For the first time in two years (Oct. 18, 2014), Google has updated their Penguin algorithm. The update is not fully rolled out, but this is a significant development for Google’s algorithm.
WHAT IS THE GOOGLE PENGUIN ALGORITHM UPDATE?
The Penguin algorithm is used by Google’s main algorithm to demote and penalize websites that have low quality backlinks and engage in link practices designed to game Google’s rank system. Common spam links include blog comments, irrelevant forum posts, and blog networks.
WHAT CHANGED IN GOOGLE PENGUIN?
Penguin 4.0 is a major shift in how Google defines “value” related to backlinks. Two major updates are worth noting:
- Penguin is real-time: Running the algorithm in real time (along with the Panda content algorithm) means penalty recovery will be quicker. It also means Google will no longer announce or comment on changes specific to Penguin.
- Penguin is more granular: The algorithm is now applied at the page level, so penalties may no longer be site-wide. This is also a feature of the Panda algorithm, and demonstrates Google’s ability to identify high quality content that should rank well, regardless of its neighboring pages on the site.
WILL I BE IMPACTED FROM GOOGLE PENGUIN?
Google has stated the rollout is just beginning, so a definitive impact on traffic and rankings may not be seen for a few weeks.
If a site was penalized by Penguin, and you’ve taken the necessary steps for recovery (removing links, using the Disavow File in Google Search Console), you may see a boost in rankings and organic traffic.
If you have not been penalized by Penguin, and you haven’t engaged in unnatural backlink practices, you may see slight increases in rankings if competitors are penalized.