Google's Penguin 4.0 Update

Unfortunately, this blog won’t be focusing on the cute, fluffy penguins that we all know and love. Instead, we’re taking a look at Google’s famous Penguin algorithm and its latest update. As we offer a specialist SEO service, we’re on top of all of Google’s algorithms, so we always knew that the newest update would be a big one.

For those who don't know, the first Penguin algorithm was launched way back in April 2012 and impacted 3.1% of all Google queries. Since then there have been a further 3 updates, with Google confirming that the latest Penguin 4.0 update is the final one and it’s now part of their core algorithm. As the update was only rolled out in September, it’s still early days so it’s difficult to say the number of websites that have been impacted.

What can we expect from Penguin 4.0?

Previously, Penguin would devalue an entire website if there were any black hat SEO tactics going on. However, the latest penguin update is more page-specific rather than site wide. This update will devalue spam by penalising individual pages rather than the entire website. For example, if spam websites are linking to one page of your website, Google will only penalise that page of your website; the rest of your website will continue to rank as normal.

Plus, as this is a real-time update, changes will take effect more quickly than before. This works in your favour as a website owner because your website will recover as soon as you take necessary actions to resolve the issue. One of the key takeaways from this update is that your backlink profile should always look natural. Therefore, it’s highly important that SEO experts keep a close eye on link profiles for any spam.

How do I know if Penguin 4.0 has hit my website?

If one or more of your website pages has suddenly stopped ranking for certain keywords, it’s likely that it’s because of this update. You should keep a close eye on Google Analytics to see if there’s been a reduction in your organic traffic as well as monitoring the performance of your targeted keywords.

What should the approach be moving forward?

We’re all familiar with the saying that prevention is better than cure, and there’s a reason that these true words have become a cliché! It’s probably best to leave technical SEO to the experts, as it is a complex science. However, there are certain things you can do to avoid a penalty from Google. It’s important that you keep creating unique and engaging content and avoid any black hat SEO tactics. You should also use different keyword variations and only use them in a natural way when writing content. Avoid linking to any low-quality websites and use tools to set up alerts and keep on track of any major changes to your keyword rankings.

If you think Penguin 4.0 might have hit you, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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