The dust is finally beginning to settle after the long-awaited rollout of Penguin 4.0. Now that our aquatic avian friend is a real-time part of the core Google algorithm, we've got some changes to get used to. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains Penguin's past, present, and future, offers his analysis of the rollout so far, and gives advice for going forward (hint: never link spam).
Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week, it is all about Google Penguin. So Google Penguin is an algorithm that's been with us for a few years now, designed to combat link spam specifically. After many, many years of saying this was coming, Penguin 4.0 rolled out on Friday, September 23rd. It is now real-time in Google's algorithm, Google's core algorithm, which means that it's constantly updating. So there are a bunch of changes. What we're going to talk about today is what Penguin 1.0 to 3.x looked like and how that's changed as we've moved to the Penguin 4.0 model. Then we'll cover a little bit of what the rollout has looked like and how it's affecting folks' sites and specifically some recommendations. Thankfully, we don't have a ton.
But important to understand, if people ask you about Penguin, people ask you about the penalties that used to come from Penguin, you've got to know that, back in the day...
Penguin 1.0 to 3.x, it used to run intermittently. So every few months, Google would collect a bunch of information, they'd run the algorithm, and then they'd release it out in the wild. It would now be in the search results. When that rollout happened, that was the only time, pretty much the only time that penalties from Penguin specifically would be given to websites or removed. This meant that a lot of the time, you had this slow process, where if you got penalized by Penguin, you did something bad, you did some sketchy link building, you went through all the process, you went through all the processes of getting that penalty lifted, Google said, "Fine, you're in good shape. The next time Penguin comes out, your penalty is lifted." You could wait months. You could wait six months or more before that penalty got lifted. So a lot of fear here and a lot of slowness on Google's side.
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