The Penguin Update has Arrived. Here’s What You Need to Know
It’s been nearly two years since Google have updated their Penguin algorithm. For those who have been penalised by this filter in the past - this is fantastic news for your website. For those unaware of what this filter is or how it can affect your website - read on for more information.
What does Penguin do?
Penguin is a filter run by Google to weed out websites which are spamming Googles search results. First run back in April, 2012, the periodically run filter was designed to crack down on websites which use black hat SEO techniques to influence their rankings in search engines - like paying for links or keyword stuffing.
Penguin 2.0, the first update to the filter, was released in May 2013, adding new signals which picked up more black hat techniques than the first version had picked up on. In October 2014 we saw a second update. The main issue Webmasters had with Penguin was that if it found black-hat SEO techniques utilised within your website and de-ranks it, you would have to wait till the next update or refresh to be re-evaluated. This means websites who were penalised by the October 2014 filter have been waiting nearly two years for their website to be re-run through the filter and have the ability to rank again.,
What does this latest update mean?
With this latest release, Google’s Penguin becomes Real Time - which means those long waits between updates are a thing of the past. In their statement, Google said “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”.
Google also said that this new update makes the Penguin algorithm “more granular”. In their statement they said:
“Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.”
This statement has been slightly left to interpretation by the Google team. In the past, penalties have been applied to entire sites - so perhaps this could mean that penalties will now only be applied to the specific pages where the spammy or black-hat techniques have been applied.
In their final part of the statement, Google announced they will no longer confirm future Penguin updates - which makes sense.
How will this affect my website?
Unless you know your website has bad links and black-hat techniques helping it rank - then there is nothing to worry about. However, it does pay to be aware of this new update and how it can affect your site.
Since Penguin is in real-time now, it can hit you suddenly. On the bright side, constant crawling gives you the ability to recover quickly if you are penalised.
Keep an eye on your analytics data over the next month or so and be vigilant of any major spikes or trends you notice. ,
Make sure your auditing your sites link structure regularly, especially over the next few months, and take a look at the backlinks on your site. And last but not least, ensure you’re always striving for a high quality website. Your content and its keywords should match your target audience’s intent, the internal and outward links should be helpful and logical, and your inbound links should exist because other publishers value the high-quality content on your site.
Penguin has already begun rolling out. If you’re worried about your website or would like more information on how this may affect you - give us a call on 0800 400 736 for a no obligation chat.