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ICYMI: Penguin is now part of Google’s core algorithm

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In case you missed it, On Friday 23rd September Gary Illyes from Google’s Search Ranking Team released this on Googles Webmaster Central Blog:

Penguin is now part of our core algorithm

Friday, September 23, 2016

Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to surface what you might be looking for. These signals include things like the specific words that appear on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank. One specific signal of the algorithms is called Penguin, which was first launched in 2012 and today has an update.

After a period of development and testing, we are now rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm in all languages. Here are the key changes you’ll see, which were also among webmasters’ top requests to us:

  • Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google’s algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we’re not going to comment on future refreshes.
  • 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 web has significantly changed over the years, but as we said in our original post, webmasters should be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling websites. It’s also important to remember that updates like Penguin are just one of more than 200 signals we use to determine rank.

What does this mean for us?

Well, being real-time updating this means that any penalties you may have suffered from the last Penguin update, you will no longer need to wait up to 2 years again to be released. As in theory, your site will be run through the Penguin spam filters every time your site gets indexed by Google. This also means that you site maybe be hit quicker with a penalty if you take part in any black hat optimisation.

When will be the next Penguin update?

Being a real-time algorithm, don’t expect to see any further updates from Google about any future changes. Penguin 4 is the last one!

When will the new Algorithm be live?

The new real-time Penguin is being rolled out as I type this and should take a few weeks to be fully live.

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