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After a wait amounting to couple of years, Google has finally rolled out its major Penguin Update which is the fourth in its installment. The two major upgrades in this update include:

Real-Time Refresh

Penguin has possessed some advanced intelligence to capture websites that are spamming Google’s search results in ways that Google’s regular spamming systems might not be able to detect. Since its introduction in 2012, this has operated on a periodic basis. This Penguin filter would run and catch the spammy sites and these sites would remain penalized until the filter ran next time, even if these websites improved and changed before the next run of filter. And the duration between these runs could take months. Since the last Penguin update (Penguin 3.0) which happened on October 17, 2014, it has been two years for the hit websites to be free.

But according to Google, with this latest release, Penguin has become real-time.

As Google said in its post:

With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page.

Which means as Google recrawls and reindexes pages (which happens constantly), those pages will be assessed by the Penguin filter. Pages will be caught and/or freed by Penguin as part of this regular process.

Page Based Granularity:

From Google’s post:

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

This means the new Penguin algorithm is more granular meaning it will not directly penalize the whole site or domain rather it will just penalize the page or section keeping other pages intact.

And continuing with this news, another good news is that Google has started the rollout of Penguin recoveries for the sites that have been penalized.

Check out the Tweet below from Gary Illyes:

For those who have been hit with the Penguin penalty even after the recovery, they won’t bounce back to where they were pre-Penguin penalty.

This is what Search Engine Land said about it:

Penguin 4.0 devalues link spam now, so those links that once gave you such great rankings now do not count. However, while those spammy links do not count, they also don’t give your site an extra demotion on top of not counting. They simply are devalued; they don’t count for good or for bad.

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