First off, you maybe asking – “What the heck is Google Penguin?” Well if you have never heard of it, let me quickly explain. If you have heard of it, then you can skip this bit and scroll down to the actual announcement.
What is Google Penguin?
In 2012 Google made a change to their ranking algorithm that had the purpose of impacting on websites that were using unnatural and spammy methods to try and manipulate their websites ranking. SEO had got so bad in some quarters, through the linking methods that were being used, that Google wanted to rightly penalise those who were so blatantly attempting to force themselves to the top of the ranking results. This algorithm change was called Penguin and since its inception in April 2012, it has been rolled out on a almost yearly basis.
The recent Change To Penguin
So what is this recent change that has made Penguin bigger and faster?
23rd September 2016 Google announced the following:
“After a period of development and testing, we are now rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm in all languages. Here are the key changes you’ll see, which were also among webmasters’ top requests to us:
- Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google’s algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we’re not going to comment on future refreshes.
- Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site. “
So what does this mean in simple terms?
Well what it means is if your SEO is not doing their job properly, and trying to force your rankings, through unnatural or spammy link building, Google will now be able to see it immediately, whereas before it could take up to a year before they noticed.
But it also means that if you have been hit with a Penguin penalty in the past and you had to wait almost a year till the next update, now if you fix the problem, Google will see it immediately, enabling you to get back into the ranking game without too much delay.
I personally think the update into real time is a great thing. We are going to see unethical SEO’s and those who don’t know how to do SEO properly now give up and those who do know what they are going, and do their work in line with Google’s code of ethics, be able to provide quality service.
A win-win for clients and quality SEO’s