We all know Google Penguin; the major anti-spam refinement to the algorithm powering Google search engine. Its aim: to put an end to attempts of rank manipulation through buying and selling of links.
A brief history of Google Penguin Updates
Back in April 2012 when it first rolled out, Penguin instantly created a massive shift in search results. Websites that once stood proud as authoritative sources lost massive traffic overnight even if their on-page content was outstanding. Unlike previous updates, Google Penguin focused only on assessing a website’s link portfolio, applying penalties wherever rank manipulations where suspected.
Since its inception, Google Penguin has undergone roughly yearly revisions aimed at improving its effectiveness. The latest major update was known as Penguin 3.0 and it rolled out in December 2014. Regarding the upcoming update, it has been suggested by Gary Illyes from Google that it should roll out sometime in Q1 2016, or as soon as it’s ready. It is rumored that from this update onward, Penguin will work in real-time, as opposed to causing massive SERPS shifts with every update.
What are the implications of a real-time Penguin?
The news of a real-time Penguin algorithm is a boon especially for those webmasters who’ve been penalised in the past for questionable link building practices.
When a website was hit by Google Penguin, the best one could do to minimise losses was to painstakingly go through the back-link portfolio, weeding out bad links and ensuring a consistent standard of relevance, human value and authority behind every link. The problem with this approach was that one would only get a sense of progress at the time of the next algorithm update, when the traffic penalty would either be lifted or it wouldn’t.
With a real-time algorithm update, these adjustments will be much quicker and seamless, which is good news for those struggling to overcome a link penalty. From now on, cleaning up link portfolios won’t have to be such a shot in the dark. Real-time updates means that marketers will start having a clearer sense of which backlinks are helping their website rank, and which backlinks are causing a detrimental effect.