What We've Learned After One Year: Google Penguin

Every single year, Google updates its search algorithm, this is done around 500-600 times. However, most of these changes are usually minor, but sometimes, Google rolls out major algorithm updates, such as the Google Panda or Penguin. Well, whenever businesses and digital marketers hear about a new algorithm update from google, the atmosphere becomes intense almost momentarily-really tense. Most of the fear is a paranoid feeling that their websites might get penalized falsely, meaning they would lose a boatload of traffic and sales, however, while others might feel confident, others don’t because they weren’t using ethical marketing practices.

What is Google Penguin?

Well, this is a search algorithm update that was released by Google in April 2012. The main purpose of this update was to catch websites that were manipulating the search ranks by spamming. Since backlinks are one of the key ranking factors that Google normally uses to view how credible, or rank worthy a website is, there are webmasters, quite a lot actually, that have tried to manipulate their website’s rank worthiness.

Ideally, websites with amazing and value packed content should be the ones to rank the highest on Google’s results page. That way, users using Google search engine will benefit with the best answer out of each query. However, there are webmasters that are manipulating their website’s rank worthiness, and they do this by building very low-quality backlinks, meaning there are very low to poor websites that are ranking high on Google search results page.

Due to this, Google introduced the Penguin algorithm to address the problem of people creating artificial back link profiles that automatically made their websites rank higher in search result pages.

So what is Google’s Penguin 4.0 Update all about?

Before we go into detailed information about this update, it’s important to know that, in the past, webmasters who manipulated their websites to rank higher were slapped with a site-wide penalty. Now, Google announced that the penalty is going to be more granular, this was received with mixed reactions with most people wondering if the sanctions applied in the future will be page specific. In reality, this means that this penalty will affect the finer granularity than the site itself. This does not mean it will only affect pages. Either way, we are still better off with the new Penguin 4.0 update since the penalties have become more granular, as compared to the past where the whole site would get shut down.

Google Penguin 4.0 updates in Real Time

In the past, websites that got hit by Penguin would wait for months and even more before they could recover from being penalized. However, after the Penguin 4.0 Update, webmasters won’t have to experience endless delays. This is because the new penguin update refreshes in real time, meaning that the results will take effect shortly after the page is re-indexed by google.

What does this mean for a Website Owner?

Well, this means that any adjustments that you make on your web page after you are penalized due to the Penguin update will take effect much sooner. Therefore, you will no longer have to wait for months or years before you recover your website.

What can Google Penguin 4.0 Update do?

When you look at the impact of a real time Google update, you start to understand the very essence of why Google started making the web searchable. The discovery of the link PageRank algorithm is what made it a success when it first started out.  However, when Google Penguin was released, it aimed to make links usable again as a metric, this punished violators so severely that people got afraid of gaming Google. It rolled out every 8 to 12 months, meaning you could get punished for quite some time before your website ranked well again.

Getting a real time Google Penguin that constantly updates instead of every once in a while could have the opposite effect of what Google wants it to do in most people’s eyes. When people finally start testing what works and what doesn’t and can get a free out of jail card easily, it could ultimately lead to more link spamming, rather than less. Either way, time will tell.

For more information about all things search, contact the team at 51Blocks today!

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