On September 23, Google introduced Penguin 4.0, another one of its core algorithm updates and an upgrade to the previous Penguin updates. Basically, the Penguin update was launched by Google back in 2012, and its purpose was to prevent sites containing a lot of link spamming from ranking well.

The update also penalised websites who relied on exploiting black hat SEO tactics. Black hat SEO involves practices that breach the terms of the search engine. Various black hat tactics include the use of doorway pages, automating your content, manipulative links and the use of hidden text or links. These practices can result in the site being banned from various search engines.

Each Penguin update has introduced new fixes to search engine problems, but it seems the Penguin 4.0 update will be the last in the Penguin series. This update means that each of the Penguin upgrades now occur in real-time and are a core part of Google’s algorithm. Prior to 4.0, if a website contained link spamming there would generally be a wait of two to three months for the next Penguin refresh to cause a penalty in ranking. Sometimes it was difficult for website creators to see that they were doing the wrong thing. Similarly, if a website contained penalty-inducing strategies but the problems were fixed, that website wouldn’t see an increase in its ranking until the next Penguin refresh. This was particularly frustrating for businesses who fixed their webpages but didn’t see an increase in ranking for some time.

The real-time refreshing of Penguin 4.0 means that demotions and elevations of organic rankings for websites are happening a lot faster than in the past. If your website contains link spamming and other similar problems and you’re unaware, it won’t be long before you realise as your search ranking will quickly decrease. Likewise, the sites employing strong SEO tactics will have the opportunity to greatly increase their standing as updates are happening instantaneously. It is imperative you understand and implement appropriate SEO strategies if you want your website and subsequently your business to succeed.

At present, this is all that is evident as a result of Penguin 4.0. As time progresses, we will learn more about the update and make some suggestions on what you can do if 4.0 negatively impacted your business. In any case, smart SEO tactics are a must for Google to recognise you as reputable.

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