Google Penguin 4.0 is new for SEO

Google’s penguin has just made a change for the better. During the week of September 23, 2016 you may have noticed some changes in your website rankings. The month of September has seen some of the biggest changes in SEO. Although these changes cover more areas than we have room for in one article, we are going to discuss the one algorithm that has been watched very carefully for years. The last update to the penguin algorithm was two years ago.


In the past the penguin algorithm had been a tough rank to beat, and because it was a url wide algorithm, if you were caught with spammy content, your whole web site would get penalized. What does this mean to you? It means if you had a page or pages on your website that broke the spam content rules, your whole website would rank low in the Google search index. The bigger of these problems came when it was time to beg Google for forgiveness. Not only was your whole website punished, but even if you fixed your spam, you still had to wait until the next penguin index to get your ranking back. Since there is no warning on index rankings, this could take up to six months. Not only is this waiting period lengthy, once you know which pages break the rules, how do you fix them? We will leave this subject for another day, but here is a list of things to consider when posting content on your website, especially if you have a blog that you use for SEO ranking.


  • Are you including information that is your own, and do you know your facts? (Don’t just copy someone else’s information. If you don’t have the knowledge, leave it alone.)
  • Is your content keyword heavy and less user friendly? (Keyword spamming a big no no.)
  • Is your content mass produced by someone who writes for multiple sources using the same information? When you offer a blog as yours, make sure it is yours.
  • Do you have your credentials listed on your website? Don’t pretend to be an authority unless you are willing to take credit for your work.
  • Do you produce content that is valuable your readers?
  • Longer and more detailed articles that are written with care and knowledge will always get more credit that quick and sloppy.
Penguin uses 200 unique signals to evaluate content on your website or blog, so if you learn to follow the rules these evaluations of your content should be a breeze. But if you are known to post often with content that is just a duplicate of your last post with the words changed around, plan on a penalty.


Let’s cover what is new in Penguin 4.0 (named because this is the fourth update to the algorithm). The reason I call this a positive move for Google is, the new release is now more page specific and less URL defined. When a page ranks low, your whole website does not pay the price for the penalty. For those who are a bit less SEO savvy, this means it’s a bit easier to use your Google analytics to see the error. If you have one page on your website that is ranking much lower than the rest, this could be a great start to figuring out why. Obviously this is not a solution based on science, but it’s a start for that “do it yourselfer”.


If you have a page that breaks the new Penguin rule, you will see a big change in how this effects your Google ranking. Before your whole website would drop in rank, now you will only loose rank on that one page, or you won’t see any ranking at all. I really love how Google is always growing for the better. Let’s face it, not all of us are going to be SEO experts and know all the rules, so to have a punishment that we are not even sure what we did to be reprimanded for is difficult to fix.


The next big change in Penguin 4.0 has to do with getting your articles and pages back on track. Before, the waiting time after you fixed the error was unpredictable. That hasn’t really changed much other than you could be back on the index within a few days after your fix. You work hard to create the best content for your website, knowing that you made a mistake is the first step to high rankings, but the next step is being forgiven. Google is moving forward in making the index work in real time.


SEO is an ever changing field. If you don’t have a professional SEO company like Dark Twin Marketing doing the evaluating for you, at least know the basics. Here is a great step by step list for the “do-it-yourself” SEO. Just remember, this is the basics, if you want to take your SEO on a local level or a world wide web platform you need an expert. You would never give yourself a physical, SEO is the health of your online presence.