On the end of September, the SEO world is once again shaken by Google.
What did Google do this time that cause so many people to get so hyped up about it?
The answer is simple :
Google Penguin 4.0 Algorithm Update
What is this Penguin thing and why people talk about it so much?
In this article, we will discuss about What is Google Penguin, Changes in Latest Update, and lastly, How these changes can benefit SEO.
What is Google Penguin?
To understand more about the latest improvement of Penguin Algorithm, we have to know how Penguin works first.
It’s a common sense in SEO that backlinks are one of the most important aspect in getting Google recognition. In the past, the more backlinks you have, the better rank your site will have.
Unfortunately, this leads to people abusing this by getting thousands of backlinks from low-quality sites. Worse, they actually ended up ranking higher than the genuinely useful websites. This leads to many dissatisfied complaints from people with good websites.
Google realized this and worked hard to change the algorithm for how the website is ranked. The result of those efforts is the birth of Google Penguin in April 24th, 2012. It is a change in Google Search Algorithm that neutralize this issue.
Google Penguin works by creating a standard of good links and bad links, then they start searching every website they find and check all the backlinks they have there. For every good links, they will give a positive points according to the quality of the links and their placements in the website. On the other hand, it will give minus points if it found a bad links. If the number of bad links exceed certain amount, then Google Penguin will immediately tell the database to delete the website from the ranking list.
When Google Penguin first appeared, the world is in uproar. All the websites that ranked on the top suddenly disappeared from the rankings, and many website that buried on the later pages got brought to the surface. Many so-called SEO Experts panicked and tried to fix this by increasing the number links the website have, which didn’t have any effect.
This leads to the public opinion that “SEO is Dead”, which got disproved when some smart SEO Experts discover the solution to the issue and manage to snatch profit. People then start to evaluate their link quality more and it’s the start of Current SEO Methods.
Along the way, Google Penguin Update got updated twice. The first update (Penguin 2.0) happened in May 22nd, 2013. The second update (Penguin 3.0) happened in October 17th, 2014. Both updates introduced a major change in algorithm, but the impact is not as big as the first update, because this time everyone already know what it does and anticipate it.
What Changed in Latest Google Penguin 4.0 Update?
With all these hype around the latest Google Penguin Update, it’s easy to deduce that there is a very significant and meaningful changes in this time’s update.
If you really think that way… Then you are right!
Penguin 4.0 have a very noticeable improvement compared to its previous versions, namely, Real-Time Database Update. It’s already baked into Google Core Algorithm, so now Penguin can directly access the database and update it with the latest data on-the-spot.
On the previous versions, the system only update the list of websites caught by Penguin every few months. This means that after you got detected and get penalty from Google, you still have to wait for the next update for your website ranking to change even when you already done the steps to delete the bad links from your website.
With the new update, people who got hit by Penguin don’t have to wait for months to get their site up again, because Penguin work in Real-Time now. Now that Penguin 4.0 is real time, site owners are no longer at the mercy of Google’s Penguin refreshes, which only happened every few months.
Other than the most eye-catching change from periodic link penalty checking to real-time checking, there are also other changes that are very welcomed by all SEO Expert.
First, Penguin algorithm becomes more granular. It means, Google no longer punishing whole sites when it find a page exceeding the tolerated number of low-quality backlinks. Rather than devaluing an entire site, Penguin can now pinpoint spammy links and devalue them at the page level.
Which means that if one of website’s page unintentionally got some bad links, Google won’t kick all the other crawled pages of the website from Google Ranking like before, but only that problematic page will not appear in Google Search (the rest of pages still appeared).
Second, Penguin algorithm now give label to each backlink location. It can determine the location for each backlink located in the website. Some of the labels are Footer, In-Content, Penguin Real-Time, and Disavowed. Each location has its own point calculations from Google. The fact that Google’s link evaluation is more sophisticated is good news for SEOs and the web community as a whole.
Lastly, the occurence of Negative SEO, such as bla, bla, bla, is greatly diminished. It’s becoming harder and harder to cheat Google Search these days. Even if you by any chance managed to cheat Google, the penalty you will get for it when you get caught is not worth the benefit. This is why an honest link building is preferred for doing SEO these days.
All-in-all, if Google continues to be more granular and refined in devaluing manipulation, then real, hard-to-earn links will become more valuable. This latest Penguin update also pushes SEO to be more like a Real Marketing with the newly implemented updates.
Benefit of Google Penguin 4.0 Update for Your SEO
Now that we know what is Google Penguin and what changes were implemented in the Google Penguin 4.0, we will move to the last topic; How can this new SEO Updates Benefit Your Website SEO.
The first one is of course, faster update. If you have made new high-quality links in your website or you have deleted some of the bad links from your site, Google can quickly capture it and rearrange the website rankings after they finished calculating all the related websites. For SEO specialists and site owners, this major change to Google’s algorithm means that they will be rewarded for their white hat SEO techniques more quickly. For searchers, it will make Google SERPs more useful.
Second, raise the efficiency of the Bad Links searching. Because now Google is more attentive to bad links, they will give warnings to you faster and more accurately. This enables you to have easier time removing all those bad links from your website. By being responsive to this issue, Google will also have more trust in your website. They usually will give somewhat longer time after the warning for you to clean up your website from bad links.
Third being the less risk you will get from bad links. Currently, there is a sharp decrease in the number of existing bad links, so it will make you safer at building links with other website, because the sites with bad links has been taken down, leaving websites which is considered good links.
Last one is for the searchers. Because the number of websites which are not relevant to the search terms are being reduced, people can search faster and get better quality result with their searches. They can have more trust for the top pages to have the things they need.