Over the past few days, website owners and SEO professionals have seen dramatic changes in Google rankings. While some people have been quick to guess that the shakeups signal the promised real time Google Penguin rollout, other reports suggest that this may not be the case, but rather a multifaceted search quality refresh. This article aims at explaining what this could be based on the available information as well as looking into what other reports from around the web have to say.
The reason why lots of people have been asking the question – is this a Google Penguin 4.0 Update is because Google has been talking about this update for months now and the beginning of this year was the designated rollout period. Also, experience has it that a few algorithm updates can have the magnitude of impact on rankings as what has been witnessed. Unless the impact was caused by a major algorithm update such as Penguin, nothing else can be attributed to it.
Currently, there are over 200 ranking factors which if one is tweaked nothing much in terms of ranking is bound to change unless the tweaked factor forms the building block of one of the original algorithms such as Penguin or Panda. So in answering the question-is this a Google Penguin 4.0 Update, lots of dynamics still need to be looked at.
What Reports from Around the Web Say
Lots of SEO and paid ranking experts have been observing the unfolding events as far as the promised Google Penguin rollout is concerned. According to the SearchEngine Roundtable, Google may be testing something big or a core ranking update, but no one can tell whether it is a Google Penguin or not. Link Research is almost certain that Google could be rolling out their Penguin 4.0 which seems to be bigger and more powerful than Penguin 3.0 Update done in 2014. Inasmuch as Google engineers are reported to be still testing the Update, Link Research in view of the level of activity experienced sees this as the final release candidate.
Inasmuch as no one can firmly say that it is a Penguin rollout, there are several observations made that can help us deduce what could be in the offing. Here is what we know about the latest Google Update.
Global Impact – The fluctuations witnessed were much broader in scope than Penguin and at this stage, it can be confidently reported that it is a multipurpose update which brings together a number of search quality parameters.
Link Spam – Chances are the Update hasn’t completed its rollout because some shocking websites have appeared in prime positions in Google search results indicating the effect of link networks and anchor text manipulation. However, if the rollout is complete then it may have to be rolled back because then it would be a failure.
Localisation – There are hints that this change is localisation related because some websites are showing double listings; local organic and classic organic.
Snippets – The reason why some people feel the latest Google Update is just but a test is because a number of search results show longer and very detailed snippets which have completely disregarded Meta description.
While still digesting at what these fluctuations could amount to, it is important to think prospectively at what a Real Time Penguin 4.0 Update will do. Since penguin is a link-based algorithm, the largest impact would be link related. Bad actors in link building will therefore be punished severely so that others will learn the lesson and stop gaming Google.
Being a real time Google Penguin, the Update would run constantly instead of sporadic meaning good practices will be awarded on a continuous basis and sites that have been punished before and changed to comply with the Webmaster guidelines can expect a prompt appraisal as opposed to waiting for another update.
Amidst the confusion and uncertainty pertaining to the nature of the fluctuations in rankings, you need to be on the safe side. As experts in the field of SEO and paid search rankings, we have some Google Penguin 4.0 recommendations we can make to help you.
The topmost is prioritization of your link risk management which includes proactive link audits so as to ensure that your inbound and outbound links meet the requirements of Google guidelines. We recommend that you do your link audit on a weekly basis or even oftentimes in future.
In view of the power of links, you should comprehensively analyse your backlink profile and chop off whatever link that doesn’t serve you well. You can use the disavow tool to bar shady scraper links. To sum up our Google Penguin 4.0 recommendations, you need to bear in mind that content still remains king and duplication will certainly be punished and this time severely.
If your website has lost position or even vanished, we can help get in contact here to find out how