Google Core Update, not Penguin 4.0 was bigger than Penguin 3.0
After waiting for almost a year, Google has confirmed that they’re working on a real-time Google Penguin update.
Awaiting the major Penguin update in January as announced by Google after shifting it for many months,
I called Google Penguin 4.0 to start already.
What looked like Google Penguin 4.0 was a core algo update that was bigger than Penguin 3.0 last year and almost feelt like the massive Penguin 2.1 in 2013.
The “real-time feature” implies that effects of the Penguin algorithmic filter, i.e. demotions and promotions of organic rankings for a website due to link spam (unnatural links) happen faster than in the past. In the past, every Google Penguin update brought drastic changes.
While Google has still to confirm this new major Penguin Update, I am confident,
that “this is it.” Google Penguin 4.0 is rolling out.
Gary Illyes mentioned that the Google engineers are “still testing”, but for me this looked like the “final release candidate.”
Gary and Zineb Ait (in French) today confirmed - after almost 48 hours of waiting for a useful statement that this major shake up
is indeed a core algo update and not (yet) a Penguin update.
— Zineb Ait (@Missiz_Z) 12. Januar 2016
— Gary Illyes (@methode) 12. Januar 2016
This means, that it was technically a Panda update, but Panda was integrated into the core algorithm, so is therefore no more a separate update they need to confirm.
Hey wait, but if Penguin goes real-time, that would mean it also needs to be integrated into the core algorithm... hmnn food for thought, if it's not Penguin (the thing attached on top of the core, but the same link spam analyis component integrated into the core, would it be ok to say it's "not Penguin"?
Last night I then wondered if Google's John Müller and Gary actually continued the practice of confirming Google Penguin Updates, and remembered, that from End of October til December (!) in 2014 we were wondering if and how the Google Penguin 3.0 rolled out. I even found that post where Google's John Müller confirmed in December 2014 that Penguin would be an "Everpenguin" already the "Real-Time Version" of Google Penguin that was confirmed yet a year later.
I already heard some people expect Google Penguin 4.0 in March 2016 - no idea where that date comes from, but apparently Google themselves are unsure on what RankBrain, the Google Core algo and all those attachments to it - be it the past Panda or the (maybe still external filter) Penguin algorithm be if confirmation takes a day or two from official spokesmen.
I am still expecting the Google Penguin Update sooner than March 2016.
Anyways, read on to see my perspectives from January 10 and what led me to call Penguin 4.0 rolling out.
It was a lot of work and I guess some people still haven't read it.
Oh and Don't forget to signup to my waiting list to notify you as soon as a the next Google Update has rolled out.
Table of contents
- Google Penguin 4.0 is rolling out
- What we know about Google Penguin 4.0
- Impact of the Google Penguin 4.0 Update
- How the Google Penguin 4.0 roll-out happened (Timeline constantly updated)
- What we can expect from Google Penguin 4.0
- What I recommend moving forward with Google Penguin 4.0
- Get notified about my updated research
Google Penguin 4.0 is rolling out.
Gary Illyes mentioned that the Google engineers are “still testing”, but for me this looks like the “final release candidate.”
Today January 10 marks a “level of activity is like nothing we’ve seen in 2015. It’s bigger than Penguin 3”.
The only update with the greater impact on search results was PayDay Loan update back in May 2014.
I firmly believe, based on my experience, the history of Google Penguin and what I’ve seen the last days,
this is the Google Penguin 4.0 rollout, the real time update.
It might be not finished yet, maybe just a pre-test or the beginning of how “Real Time Penguin” will continue to look like.
I’ll update the post as Google confirms a full rollout of course.
But looking at what we see, they are shaking it up across the globe already with Penguin 4.0.
Because of the real-time aspect, Google can shuffle different markets and verticals
independently, and that’s exactly what we have seen since the New Year’s Eve.
Read more below about ongoing discussions in our LRT Associate forum.
The SERP fluctuations on serp.watch also looks crazy.
At the same time, Mozcast seems to miss the party over the weekend and stops Jan 8
What we know about Google Penguin 4.0
Google’s has confirmed it will be the “real-time” Penguin Update.
Google’s has confirmed it will not be a “Slow Rollout Google Update” as with recent Panda.
@DonnieStrompf nope, this will be the real-time version.
— Gary Illyes (@methode) 7. Januar 2016
We can, therefore, can expect a lot more shakeups with the fast updates.
The SERPS have been shaken up massively since the beginning of January, and many tools and experts reported shake-ups bigger than other Google updates.
Impact of the Google Penguin 4.0 Update
We already know that this Google update affects many different countries like Germany, UK, and the US.
— Stefan Kohl (@KohlStefan) 9. Januar 2016
— Andy1st Driving (@andy1stdriving) 9. Januar 2016
— Maximilian (@Guy_Max) 9. Januar 2016
— Dawn Anderson (@dawnieando) 9. Januar 2016
What is fascinating at Mozcast tough is that since New Year’s Eve the influence of the “Big 10” domains seems to fade dramatically.
Those “Big 10” are BIG:
How the Google Penguin 4.0 roll-out happened (Timeline constantly updated)
Seeing significant positive changes here on the east coast for long time penguin hit sites.
this is not (only) Penguin, but imho a refresh or update of the core algo.
I am guessing this is a test run of the real-time Penguin that's supposed to be released this month.
Biggest update in years...
January 10, 2016: Dawn Anderson shows the major shakeup in perspective – Huge spike, isn’t it?
January 1 2016: Multiple SEOs in Germany reported drops in different verticals – be it prescription glasses 12/31 or finance high peak on 12/29, Health 12/29+30 and now 6+7 Jan.
In general, Google seems to update and shake different countries at the same time. This is something very much expected to continue to happen once the Penguin 4.0 is fully rolled out.
What we can expect from Google Penguin 4.0
Following Google Penguin since its first launch in April 2012 we’ve analyzed and recovered hundreds and thousands of website
and put together a lot of material, experience, and historical data that trains our Link Detox Genesis algorithms.
You can join a webinar with me where I explain to you
- What the “real-time” aspect of Google Penguin 4.0 means for you and your business
- How link penalties will work in the future
- A look back in history of Google Penguin Updates – we’ve followed every detail since April 2012
- What new risks and threats to your business the Google Penguin 4.0 update brings
- What new opportunities the Google Penguin 4.0 update brings
- How you can best handle the new “fast” Google Penguin update
- How great content marketing can help you in the Penguin 4.0 era
- How the “Big Plan of Google” finally comes together in 2016 with Penguin 4.0
Just click here to sign up and watch the webinar.
What I recommend moving forward with Google Penguin 4.0
It’s still early in this update.
However some principles remain and one new aspect is the game changer – “Real Time”.
How much real-time that “Real Time Penguin” might be, it’s going to be a lot more frequent.
But there’s still network and processing power needed for all those massive crawls and calculations,
so I wouldn’t be surprised if “real-time” really translates into weekly or daily.
Link Risk Management, the practice of proactive link audits and disavows gets, even more, important
for your business – and we always recommended to do it on a weekly basis. Maybe faster in the future.
The post-penguin basic principles for link building and SEO remain
- A link can help or hurt - positive to negative effect, vs. positive or nothing pre-Penguin
- You need to analyze your FULL backlink profile – it’s about ratios. It’s wrong to think that the few percent
that Google Search Console gives you in links would be enough to audit. And don’t show any penalized sites,
so you’re definitely missing out if you’re not aggregating all sources you can. LRT was made for that.
- Use a machete, not a scalpel for bad links – I know that it’s tough to let a so-so link go, but remember it’s about ratios
- Disavow shady scraper links – Google has better things to do than detect all sorts of scraper spam, so they put it on us
- Be careful with redirects – as I found out in Penguin 2.0 update Google passes penalties on with redirects for a while now
- Be careful with redirects 2.0 – temporary redirects are handled differently than just a few years ago and can convert into permanent redirects. Did you know?
- Content relevance and the “AI” part – “Rankbrain” is here – Google rolled out their new machine-learning in October 2015 that can and will impact search results.
this will make results, even more, unpredictable for Google themselves as well. Let’s see how this works out.
What did I miss? What did you spot already?
Do you also believe this the Penguin 4.0 rollout?
Please let me know in the comments or
via our contact form and I’d be happy to get back to you as soon as possible.
Get notified about my updated research
Signup below to be the first to know about new research and case-studies when they become published.
With the Superhero Plan you can perform link audits, link cleanup, link disavow boost, competitive research, professional SEO and backlink analysis for your own or your competitor's sites.
You can avoid a Google Penguin Penalty! Learn all about the Real-Time Google Penguin Update in this free webinar.
Join our free 21 Day Link Strategy Training below
Signup to receive snack sized bits of knowledge about Link Research Strategies, SEO Tactics & features of LinkResearchTools platform and technologies.
Bonus: signup you will also receive a free copy of the eBook "7 Golden Rules of Link Building" for immediate download.