Well, we were expecting an update and here it is. Google has finally confirmed, on 23 September, that the Penguin update has been rolled out in all languages and is now part of their core algorithm.
Google last updated Penguin in 2014 when, at that time, it would have affected less than 1% of UK and US searches. That was still 12 billion queries according to Adam Stetzer. The first update was back in 2012 when Penguin was out to catch sites spamming search results, these were particularly the ones who used schemes to increase links in order to manipulate search rankings.
So, what is Penguin? Simply explained, it is a hunter which goes in search of inorganic links, those that have been created, bought or placed, to improve a website’s search rankings.
You can read all about it first hand on Google’s blog post and it is good to know that Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time. This means changes will be faster and will take effect when a page has been recrawled and reindexed.
This does free up webmasters to create brilliant websites and we have to remember that Penguin is just one of over 200 signals that Google used to determine your rank.
It is very important that your SEO is effective and your site is crawlable. Keyword research ensures the right words are on the page and used within good content. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and link schemes, these now decrease rankings and violate Google’s existing quality guidelines.
The new Penguin will devalue spam by adjusting a site’s ranking based on the number of spam signals so if you have been tempted to try black hat practices, we would advise against them.
If you do need help with your SEO and content creation, please do get in touch.