Google confirmed in September 2016 that Penguin 4.0 is now part of their core algorithm. Penguin, a specific signal of the Google algorithms, first launched in 2012 has been updated and restored, as promised, by the network giant. The further development and test work has taken four years and the updated version to the algorithm is now live and being rolled out in real time globally.
The last update, released back in 2014 affected many websites with their rankings around the world. It usually needed a Penguin refresh before one could see any signs of recovery. The problem was the refresh could take months while you waited for the next time the filter ran, and in the meantime, the site remained penalised.
Google have responded to the 12 billion queries by users and Webmasters whose predominant requests were for Penguin to operate in real-time. The changes to the system mean that Penguin will work in real time and data refreshed more regularly. Google assure the changes will be visible more frequently than previously experienced.
With regard to Spam, Penguin developers say they have made Penguin more granular. Meaning that the algorithm devalues spam based on the spam signals and adjusting only the affected website pages, rather than the entire website being affected.
The search engine giant is dismissive, in their commentary reminding webmasters that they should remain focused on creating compelling and captivating websites because Penguin is only one of more than 240 signals used to determine website rankings in search results.
The spokes person at Top 10 SEO in Sydney, confirms through testing and research that the Penguin Penalty has been set up to stop sites that used link schemes, to manipulate search rankings (backlink building/black hat SEO). She recommends that it is a good time to clean up all back links so websites can perform better.
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