It’s been two years since Google updated Penguin and just recently, it made it a part of the core algorithm. The Penguin 4.0 update offers something new – a real-time signal which means this is the last update to this algorithm.

What the heck am I talking about? All right, let’s break it down. In 2012, Google introduced Penguin, a spam filter that captures sites that are allegedly spamming Google’s search results that Google may have missed through its usual spam systems. Penguin only operated on a periodical basis which means if you had a website that was considered spam, Google would penalize you. And since Penguin would only run once in a while, even if you updated your website with quality and optimized content, it could take months for you to recover. That means penalized sites had to wait two years for Google to update Penguin to get back up the search engines. Yikes.

Well all that has changed now as Penguin will now monitor websites on a constant basis. Every time Google crawls and reindexes your site, Penguin will be hard at work making sure you’re not spam. This also means that if you update your site, it will be freed within a day or two.

In addition, Penguin has gotten a little more interested in the details, or as Google calls it, “more granular.” This means that instead of penalizing the whole site for one spammy page as it did in the past, that page will be affected and not your website. So you might see a whole sections getting penalized, but not the site on whole.

So you know that page you wrote maybe a year or two ago that’s chock full of keywords with really not-so-useful information? Yeah, chances are that’s getting hit by Penguin. We’ve said this time and time again – you don’t want to write to rank for a keyword. Even if by some miracle your web page passes the spam filters, expect a terrible bounce rate.

When you’re writing content for your website, you may think your main purpose is to get a high ranking so you get the customers. This is the mindset of so many businesspeople and marketers that Google has to create these alogrithms so its users can find the quality information their looking for. Just remember the following when you’re writing your content and you won’t even have to worry about Penguin:

  • Make sure the content is informational and interesting enough to keep your visitor’s attention.
  • Don’t jam with keywords. Remember, if you want to come up for the keywords “Cleveland furniture store,” you only need to use it once or twice in your copy. There are so many variations of that phrase that people may search for that you want to rank for as many as possible.
  • The rankings only slightly matter. People will find your listing whether you are listed on the first page or on the fifth. If you’re listed on the second page for Cleveland furniture store, you’ll still get customers as long as your page is optimized. And if you’re patient enough, Google will reward you for it too.