What are Google Updates?
Google updates are a core part of the way in which search results are presented on a search engine results page to the user. Google updates are to do with the algorithms involved in the search process – these are the mechanics involved in producing the right search for the user, by ensuring that the results match the query in terms of relevance and quality.
Penguin Google updates began in April 2012 and are designed to clamp down on sites that were spamming search results – especially those using link networks or buying links in order to push them up the rankings. When new updates are released then sites which have worked to undo the damage of spammy links have the chance to recover.
What is Penguin 4.0?
The latest google update is Penguin 4.0. This comes almost two years after the previous incarnation was released (in October 2014) and the latest of the penguin google updates was highly anticipated by the SEO community; as sites that were hit by the update have had to wait a long time for the opportunity to be free from the punishments that they suffered.
Penguin 4.0 is different to other Google updates of this kind, as it is the last incarnation. Instead, rather than waiting for a big update as before, the Penguin algorithm has been incorporated as a signal into the core Google algorithm and operate in real time.
This means that whenever google crawls and re-indexes a page then it will be assessed by the Penguin filter, meaning that pages can be both caught out and penalised and freed on a far more regular basis than was previously possible. Therefore you can see if there are issues and act to fix them, and ideally have normality return to your rankings more quickly. In the past, sites that suffered would have remained penalised between Google updates.
As well as the real time part of the update, Penguin 4.0 focuses more on individual pages as opposed to taking a site wide approach.
“Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.”
Whole sites can be affected; sections of a site can be affected or individual pages can be affected.
As Penguin 4.0 is being rolled out now, and is becoming an integrated real time part of the Google search algorithm, then it is highly unlikely that Google will be announcing anymore big updates to it, as it will slowly change with the rest of search.
Should I be Worried by Google Updates?
If you have a site that has good quality content and you avoid the use of spammy links and other techniques that are against Google guidelines for web masters, then Google Updates shouldn’t be something that concerns you too much.
If you think that you have been penalised by one of the Google Updates that has rolled out in the past or you are looking to learn more about best practices when it comes to SEO and digital marketing, such as how to perform link building in an organic non-spammy way then contact Zelst. We are experts when it comes to inbound marketing and all things digital!