It has been more than one year since Penguin 3.0 refreshed and left a good number of marketers rather disappointed as the update did not yield any positive effects for SEOs and webmasters who had been affected by Penguin 2.0 and 2.1. So, they have been eagerly waiting for Google’s new real-time Penguin algorithm, version 4.0, which is expected to be released by the end of 2015.
In a recent response by Gary Illyes to a question from Andrew Isidoro through social network platform Twitter, the Google Webmaster Trends Analyst mentioned that the Penguin algorithm was not yet ready, though they were working on rolling it out before the end of the year. This is the update that people have been waiting for, and there is evidence that Google has already started testing or rolling out Penguin 4.0. Here is some of the evidence:
• Some websites that had been hit by the Penguin 2.0 update and never recovered with 3.0 recently saw a 300 percent increase in traffic
• An increase in webmaster tools
The fact that the new Penguin update could be released before the festive period poses a threat for some site owners, who are anxiously trying to clean up their backlink profiles of low quality and spammy links as they look to avoid the potential dampening effect that many have suffered before in Google’s continuous efforts to deliver better organic search results for users. On the other hand, many are hopeful that the release of Penguin 4.0 will help them recover faster from previous hits – though Google has neither confirmed nor denied that theory.
What to expect from the next Penguin update
Penguin update 4.0 is expected to be the real-time version, which means that the algorithm will update incessantly in real-time instead of manually. The update will also be continuous, meaning that there won’t be definite release dates for subsequent updates after the 4.0 release. Instead, as Google spots spammy links on a website, it will be affected by Penguin immediately. Equally, when the low quality links are removed, Google’s indexer will pick up on that so the site ceases to be impacted by Penguin. And this will form a continuous process.
How to prepare for the Penguin update
Website owners should ensure that they have no low quality links on their website before the release, as this might drastically reduce their traffic and profits during the festive season. Whether or not you have been previously affected by Penguin, you should be consistent in your marketing efforts. SEO needs to be done on a regular basis as opposed to once in a while.
You don’t have to wait for an algorithm refresh to boost your rankings
Site owners should note that it is possible for a website to improve its rankings without an algorithm update. Considering that Google uses over 200 elements in crawling, indexing, and ranking, webmasters who clean-up site problems and diligently work on maintaining a high-quality website rather on singular factors of individual algorithms may see favourable results even before the algorithm refresh.