Google has finally rolled out a more up-to-date version of its anti-spam ranking algorithm – Penguin. On 23 September 2016, Penguin 4.0 was launched worldwide, with a few significant changes, setting it apart from previous versions of the Penguin algorithm.

Penguin is an important ranking algorithm that focuses on devaluing spammy sites, as well as finding and penalising sites that use black hat techniques for their SEO – such as keyword stuffing and paid links.

Some of the updates seen in Penguin 4.0 are very different, separating it from the previous versions.

In the official webmasters blog, Google stated that there are two key changes, both made due to a large amount of requests from webmasters’.

Penguin Now Works in Real-Time

In every previous version of Penguin, affected sites would all be refreshed simultaneously, meaning a webmaster could edit their site to fix an issue, and still have to wait long periods of time before Google refreshed the list. This meant webmasters were still seeing the effects of a penalisation, even after the issue had been resolved. Now that Penguin works in real-time, any changes regarding Penguin that are made to sites will be noticed very quickly, so ranking changes will be visible much quicker than before, setting your site back to its normal position as soon as possible.

Penguin Is More Granular

As well as working in real-time, penguin has been made much more granular, adjusting rankings based on individual spam signals, rather than affecting an entire site’s rankings.

Along with these two key changes, Google now says that its Penguin ranking signal has been made part of its core search algorithm – giving it much more importance than it had before. However, in the webmasters blog, Google did make sure to remind us that Penguin is only ‘one of more than 200 signals’ that it uses to determine the ranking of a page.

To read Google’s official coverage, visit the webmasters official blog.

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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!