On September 23rd, Google finally confirmed that Penguin 4.0 has arrived. Will there be another SEO apocalypse now that the blue-white creature has received an update? No, there will not.
The previous Penguin 3.0 only affected less than 1% of U.S./U.K. searches which is about 12 billion queries. Now, I won’t go into details as to what Penguin is – we should all be aware by now. But, I will tell you everything you need to know about the new Penguin 4.0.
Penguin 4.0 Is Real-Time
As most of you probably know, in the past, if you were penalized by Penguin, you’d have to fix the problems and then you’d have to wait for the algorithm to refresh before you can see your website back to where it should be in the SERPs.
This created a lot of problems for webmasters (obviously) and it just couldn’t go on like that. According to Google:
Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the Internet, many of Google’s algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed.
However, Penguin 4.0 is real-time meaning its data is refreshed constantly so any changes made to a website will affect its performance as soon as it is crawled again and re-indexed.
So, if God forbid, you get some penalty from Google concerning backlinks, you will now be able to fix that problem and very quickly bring back the performance of your website.
Penguin 4.0 Is Now Fair
Previously, if a website was found to have a lot of spam backlinks and backlinks of low quality, its rankings would have been burned down into oblivion.
Penguin 4.0 however is more fair. It will now devalue the rankings of the pages that those low quality backlinks point to or simply ignore them rather than destroying the entire website.
Basically, these 2 updates are the most significant in Penguin 4.0. We all understand why the first one is amazing and as for the second one, it means that negative SEO has gotten almost impossible to do and it also means that automated link building (like GSA SER) has gotten safer, but harder.
We’ll have to do some tests but if what Google is saying about Penguin 4.0 is just as it is, that means that blasting a page with a lot of low quality backlinks probably won’t hurt its rankings at all, but it will also be very hard to influence them in a positive way either.