IT’S HERE! Google Confirms the Release of Penguin 4.0


It’s here and it’s official! Google has confirmed that they are rolling out another Google Penguin algorithm update last Friday, September 23, 2016. This is nearly two years after they have released Penguin 3.0. As a recap, the Penguin algorithm has been created by Google to serve as a spam filter in the search results. So, if your site has been spamming and using other black hat methods to rank highly on SERPs then your site’s rankings could be in jeopardy! Conversely, for those that have been previously penalised and have taken corrective action then now is the time to reap the rewards of quality link building.

Penguin 4.0 is the fourth major update to the algorithm from Google that targets links coming into a website or “backlinks”. In this update, Penguin has been changed based on what webmasters have long been requesting and has become a part of the core algorithms. This means that it now runs continuously and compared to the previous updates where any penalty or lowering of ranking was in place until Penguin was again released, corrective action should be quickly rewarded. Now, as Penguin goes real-time, any improvements done on a website will be assessed by Penguin once the site’s webpages have been re-crawled and re-indexed. In this method, changes will take effect much faster than has been seen by the previous three Penguin releases.

Here’s a look back at the Penguin algorithm releases and its impact:


Aside from going real-time, Penguin 4.0 now affects your site’s webpages individually. Penguin will now devalue spam and treat your webpages and the links going to them individually. This can have a major impact on websites where specific webpages that are the focus of low quality link building can be dramatically affected while others with a more natural link profile are left untouched. Unlike the previous Penguin updates where your website would be affected as a whole even if only a single specific page was causing issues now each pages is treated individually.

Since no refreshes will be done in the future, it is highly likely that this will be the last update for the Penguin algorithm as a separate entity. Penguin 4.0 is now real-time; and as Gary Illyes said Google said in their official statement, they will no longer comment on any updates in the future.

As of this moment it is likely that Penguin 4.0 is not fully live yet. Quoting what Gary Illyes said, they are currently “rolling out” Penguin 4.0. Google have given no indication of how long it will take for them to completely roll out the update. It is likely that it will be completed over the next few weeks and initial changes that individual websites see will slowly take effect as Google fine tunes this significant update to how it ranks websites.

Have you noticed any suspicious changes in your websites rankings? You might be affected by the latest Penguin update. We can audit your link profile and help you recover. Contact us now!

Joe Ryan is the Founder & CEO of UK online marketing agency, Digital Search Group, which specialises in smart internet marketing. He is a specialist in online marketing strategy and brand building. When he’s not considering the next best online marketing strategy with his team, he enjoys travel and spending time with his family.