Almost two weeks ago Google rolled out Penguin 4.0. Initially launched in 2012, Penguin’s purpose is to penalize websites contributing to webspam and ultimately black hat SEO tactics. A common tactic of black hat SEO is keyword stuffing which skews search results. This is bad for both search engines and end users as they both strive to reach quality and relevant content. The image to the left is taken from Google’s webmaster blog showing an example site of what the initial release of Penguin would affect. Notice the irrelevant keywords by the masses. Some offenders are a bit more sneaky. Below is another site that was affected by the initial release of penguin. The blog has random links that are spammy in the midst of what initially appears to be somewhat quality content.
Penguin 4.0: Primary Changes
If you’re not a black hat SEO strategist, then you probably have nothing to worry about. Penguin 4.0’s primary updates include:
- “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. “
For those who follow the “laws” of SEO, this is good news. If you are accidentally an offender, you do not need to wait for Penguin to be refreshed. Changes are made quickly since Penguin 4.0 runs in real-time. Additionally, if there is only one bad page over the entirety of a website then only that page is affected- not the entire domain.
In conclusion, unless you have been going out of your way to keyword stuff or use other shady SEO practices, then your website is probably unaffected by the update. Most importantly, Google encourages content creators to continue making great, quality content. While white hat link building is important, the best way to increase traffic is to focus on quality content that users desire.
At Innovative Solutions, we never use black hat SEO methods and are constantly watching for updates to the rules of SEO. Need help with SEO? Contact us today!