The Thought Police robot is showing Eric no mercy, and it used to be that if your site ran afoul of Google Penguin, you would see no mercy either for months or even years. Thankfully, all that has changed now.
In this video find out why Penguin 4.0 is a kinder and gentler Penguin update.
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Mark: So, Eric, after two years of waiting since the Penguin 3.0 update, Google finally released Penguin 4. Now, why did it take so long?
Eric: Well, early in 2016, in one of our virtual keynotes with Google’s Gary Illyes, he told us that Google was taking the time to make sure that the 4.0 update was really working in the way they wanted it to.
Mark: But I’m sure they had that concern with all the Penguin updates. I mean, why the extra time spent on this one?
Eric: Well, because starting with this update, Penguin would be incorporated into the main algorithm and run in real time. So, there’ll be no further announced updates. Sure, it will always be improved, but for all intents and purposes, this is now the permanent form of Penguin.
Mark: So, okay, before we get into what that means, let’s review what Penguin has been up until now.
Eric: Sure. For one thing, old Penguin evaluated sites as a whole. If there was a pattern of suspicious links pointing to the site, the entire site was penalized. And even worse, once the site was penalized, in most cases, it couldn’t get out of “Penguin jail” until the next data refresh, which could be months, or in the final event, even years.
Mark: So, how is Penguin 4 different?
Eric: It’s different in several ways. First, Penguin 4 evaluates links on the fly, meaning it assesses the value of links as Google’s crawl bot discovers them on the Web. Second, Penguin is more granular. That is, it discounts bad links rather than penalizing the site, and therefore, only impacts the pages that would have received value from those links if they had, in fact, counted.
Mark: Now, we heard that Penguin 4 is real-time, as you said, but what does that mean?
Eric: Well, it does not mean that any link adjustments are applied instantaneously, however, they’re applied right after the next time the Google bot crawls the site, or in this case, the page being linked to by those links.
What to Do About Penguin 4
Mark: So, what should site owners do about Penguin 4?
Eric: Well, in one sense, nothing.
Mark: Wait. Nothing? What?
Eric: Well, nothing insofar as there are no specific actions one can take. Any bad links pointing at your site simply lose their value. In reality, what site owners should do is not bother trying to build suspicious links to their sites, as Penguin will eventually discount them anyway. And for any pages you think might have been hit by Penguin, just do your best to improve them or earn good links instead of adding, well, crappy links.
Mark: So, there’s a lot more to learn about Penguin 4 and how you should respond to it as a site owner, and you can learn all of that in Eric’s very thorough article on our Perficient Digital blog.
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Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient Digital. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO. Learn More About Eric Enge