Google Penguin update: What you need to know

Link SchemesKeyword StuffingOver optimisation (1)

Google’s new algorithm Penguin 4.0 has now gone live. David Pocock explains how these changes will affect your website and what you can do to avoid plummeting down the search results.

What is Google Penguin?

Put simply, Penguin is the name for a Google algorithm designed to catch websites that are unnaturally spamming search results.

The first version launched in 2012, the last update to the algorithm was in 2014 and now Penguin 4.0 arrived at the weekend.

More details about Google

Penguin 4.0, nicknamed the ‘real time update’, has targeted over-optimised sites.

There are a couple of way you can over optimise a website.

Firstly, when there is an overuse of keywords that are unnaturally placed, second is the over optimisation of dodgy links, so if you have too many links from external sites pointing to the same keywords on your page, you’d better update before you get sprung.

How exactly will sites be affected?

  1. You will start to see considerable fluctuations in Google rankings from now as real-time updates will occur as updates are made to a site.
  2. Penguin 4.0 is more granular and penalises specific pages on a site. In the past it was a domain wide penalty.

The good news

Penguin 4.0 penalises competitors sites that aren’t doing things by the book and taking short cuts for short term rankings. So if you have been doing things well and building genuine authority in your marketplace online then it’s likely to see a positive effect on rankings.

Penguin is real-time! When a webmaster updates or optimises their website Google will now recognise these changes quickly; and rankings will change accordingly – no more lag time!

The bad news

Google will now notice errors faster than ever that can quickly alter your ranking. So you need to ensure your site is being optimised and updated correctly.

SEO tips to stay ahead

  • Check your backlinks & remove unnatural back links
  • Re-write your content if it’s stuffed with keywords
  • Reduce your number of internal and inbound links featuring “keywords”
  • Sack any SEO company still investing in private blog links – old school and risky

Moving forward, there’s one thing that’s for certain – use keywords to write for your audience, not for search engine rankings as you will get found out quicker than ever!


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