Google’s Penguin algorithm has been a big story in the SEO world since it was first unleashed in 2012, and the latest update contains good news for websites that have been punished by Penguin in the past.
The primary goal of Penguin is to root out and punish sites that use spammy link-building practices, either by accident or on purpose. Unfortunately, the penalty and resolution process with earlier versions of Penguin often took months to complete, even if you did everything necessary to resolve the issue promptly. Penguin 4.0 promises to streamline that process, and brings a few other important changes to the table that may benefit your Calgary business.
Penguin 4.0 Brings Good News for Websites Penalized by Previous Penguin Editions
The history of the Internet is filled with change, and SEO is no exception. One of the challenges with previous versions of Penguin is that entire websites could be punished for a page or two of bad links. This meant that businesses that compiled a few bad links accidentally or bought links without realizing the consequences could be punished quite severely. Compounding the problem, the resolution process was very, very slow, which meant that websites could continue to be punished long after they had resolved the issue in question.
In the past, Penguin only ran periodically, which meant that penalized websites would have to wait quite a bit to see their penalties removed. You may get a note from Google informing you that you’ve done what’s necessary to lift the penalty, but it might be months until you notice a real difference.
- The biggest news from the Penguin 4.0 update is that Penguin is now part of Google’s real-time search algorithm. This means that Penguin is now always a part of the core search algorithm, so in theory both penalties and resolutions should happen instantaneously.
- Earlier versions of Penguin also had a rough habit of penalizing entire websites, when only a few pages had bad links present. This meant that businesses that were otherwise reputable in their online dealings could be punished severely for a few bad links.
- The early returns with Penguin 4.0 indicate that this should be less of a problem in the future, as the algorithm has become more page-specific. It’s still critical to vet links properly, but the hope is that Penguin 4.0 will do a better job differentiating between webmasters who make isolated mistakes and those who are chronic offenders.
- The faster indexing provided by Penguin 4.0 may also be good news in other situations, like when you update an URL or change a page. Early returns from Penguin 4.0 suggest that Google will now pick up on those types of changes more quickly.
I know the jargon of the SEO world is enough to make anyone’s head spin, so let’s boil Penguin 4.0 down to the basics. As a real-time part of Google’s search algorithm, Penguin will now do more or less the same job, but do so much more quickly. So if the website of your Calgary business is penalized, you’ll be able to resolve the issue more quickly once you take the necessary steps. As an added bonus, Google should now index other changes to your website more quickly, as well.
Penguin 4.0 Doesn’t Change the Benefits of SEO
With all of this talk about bad links and penalties, it may seem like SEO isn’t worth the trouble. But SEO is a reputable, hugely important part of online marketing, and there are plenty of “white hat” SEO tactics that can boost the visibility of your website, without risking penalties. Even link-building, the primary target of the Penguin algorithm, is perfectly viable as long as you do it in an ethical way.
Working with an experienced online marketing team is an easy way to enjoy the benefits of SEO, and minimize your chance of dealing with SEO penalties. SEO tactics like content marketing, keyword research, URL optimization, local SEO, and social media are all quite effective, and fit within Google’s guidelines. Developing an effective SEO strategy is more than worth the effort, and Penguin 4.0 seems poised to make the SEO process a bit simpler for website owners.
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