Google have confirmed that Penguin 4.0 has begun rolling out today, nearly two years since the last update.
The algorithm that’s designed to filter out sites with large numbers of poor quality (or spammy) links to their domain, will now run in real-time as part of the core search algorithm.
It’s been a while since any Penguin news, so here’s a quick recap on the Penguin algorithm.
Penguin originally launched in 2012 with the aim of finding sites that were spamming the search results, specifically sites who used spammy links to boost their rankings. These sites were then penalised with lower rankings in the search results.
There have been several Penguin updates since its introduction, but webmasters have been left waiting since October 2014 for this latest refresh.
Penguin now runs in real-time
Previously, the Penguin algorithm would run and detect spammy sites on a periodic basis. Those sites that were penalised would remain penalised until the next time there was a Penguin refresh, which could be months or even years.
Site owners who had worked hard to get spammy links removed and disavowed were then left waiting until the next update to see any change. Today’s news will be welcome to many site owners, who can now expect to get out of any Penguin-related penalties quicker.
Penguin becomes more granular
Penguin is now more page-specific rather than site-wide, with the filter devaluing spammy pages and ranking them accordingly, rather than devaluing and affecting the ranking of a whole website.
The latest Penguin update is likely to take a few weeks to fully roll out, but from now on there will be no more confirmation from Google on future refreshes. This makes sense as the process will be constant, with nothing to confirm.