Tom Williams runs through the latest in search engine optimisation news, including the official launch of Penguin 4.0, Google’s SERP-wide AMP roll out, and an introduction to Google’s Possum.

Google Penguin is Live

On 23 September 2016, Google finally launched the fourth update of its Penguin ranking algorithm.

Since Penguin 3.0 was rolled out on 17 October 2014, there has been no further update for two years. But finally, Google has updated its Penguin algorithm.  In the official Google Webmasters Central blog, Google said they were in a period of development and testing, preparing Penguin with a number of key updates.

Google said there are two key changes to look out for:
Penguin 4.0 is real-time – unlike the previous versions of Penguin, this update has made Penguin work in real-time, meaning ranking changes brought as a result of the algorithm will be noticeably much quicker after making changes to the site.

It is more granular – Penguin 4.0 devalues spam in a more granular way, by adjusting rankings based on spam signals, rather than the rankings of the whole site.

To find out more about Penguin 4.0, visit the Google Webmasters Central blog.

AMPs Move SERP-Wide

Previously, AMPs were only accessible through the ‘Top Stories’ section of Google, but on 20 September, Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) for all search results.

Not every webpage is an AMP, with an AMP being signified by a small electricity bolt symbol in the search results, similar to the style of paid ads.

As well as loading extremely quickly, Google says that AMPs use 10x less data than regular mobile websites.

Say Hello to the Google Possum

SEOs, marketers and site owners have recently been seeing some unexplained fluctuations in rankings that Google is yet to officially comment on. Since nothing has been said about these fluctuations, it is being seen amongst the industry as an unconfirmed Google algorithm update, dubbed Possum.

The Possum update only impacted local rankings. Joy Hawkins of Search Engine Land believes that the update was to “diversify local results and prevent spam from ranking”. She has also said that after analysing several ranking reports, she thinks it is the biggest local update since 2014’s Pigeon update.

The name is not one from Google, and is unofficial.

To find out everything about the unofficial Possum update, visit Joy Hawkins’ coverage at Search Engine Land.

What Is Google Data Studio?

Google is currently running a beta test of its new reporting software – Google Data Studio.

Google Data Studio is an analytics and reporting software that is designed to allow users to create reports on specific brands with data visualisations. The Data Studio allows you to turn  analytic data into easy-to-read reports with visualisations like graphs and tables.

The reports are customisable, with options to change logos, colours and fonts to suit your brand. Google data studio is accessible through analytics, and can be found here.

Whiteboard Friday – How To Appear in Google’s Answer Boxes

In this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday, Rand Fishkin explains to us how to appear in Google’s answer boxes.

More Search Engine Optimisation News and Advice

Read last week’s SEO News Roundup: Google Yet To Confirm a Penguin 4.0 Launch Date

See how you can improve your site’s rankings with a Technical SEO Audit from our team of experts.

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About the author:

James joined ClickThrough in March 2016 as a digital apprentice, and currently works alongside the content team writing industry news articles, blog posts and on-page content for a variety of clients. Outside of work James likes to take long walks, explore new places and eat too much food!