Google Penguin 4.0: Why It’s Not That Big Of A Deal

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Google Penguin just received its final update.

The long-awaited Penguin 4.0 is finally here and, much to the surprise of many digital experts, it’s not as bad as it seems!

In fact, it brings with it two major improvements over Google Penguin 3.0.

1. Google Real-Time Updates

Penguin 4.0’s main function is to prevent spam from impacting search results. One major problem with previous versions of Penguin was the repercussions it had for sites with SEO and links.

If your links were built poorly and resembled a spam link, your entire website would be punished with lower rankings in search. These punishments would be doled out with little instructions on how to improve and website owners would have to wait until the next Penguin update for a possibility to increase their ranking.

The biggest benefit Penguin 4.0 brings is real-time updates!

Now, Penguin 4.0 will be able to update soon after a page is re-crawled and re-indexed. When a page is crawled and indexed, digital “spiders” from Google check a website for spam-related links or content, which happens far more frequently than Penguin updates.

This will give websites that make changes to their links a second chance at ranking without having to wait over a year.

2. A More Granular System

Penguin 4.0 now can penalizes individual links on a page, rather than the entire website. If a spammy link is only found on one page, only that single page will be devalued. This means the Page Rank of the rest of your site will not be negatively affected.


Penguin 4.0 also labels sections of websites (i.e. footer, in-content, disavowed, etc.). While this update is not actionable for webmasters, it is worth noting. Labeling sections of a webpage only gives a name to the fact that we (including Google) understand a page is divided into sections and the sections with the most visibility and engagements hold the highest value.

Rather than content being categorized as a whole and links being included in that categorization, links are given their own individual labels based on where they are on a page.

3. Penguin Now Devalues Links

Before links would be demoted (meaning that each bad link would impact the rank of your whole site). By devaluing a link instead, you can prevent it from being seen without actually impacting a website’s rank.

Basically, while you should still address spammy links and use a disavow tool to report them to Google, this is less of an urgent issue than it was before. The new algorithm is designed to find and devalue spammy links for you.

While the new update removes some of the disavow work from your hands, the jury is still out on how well it will do that. So, Google still encourages site owners to report bad links.

As you can see…  Penguin 4.0 is not that big of a deal. In some ways, it is even a positive and well-anticipated change.

Even with Penguin 4.0, websites with non-spammy links can continue with business as usual.  Poor link-building and low SEO will always have its consequences. Penguin 4.0 just makes sure these consequences aren’t as severe as with previous versions.

Most importantly, you also won’t have to wait over 700 days to find out if your link changes made the cut.

To learn more about creating website links and avoid being flagged for spam, Chatter Buzz Media can help. We’re dedicated to building strong links and finding credible backlinks that help boost your SEO.

Shalyn Dever

Shalyn is the Founder & Chief Growth Consultant at Chatter Buzz. An engineer recruited by Google, she loves solving the most complex business growth problems and utilizing technology as solutions. She loves amazing UI/UX, out of the box SEO tactics and forward thinking paid campaigns.

Do need someone to help you achieve your growth goals - then let us help you crush them? Let's chat!


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