What Googleâs Penguin 4.0 update means for your siteâs search results | DMA

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What Googleâs Penguin 4.0 update means for your siteâs search results


Aggressive, search engine-focused tactics that neglect the needs of human audiences (black hat SEO), used to be the calling card of many SEO agencies. But over time, Google has gotten wise to companies who manipulated rankings – mainly achieved through cramming web pages full of keywords (keyword stuffing) and purchasing links.

Since 2012, Google’s Penguin algorithm ensured that companies dabbling in black hat SEO would be caught and sent to the back of the search queue.

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Traditionally, companies found manipulating their search results faced an uphill battle to crawl back up to the first page of Google’s search engine results page (SERP). Google’s previous update, Penguin 3.0, was released in October 2014, so any websites deemed penalty-worthy have been waiting two years to be re-evaluated.

Penguin 4.0 – the latest, and final update, crawls and indexes page in real time, which explains why Google hasn’t shared the percentage figures of the queries affected, as the number is constantly fluctuating.

This should be of keen interest to anyone who runs a website: if you violate Google’s quality guidelines (intentionally or not), the process of fixing SEO misconduct is far quicker.

Google also confirmed that its latest Penguin is more granular: “Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.” Rather than penalising an entire website, the algorithm strikes pages or wider sections of the site depending on the spam findings.

So, what now? Address any penalties that Google has issued and work with SEO specialists that will use the right knowledge, methodology and toolkit to ensure your online presence is always relevant, useful and, above all, visible.

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