What Penguin 4.0 Did for SEO

Don’t Overlook the Penguin (4.0)

For most people when they think of a penguin they think of Antarctica. Visions of wobbly looking black and white birds waddling around the ice. This is one idea of a penguin… except, if you are in the business of digital marketing and SEO.

In this case, penguin means something entirely different. Rather than cute looking birds, we’re thinking of Penguin 4.0 and what it means for our and your digital presence.

What is Penguin 4.0?

Penguin was launched in 2012 as part of Google’s core search algorithm. The rationale behind launching Penguin was an attempt to target web spam. Web spam, is the digital content that is simply packed full of the keywords you were searching for but doesn’t provide you with any information.

In 2012, Google recognized this as a real problem and as part of tightening its search algorithms, Penguin was part of their effort to help eliminate this poor content and promote the well-written high quality content that you and others really want to read.

Since 2012, Penguin has gone through many iterations and in mid-September 2016, Google made Penguin 4.0 part of its core algorithm. This latest update to Penguin included the following key changes:

  • Universal update: Penguin 4.0 applies to all countries and locations regardless of language. This means everyone on the Internet is working with the same rules and system.
  • Real-time: whenever you make change to your website (such as when we published this article), Google was notified immediately and this change immediately impacted our search rankings. (Still at the top of the page!)
  • Recover from your mistakes: mistakes happen and Google will catch them and penalize you for them. Now with the speed and real-time processing of Penguin, you’re able to recover from these mistakes immediately when you make positive changes to your content, layout, links, etc.
  • It’s in the core: Penguin 4.0 is now part of Google’s core algorithm. This means you’ll need to have a trusted company doing some extra work for you such as managing your backlink profile.
  • Nitty-gritty details: now Penguin 4.0 is looking at the negative links to your website and the content on these pages. This means you need to pay greater attention to your entire website and regularly conduct a website audit of your entire digital presence.

What does Penguin 4.0 mean for you?

To be blunt, Penguin 4.0 means that content and your brand are vitally important. Yes, links to your website(s) are important but what really matters is the quality of your website and its content.

As we’ve emphasized before, you need good strong quality content to ensure you’re at the top of the search engine results page. Taking advantage of social media, content such as data analysis, digital marketing, and other useful online resources for your website visitors will go a long way in ensuring you’re not impacted by Penguin 4.0.

Yes, Penguin 4.0 can have negative impacts. If your website has negative links pointing to or from it, you will be penalized. This means you need to be regularly auditing your website(s) – look at and test all the links from your websites and pointing to your website. You may even need to contact webmasters who are linking to your website and ask them to stop. Penguin 4.0 will penalize you for these negative toxic links.

You must really analyze your website links. Determine which links are the most active, how much traffic these links generate, the revenue associated with these links, etc. Knowing this can help you weed out the negative links that are hurting your ranking and overall digital presence.

So to keep it simple: content, content, content. Stick to good content. Good content always wins.

What changes do you need to make? 

Well, if you’re using a reputable company such as KNOW to manage all aspects of your website – you don’t need to do anything….

But, if you’re still trying to build a healthy and profitable digital presence on your own in your spare time or are using a less well known company, you’ve got some work to do.

Here’s where you should start (but really the best thing is to contact us):

  • Audit: audit your entire website. Review all of your content. Click every link. See where these links take you. Determine who is linking to your website and look at these linking sites.
  • Search: search for your company in Google. Where do you rank? What pages are listed? Search for the companies that are linking to you. Where do these companies rank?
  • Backlinks: learn about backlinks and make sure your backlinks are Penguin 4.0 friendly.

Yes, we agree this is a lot of work. And this doesn’t even include the work you’ll have to do once you’ve discovered that your content is not meeting Google guidelines or that you’ve got some negative toxic backlinks.

What’s next?

First off, breathe in. It’s going to be okay. There are professionals (us) who can help you through all of this. If you’re stressing because Penguin 4.0 was released in September 2016 and you haven’t done anything – don’t worry.

There is no problem too big. Just like the wobbly penguin manages to stay upright and not fall over when hit with fierce Antarctic winds – we can help you and get your website where it needs to be.

Use Penguin 4.0 as your launchpad to get fully committed and invested in your digital presence. After all, you’ve made it this far – let’s see how far you can go.