How Google’s New Penguin Update Will Affect Search
07
OCTOBER 2016

You probably know that Google rolled out its Google 4.0 algorithm update last week. But, how much do you know about it? And what affect is it going to have on search, and for that matter, quality content writing services?

About Penguin

Back in April 2012, Google launched a massive Penguin update. The aim was to catch sites that were considered to be spamming Google’s search results, especially those who were purchasing links via link networks that were designed specially to boost search engine rankings. This was the kind of practice an unscrupulous web content writing service thrived on. They’d try to boost a client’s rankings, but it wasn’t legitimate.

Whenever a new Penguin update is released, those sites that have made the effort to remove bad links and spam often regain their rankings. Newer sites that weren’t previously caught may still get trapped by Penguin. Sites that were caught by mistake (referred to as “false positives”) may escape. So it’s not quite as cut and dry as it seems.

What About the New Update?

Penguin has quickly become part of Google’s core algorithm. Websites are now penalized for using black-hat link schemes to manipulate their search rankings. This is good news for quality content writing services.

Other important changes to update include:

  • Penguin devalues spam by knocking down the ranking of offending pages, as opposed to affecting a site as a whole.
  • Penguin data is now refreshed in real-time, so any changes that are made, are done so as soon as the affected page has been crawled and indexed.

The real-time operation is definitely the biggest change and one that a web content writing service is going to have to be careful about. It seems to come as a big surprise to many businesses.

So, let’s look a little closer at this update and how it is going to impact search.

Penguin Has Switched to Real-Time

You understand that Google Penguin is an algorithm and that is captures sites that are spamming search rankings. While it was introduced four years ago, it’s never before operated in real-time. Until now. That means that spammy websites can be obliterated the second they hit the search rankings, whereas before it used to take months for the sites to lose their rankings.

There is a positive to this update. Websites that are mistakenly classified as spam won’t have to wait months to “get out of jail.” With quality content writing services, you can get your site back up and running. The changes to your rankings will be visible a lot quicker and the changes made to the website will reflect faster.

Here’s The Catch: Manipulation Just Got Harder

Now that Google is operating faster that humans can, manipulation just got a whole lot harder. This is going to hurt a great deal of industries who do have a darker side, and that, sadly, affects the online reputation industry, where businesses rely on search engine manipulation to drive results.

Penguin is Now Page Specific

This can be both a benefit and a negative.

The Penguin algorithm has become far more page-specific instead of being site wide. So, the algorithm will hit individual pages with the necessary ranking penalties, instead of punishing the entire website.

Penguin could either hit individual pages or sections of a site. What this means is that companies can no longer rely on a certain section of their site to keep them on top of the rankings. Quality content writing services need to distribute content equally across the site. If you’ve been managing your own website, this could become a headache, and is exactly why you should invest in a professional web content writing service.

Has the Update Gone Live?

When Penguin 4.0 went live in 2012, Google admitted it would no longer announce updates. Right now, Penguin is an ongoing process so there’s nothing to really confirm or update as changes are being unveiled as and when they are needed.

It’s pretty unlikely that the real-time update has gone live yet. Google has reported that they are rolling it out and it will take time for it to be fully active. But, the new parameters that Penguin have unveiled are probably already in place. This is a significant move as it means your site is going to have to make the necessary changes right now, or you’re going to struggle to compete in the coming months. And, as you know, getting out of Google jail can be a nightmare.

“It’s pretty unlikely that the real-time update has gone live yet. Google has reported that they are rolling it out and it will take time for it to be fully active. But, the new parameters that Penguin have unveiled are probably already in place. This is a significant move as it means your site is going to have to make the necessary changes right now, or you’re going to struggle to compete in the coming months”

So, What Should You Do Now?

You’re probably thinking that the updates threaten the ranking of your business, and if this is the case, you need to think very carefully about whether or not you’re doing everything possible to deliver quality content. If not, Penguin could be just the wakeup call you need to start making the necessary changes.

The first step is to conduct a full content audit of your site. Go through your content carefully and ensure none of it is breaking the new rules. This is the bare minimum you can do to avoid being banned, but it’s not going to ensure good rankings. Content can still conform to the rules and be poor quality.

Take a good look at your existing content and determine if it adds tangible value to your site. Are your customers responding well to it? Are they engaging with it?

If not, it’s time to fix your content. Reach out to quality content writing services, Iris Content, to help get your content up to scratch and keep you among the top rankings.

Annie Ianko

Content Happiness Advisor

Annie has 18 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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