Google made a big announcement on 23rd September, 2016, something search engine optimisation (SEO) champions have been waiting for a while. Google’s Penguin 4.0 algorithm has now been updated, since the last update in October, 2014. On top of that Google has confirmed that it is now part of its core algorithm, which means that it will now be effective in real-time.

Is Penguin 4.0 Real-Time?

From the beginning of Penguin it has been rolled-out as a series of one-time updates, causing big ups and downs in the SERPs every time. This caused a lot of chaos among the site that were penalised because of the update, but also that they could not recover until the next update.

Penguin 4.0, the latest update, is now one of the 200+ unique signals in Google’s core algorithm. This means that now, every time Google crawls your website pages, it will be passed through the Penguin filter. If it’s deemed to be spammy it will be penalised and it will be reconsidered if it had previously been penalised for spam.

See Google’s Gary Illyes’ tweet below:

Penguin 4.0 Real-Time

Granular-Level Rather Than The Whole Site Wide

With the Penguin 4.0 update Google will now assess sites on a ‘more granular’ basis rather than site wide.

Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.

Ideally it means that this update MAY impact individual pages or specific sub-directories but no one can be sure as only time will tell.

So What Do We Do Now?

You will most probably see a remarkable change if you were affected by the previous update but have since fixed everything on your site, or if you’ve been involved in dodgy/questionable link building activities recently. Many experts aren’t predicting  a softer influence as the real-time algorithm goes into action.

One also has to consider how this will affect the disavow process. As links are removed and disavowed, how soon are we likely to see the change in Google’s search results?

The above information is based on various tweets and updates on Moz and other SEO critics.

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