Ever since it was first developed, back in April 2012, Google’s Penguin update has been the main focus for SEO experts all over the world.
The Penguin update is a filter that forms a part of Google’s core algorithm. While the core algorithm takes over 200 factors into consideration to determine page rank, the Penguin update focuses specifically on the links related to website content.
To explain link building in a nutshell – the more links that point to your website, the higher your website’s ranking. However, Google does not treat every link equally. This means that getting random websites to cite your content won’t improve your Google rankings.
This master search engine goes into more detail and tries to determine the authoritativeness of the website that cited your link. Say, for example, Forbes cited a link to a piece of your content that related to finance and investing. Since Forbes is an authoritative website, and both the content is related, your website will go up the ranks of Google’s search engine.
But over the years, SEO experts have figured out how to rank on Google by devising ways of manipulating the system. Today, they have created software that practically automates the link-building process, helping them to improve their page’s ranking.
Thanks to this, SEOs have begun to spam links and help their content become more popular on Google. But with the latest penguin update, link spamming is not an option anymore.
The Penguin 4.0 update was officially put into effect on 23rd September 2016. It’s the latest update, and, according to Google, will be the last.
Penguin 4.0 works in real-time and forms a part of Google’s core algorithm.This is perhaps why it will be the last Penguin update from Google.
The previous updates would crawl and index the websites that Penguin had affected and the results of all the websites would be refreshed at the same time. This reflected the link optimization that various websites had at a certain point in time.
However, Penguin 4.0 works in real time and in sync with the Google algorithm that crawls and indexes a piece of content on a website. This means that changes will be reflected much sooner and page rankings will be far more optimal.
What This Means for Content Writers
Penguin updates have always required website owners and content producers to step up their game. But this latest update completely revolutionises the way a piece of content is ranked by Google, and it means a number of things for content writers.
No More Link Spam
As a content writer today, you need to be careful about the kind of pages and websites that link out to your content. If you’re generating links, ensure that they come from high-quality, highly-relatable websites. If your content isn’t related to the linked website, Google won’t consider it for your website’s ranking.
Even while guest blogging, it’s extremely important to use the right anchor text and ensure that the content is relatable. Also, since the Penguin 4.0 is updated in real time, it’s important for content writers to stay on their toes and ensure that they’re constantly producing high-quality, relevant work.
Recovery is Difficult
The latest Penguin update differs from its predecessors as Google hasn’t mentioned the percentage of search queries that will be affected. They’ve also withheld information on the mechanics of this latest update and how it functions.
The secrecy means that writers need to constantly churn out high-quality, SEO-optimized content if they want to rank high on the Google page. The latest update poses a challenge to anyone looking to cheat the algorithm by employing black-hat SEO tactics; it’s nearly impossible.
Thanks to the latest update, there are no simple shortcuts to recover your website and redeem your Google ranking.
However, the bright side of this update is that it’s a lot more forgiving and won’t penalize you for useless links. The latest Google algorithm calculates a website’s SEO ranking based on the links used along with a number of other factors.
But if you happen to have unrelated or blank links, Google simply leaves these links out of the equation when calculating your ranking.
As a content writer, it’s important to stay updated on the latest developments in the Google algorithm. It’s imperative that content writers stay focused on high-quality, relevant content, learn to optimize their content ethically, and make every link count.