Google’s Penguin 4.0 Algorithm Update
Google released an update to one of their search-engine algorithms on the 23rd September 2016; Penguin 4.0. When this update was initially announced, there wasn’t a lot of information available as to how it would affect people, SEO agencies that didn’t follow best practices were shaking in their boots.
So what are some of the key features of this algorithm update?
- Links are now devalued rather than whole websites being punished
- The new algorithm is now integrated into Google’s core algorithm, updating in real time.
- The feasibility of negative SEO is greatly diminished
- The new algorithm is more granular
Now Part of Google’s Core Algorithm, Updating in Real-Time.
Some webmasters and business owners are already starting to see the benefits of this SEO change. Previously, when a webmaster updated their site, the changes wouldn’t be taken into consideration until the next update. Now that it is integrated as part of their main algorithm, it will update in real time.
Analyse Your Full Backlink Profile
Most sites won’t need to worry about this unless they have done some sketchy link building or hired an SEO who may have engaged in these tactics. Even if you haven’t been aware of this being done, it is still important to analyse your backlink profile or get your SEO to check for you. If you have engaged in link building tactics that were once accepted by Google’s Webmaster guidelines, such as guest blogging. Years ago guest blogging was okay, but it is no longer a good way to build links unless you are choosing your sites well.
Finding Those Backlinks
If you suspect Penguin has impacted your businesses site, you need to remove the links that may be causing the damage. You need to do a link audit or disavow the spammy or low-quality links. Google Search Console will show you a list of backlinks for site owners and webmasters. There is a range of third party tools that can crawl your site to find these links but, be aware some sites block these third-party tools and it may not give you a full list of links.
Removing The “Bad” Links
Once you have determined if there are links that are determined to be causing damage, you need to remove or disavow them. You should first approach the site owners and ask them to remove the links pointing to your website. If this is unsuccessful, add those links to a disavow file that you will submit to Google. Some site owners will request a payment to remove these links; Google advises not paying the fee to do so. Just include them in your disavow file instead and move on to your next link removal. Some site owners are using link removal to generate revenue, so this practice is becoming more common.