With the long-awaited Penguin update hitting the web, SEO experts around the world are busy working out exactly what the changes mean for them. To help ensure your site’s SEO stays on the right side of Google’s exacting algorithms, here are the top 10 things you need to know about the update.
1. It’s in real time
The most important aspect of Google’s new Penguin update is that it operates in real time, so sites that have improved their content following penalties from the algorithm will see their efforts rewarded much more quickly, with webmasters no longer having to wait for an update to see their site reassessed.
2. There won’t be any more updates
As Penguin is now operating in real time, it means the algorithm will no longer be updated, so there’s no need to keep your eyes peeled for announcements.
3. It will be harder to spot
As the algorithm will run in real time, it will be harder to see its influence on the web. Even experts may struggle to see if a site’s ranking is being affected by the algorithm as the changes will probably be slow and incremental.
4. It’s granular
Though web experts aren’t exactly sure what this means, it seems that Penguin will now penalise specific pages rather than entire sites. This will allow site owners to adjust their content more quickly, helping them to get their web page rehabilitated as fast as possible.
5. Penguin’s come in from the cold
Previously, Penguin was its own entity. However, the latest update has brought Penguin into the fold, including it in Google’s core algorithm.
6. It’s global
Penguin monitors websites in all languages, this means that the algorithm will analyse every single site on the web.
7. Links need to be more natural
Penguin is responsible for identifying the spammy sites that Google’s other algorithms might miss. One of the most important aspects of this is link building. Sites will need to have natural link building patterns, with seasonal differences reflected in the number and type of links listed.
8. It will take a while to kick in
Though Penguin will start working its magic on the web imminently, it’s unlikely we’ll see dramatic changes anytime soon.
9. Good SEO techniques are still valid
Despite the update, Google says that has not changed its SEO guidelines. Good SEO practices will still help improve a site’s ranking and ensure it places well on the results page.
10. It’s quality that counts
Above all, Google wants to see good quality sites on the web. Filling a site with trustworthy, well-written content is still the best way to get a site the results it deserves.
Want to find out more about the update, see Google's official documentation about Penguin 4.0