Google Penguin Update 4.0 is Real-time

If you’re a person who keeps up to date with the latest developments in the search marketing industry, then you’ve more than likely already heard that after almost two years of waiting and debating, Google has finally announced their most recent Penguin algorithm update. Penguin 4.0. What’s changed? Penguin will now be running and updating in “real-time”. What does this mean? Well to fully understand it, let’s take a step back to the first update and breakdown what has already hit our monitors.

The first Penguin algorithm update took place on 24th April 2012. It enhanced Google’s ability to determine which sites breached their webmaster guidelines and were potentially hosting spam. What if your site was affected? Surely you could just make some changes to get your site back on the road? Well not exactly…

The problem was that Google’s last crawl (Penguin 3.0) was released on 17th October 2014, in which sites would remain penalised even if they improved after the refresh. This could take months, so you would find webmasters had some difficulties trying to recover.  You could probably guess the question that has entered SEO conversations for a while now is “When will we get another penguin update”? Well today we have the answer! Google recently announced:

With this change, penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we re-crawl and re-index a page”.

You could see it as a part of their core algorithm, rather than them using it as a “refresh tool”. Google also 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”.

The algorithm is a little more concentrated, and will begin to affect individual page’s rather than sitewide.

If you want to see how your organic traffic has been affected by the updates, then you can view the changes with this handy penalty indicator. You can select to see what updates have affected your organic traffic along the line. That includes seeing your competitor hits!

Hopefully if you have been impacted by penguin in the past then you have decided to make some positive changes since the last update. If you have, then all that hard work could finally pay off. This is a chance for penalised sites to adjust, and rebuild over their mistakes.

We can rely on pulling data instantly and trust the accuracy of our changes. Long delays are no longer a problem as penguin constantly updates, pages will be caught or freed by the penguin as part of the regular re-crawls and re indexes. This means that Google won’t be making any comments on future refreshes because… well, it is now affecting us in real-time.