Another algorithm update: Penguin 4.0

Google’s focus stays the same; to give searchers what they are looking for. But the way it does this is constantly changing.

Of course, it’s rather tricky to objectively find the perfect answer to any question. Google does its best with incredibly complex algorithms that measure over 200 “clues” about a website when deciding whether or not it provides the best answer to what someone is searching for. But this job is never done, and Google are updating and improving their algorithms all the time and constantly looking for newer, better answers to your questions. They even run huge ‘split’ tests, which you may be a part of without even knowing. One of their latest updates is called Penguin.

Penguin looks at your link profile

Looking at the links from other websites, to your website, has long been an important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. If another, well respected, website links to you, it’s like someone credible giving you a big thumbs up in Google’s eyes. The more links you get, and the better the website they are from, the more likely you are move up in the rankings. Unfortunately some people try to cheat the system and have tried to get ahead by buying using fake links to boost performance.

What links do Google want?

In essence, Google wants the links to your website to be legit – not bought on the black market from someone who has set up a ton of fake spammy sites purely to sell the links. If you gradually acquire more links over time, from other websites that are genuine, it’s a slow process but it looks much better in Google’s eyes.

A health link profile is:
  • Natural
  • Relevant

A slow but steady acquisition of new links over time is going to look much plausible that a huge spike, such as could occur if a batch of dodgy links were purchased. In addition to this, links should be from relevant websites, such as other websites in your industry or geographical area.

How can I get good links?

Getting good links is hard, it takes a lot of time and effort to find websites that might link to yours, and then you may have to ask nicely for them to do so. Creating great content that other people want to share can work, but this has it’s own challenges. In our experience, it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket but to carry out a wide reaching local SEO service.

What does Penguin change?

The big difference in Penguin 4.0 is that it is meant to notice changes to your link profile much more quickly.

Penguin is now real-time.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Google notices the second a new link to your website pops up, but it should mean that penalties from spammy links are dropped much more quickly. In the past, it could take months for Google to realise your link profile has changed (for better or for worse) whereas now it should be noticed “shortly after we re-crawl and reindex a page”. This means the benefits of good, honest SEO work will happen much faster. It also means that you will get caught for cutting corners much more quickly too.

For a full analysis of your current link profile, or help with making it more awesome, get in touch today!

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