Google Penguin 4.0 is the Half Life 3 of SEO updates. We hear rumors about it, Google make hints about an actual release, and then we don’t see anything. Understandably, many assumed that it would never really come. Back in 2015, Forbes reported on Google’s announcement that the new Penguin update would be released within the year. 11 months later and here it is. The original penguin update changed the rules for Google and page rankings back in 2012. It is hoped that this 4.0 update, 4 years on, will have a similar effect.
So what can users expect from this new version of Penguin?
The most interesting thing about this new Penguin 4.0 update is that is is running in real time. What does this mean for users? Simply put, Penguin will always be there, like a little flightless-fiend in the web, waddling over to offenders whenever it is needed. This is intended to deter black-hat marketers even further, as some are still slipping through the cracks. It is hoped that this real time operation will lead to a much faster, more effective trap for spam link profiles. Organic links should therefore be promoted and demoted at a much faster rate. Ultimately, this should lead to better Google rankings and search results for all that play by the rules.
The other major change here is that Penguin has moved from being a site-wide negative ranking operation to a more granular one. This means that spam should be devalued in a way that affects the ranking based on spam signals, instead of the entire site. In the long term, this will have an impact on the way that it rates pages for SEO. In the short term, there could be an issue for old sites that are under the old algorithm. It may take a little time to see the true worth of this real-time option.
Should we have any concerns about this new Penguin 4.0 update?
There are some people that are not quite ready to celebrate this long-awaited release. This is mostly down to the fact that there are a few points that Google have been unclear about so far. Firstly, there is no clear indication on how well this new real-time, granular approach has been tested. This means that some users are expecting so big teething issues in the coming months. It is also unclear whether this has been fully rolled out. This is the problem with the fluid, real-time approach of this 4.0 update. It is continually evolving and Google cant say for definite that it is fully out and ready.
Is this really the end of Penguin?
Finally, it should be noted that this mean to be it. Google have said that 4.0 will be the last Penguin update. It is unclear what this means right now. Are we to assume that this is the pinnacle of Google’s programming and a 5.0 will not be necessary? This seems unlikely in the ever evolving world of SEO. Some believe that a new Panda-style operation will be next. At this point, website creators simply need to focus on the positive changes and remember to take Google’s word with a pinch of salt.