Friday, September 23 Google announced that Penguin 4.0 has now become part of the Google ranking algorithm. Not just an after-thought anymore, Penguin’s newest update has assimilated into the algorithm to be a standard player in the ranking of your site.
A few things that Google mentioned with the release.
- Sites should now be considered ranked in “real-time”. While I feel like this is attractive to site owners, this also brings a level of volatility to site rankings. Both positive and negative effects on rankings will be seen as fast as your site is crawled.
- Penguin is getting granular. This iteration has taken to devaluing spam links over penalizing sites for them. By looking at spam at the page level, Penguin will not affect the sites ranking as a whole if links were to be devalued.
- The release is everywhere already. A worldwide release of the Penguin update means that all sites are playing by the same rules rather than the rolling updates that have been standard in the past.
Devalue vs Demote
Here is where a lot of people may be thinking it’s time to game the system, but I don’t think so. “But if Google just ignores spammy links by devaluing them, why shouldn’t I just build a bunch of bad links in hopes that some may help my site?” The simple answer is – because it’s Google and they definitely thought of that. A better answer: now having a few bad links is ok, and you may not notice that they have been devalued. However, if you begin building these bad links, Google will see that too. And be prepared because manual site penalties are now probably worse than ever. Most likely because Google now has a way of recognizing the multitude of inbound links that you suddenly received from sites that they would see as spammy.
In my opinion, Google has done exactly what everyone thought they were doing when they initially offered using the disavow tool. They took hundreds of thousands of SEO proclaimed spam links and evaluated them. Now they are using that data to automatically mine similar links that may be on your site’s link profile. So if you thought that too, you were right and I am proud of you.
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