Penguin 4.0 Goes for Real Time Updates

How Google’s Penguin 4.0 update differs from its predecessors

Four penguins (well, for a piece on Penguin 4.0, it is appropriate).
Search engine results, as it happens: Penguin 4.0 is set to create drastic changes to the way in which Google indexes our websites. Image by Fieldwork (via Shutterstock).

Ladies and Gentlemen: it gives us great pleasure to announce that the days of big bang Google updates are over. Long live the Penguin. Woah, stop there…! Before you reach for the champagne, Prosecco or fizzy Vimto, we at Net Sixty Six SEO would like to tell you about a new kind of Google update. Let us introduce you to Penguin 4.0.

In the past, Google updates have been major events. We have had Florida, Hummingbird, and Panda updates as well as Penguin updates, and the Google Dance. The day of any impending update was met with dread among webmasters. It meant several search engine consultancies (Net Sixty Six SEO included) being inundated with clients calling, asking about changes to their page ranking. If you pardon the pun, Penguin 4.0 is a different animal altogether.

Real Time Updates

The most striking difference with Penguin 4.0 is that of real time updates. In days of old, you might have your search engine rankings penalised in one update. If you made the necessary changes to your site, your ranking may have been regained in the next one. Since the 23 September, the waiting game has ceased.

It is also worth noting that the latest Penguin algorithm is only one of over 200 factors that can influence your position on Google. If the amount of content you produce is of high quality and devoid of ill-gotten links, you should be alright.

Another Blitz on Chopped Ham and Pork Links

Previous versions of the Penguin algorithm have been centred around high-quality content and links. Penguin 4.0 in its all singing and all dancing real time glory is no exception. Sites will be penalised for the use of spamming techniques, with the smarter Penguin algorithm being able to discriminate between original and spammed content.

As with previous updates, paid-for links are frowned upon. The more supple algorithm is able to notice link farming practices and purchased links, gained in a short period of time.

Ups and Downs

Some commentators, particularly those on the Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Roundtable websites noticed some changes on Friday [23 September]. The most consistent pattern had been a drop in rankings on the same Friday, followed the restoration of normal service the following day.

One thing which has won plaudits are changes to the ranking system. Previously, some bad SEO practice meant the blacklisting of an entire website. From now on, only individual pages rather than entire sites are penalised. Say for example you wrote a blog post in 2009. The links at the time may have been up to date. Six years on, they may have changed. You could be rewarded for updating that page, which is a good thing for your regular readers as well as your search engine rankings.

How to P-P-P-Pick Up a Penguin 4.0 Boost

We at Net Sixty Six SEO recommend the use of sensible linking techniques. For example, only in the context of the page or blog post. Also, please remember to keep your links and embedded image sources current. This works well on user-friendly grounds as well as search engine rankings. If your website’s a complex beast, go for a content management system. Doing so enables you to keep your site up to date with greater flexibility.

If you have any further queries about Penguin 4.0 or wish to have a search engine friendly website, why not give us a shout? Talk to us on 0845 11 22 530 (our last three digits also read ‘SEO’), or send us an email to Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be delighted to respond to your queries.

Net Sixty Six SEO, 27 September 2016.