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    Penguin is now part of the core algorithm


    It's official, Penguin is now part of the core algorithm.

    https://webmasters.googleblog.com/20...-core.html?m=1

    Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google's algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change, Penguin's data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we're not going to comment on future refreshes.

    Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.
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    Was just about to post this, you beat me to it!

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    • Will-O-The-Wisp agrees : Haha, same! Ryan's Penguin MVP today.
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    I rushed in when I saw you hadn't posted it yet! Haha.

    Might be too early to be looking at SERP volatility but, I figured I'd check. Nothing crazy.

    Algoroo:
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    SerpWoo:
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    For news and analysis:

    The SEM Post reports about Penguin 4.0

    Search Engine Land reports about Penguin 4.0

    The take-aways that these articles outline:

    1. Penguin is core, just like Panda.

    2. Penguin 4.0 is rolling out worldwide, to all countries simultaneously.

    3. Penguin is "real-time." Up until now, some people were waiting 2 years to escape a Penguin penalty. That's because once Penguin was run, you'd have to wait for it to be run again to be re-evaluated. Even if you cleaned up your links and had your ducks in a row, you'd be stuck until a Penguin refresh.

    That's no longer the case.

    Google says that whenever they recrawl or reindex a page, it will be evaluated for Penguin. The SEM Post asked for more details, and Google said: "We look at the webmaster's page and devalue incoming spam as we recraw and reindex the particular page. So it's the webmaster's page that we're talking about, not the spammy site."

    4. Penguin is "more granular." This looks like the thing most people are confused about. I don't know what it means either. At first blush, it seems to mean that Google will look more closely at individual pages as opposed to whole websites. But Google has pushed back against that interpretation. The SEM Post asked Google "about the term granular and whether it meant Penguin could just impact single pages on a site..." Google said: "No, it means it affects finer granularity than sites. It does not mean it only affects pages."

    5. Google says that they won't be commenting on Penguin updates from now on.

    6. Google still maintains that all the recent craziness in the SERPs was unrelated to Penguin 4.0

    There are other points...

    On WebmasterWorld's discussion of Penguin 4.0 users seem underwhelmed. But, as the above articles point out, those hoping for a recovery from Penguin might not see any changes until Google is able to recrawl and re-evaluate their site. I'm sure everyone will be keeping a close eye on their penalized websites in the weeks to come. It will be interesting to see how quickly recoveries happen...or how quickly new penalties are doled out!

    Some folks seem to believe that a real-time Penguin update means that the SERPs will be a calmer place. Martinibuster had this to say on WMW:

    Originally Posted by martinibuster
    Maybe. Maybe not. I believe there will continue to be shakeups because nothing is perfect, not even Google. The core algorithm cannot identify all forms of spam. That's why they have to take "manual" action to remove the spam that "automated" actions failed to catch.

    After the manual action they may "refresh" the algorithm in order to better catch what the core algorithm overlooked. Refreshing the algorithm is a euphemism for identifying the "fingerprints" (classifiers) of the uncaught spam and using that to train the algorithm to catch that spam.
    That's all the research I've done so far.

    Comments on this post

    • srinivaskatam agrees
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    What I like about this update is that the results of a clean up can happen much sooner. I think it may even be easier to spot which links are being caught if it is page level.

    This may also give spammers some ability to test and play. Of course with the risk of being considered a long term spammer https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/ho...-never-recover
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    All the chatter I've been following so far says that Penguin 4.0 has been very quiet. Webmasters who have Penguin affected sites say that they've noticed no or few changes so far.

    That could change next week. It sounds like Penguin 4.0 has been rolling out slowly, piece by piece. The part that looks at (and potentially lifts) penalties from Penguin 1 - 3 will be rolling out "in the next few days" according to Gary Illyes: Google says Penguin recoveries have started to roll out now

    New penalties can't be far behind that, right?
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    More real time Penguin news!

    Google (via Gary Illyes) says they will be "transparent" about any "big substantial changes to Penguin." There was some concern that, now that Penguin is real time, Google would just let it run and not bother to communicate about it. Refreshing and relieving to hear that they will communicate major changes! What those could be, who knows!

    If there are any major Penguin changes, they won't involve numbered updates. "4.0" is as high as it will go. SEOs who want to create Penguin timelines to see when and if they were hit by a specific version of Penguin will need to find another way to track it.

    Comments on this post

    • ThomasHarvey agrees : You're loving these link posts today

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