not be familiar with is the concept of Real Time.

What this means exactly:

Your site will be penalized in near real-time (if you get unnatural links) as well as recover from a penalty incredibly quickly. (if you disavow or remove the bad links)

If, however, you’re trying to get away with some tactics that are not to Google’s liking, the Penguin will catch up to you really fast and you will not be able to use those tactics for any significant amount of time. Yet, for both recovering and prevention you will need to have a right team that works fast, accurate and constantly up to date of the market needs.

With Penguin going real-time, the algorithm will now likely get a lot closer to fulfilling its ultimate goal: catch spam link profiles as quickly as possible and keep low-quality sites from ranking well in the search results

Therefore, if you want to stay ahead in the game (or in the SEO game at all), you will need to find a way to constantly and consistently audit your links and perform cleanups where necessary.

What we recommend moving forward with Google Penguin 4.0

It’s still early in this update. However, some principles remain and one new aspect is the game changer – “Real Time”. How much real-time that “Real Time Penguin” might be? it’s going to be a lot more frequent! But there’s still network and processing power needed for all those massive crawls and calculations, so I wouldn’t be surprised if “real-time” really translates into weekly or daily.

Link Risk Management, the practice of proactive link audits and disavows gets, even more, important
for your business – and we always recommended to do it on a weekly basis. Maybe faster in the future.

The post-penguin basic principles for link building and SEO remain

  • A link can help or hurt – positive to negative effect, vs. positive or nothing pre-Penguin
  • You need to analyze your FULL backlink profile – it’s about ratios. It’s wrong to think that the few percent that Google Search Console gives you in links would be enough to audit. And don’t show any penalized sites, since its ‘Real Time’ we know how to secure you, GHB was born for that. But if you’re not aggregating all sources you can, you’re definitely missing out.
  • Use a machete, not a scalpel for bad links – I know that it’s tough to let a so-so link go, but remember it’s about ratios
  • Disavow shady scraper links – Google has better things to do than detect all sorts of scraper spam, so they put it on us
  • Be careful with redirects – as I found out in Penguin 2.0 update Google passes penalties on with redirects for a while now
  • Be careful with redirects 2.0 – temporary redirects are handled differently than just a few years ago and can convert into permanent redirects. Did you know?
  • Content relevance and the “AI” part – “Rank brain” is here – Google rolled out their new machine-learning in October 2015 that can and will impact search results.
    this will make results, even more, unpredictable for Google themselves as well. Let’s see how this works out.

Get notified about the Real Time Penguin updates

If you still aren’t sure or have the following questions in your mind, Get in touch here.

  • What the “real-time” aspect of Google Penguin 4.0 means for you and your business
  • How link penalties will work in the future
  • A look back in history of Google Penguin Updates – we’ve followed every detail since April 2012
  • What new risks and threats to your business the Google Penguin 4.0 update brings
  • What new opportunities the Google Penguin 4.0 update brings
  • How you can best handle the new “fast” Google Penguin update
  • How great content marketing can help you in the Penguin 4.0 era
  • How the “Big Plan of Google” finally comes together in 2016 with Penguin 4.0

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