Back to insights
Google Penguin 4.0 released into the wild
By Duncan Hewitt
On Sep 26, 2016
he anticipation amongst Google’s elite has been palpable but Penguin has FINALLY been updated.
The spam-fighting algorithm, known as Penguin, is now part of Google’s core algorithm, meaning that it will run in real-time. Launched back in 2012, Penguin’s main focus involved devaluing sites involved in questionable link building tactics, click-baits etc. Some thought the Penguin, a non-flying bird, had in fact flown the nest.
The programme hasn’t been seen since October 2014, meaning all the sites investing time, money and manpower into a monumental effort to clean up toxic links have gone almost two years with no signs of recovery.
What does this mean for your website?
If Penguin took a disliking to your SEO practices in the past, you likely saw your organic traffic fall. If you’re on top of your game, you probably went to some trouble digging into your backlink profile to identify which links may have been causing you harm and dissolving them.
If you are aware of any specific keywords that fell in the rankings after Penguin back in 2014, you should keep an eye on how they rank today. Remember that simply checking where your website ranks in Google yourself is unlikely to give you true results, as they may be affected by things like your location and search history. Alternatively, we can do it for you… Monitor organic traffic from Google You can also check your traffic in Google Analytics under Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium then choosing ‘google / organic’ and setting the date range. You can compare the days around the updates to spot any significant shifts.
Why haven’t my rankings improved since the Penguin update?
Google stated that any changes will typically be visible shortly after ‘recrawling’ and ‘reindexing’ your pages, which means that it could be several weeks before you see the effects of the update.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of assuming that a change in your traffic is due to one of Google’s algorithm updates. Do your homework before sounding the alarms and look into all other possible reasons that could be the cause.