Google released Penguin 4.0, now runs in real time within the core search algorithm.

Google has officially confirmed that they have now began rolling out the live real-time version of Penguin 4.0. It has almost been 2 years since Google has confirmed their last Penguin 3 update, which happened on October 17th, 2014.

Key Changes to Penguin 4.0

  • Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google’s algorithms would take that into consideration very fast. But others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we re-crawl and re-index a page. It also means we’re not going to comment on future refreshes.
  • Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.

Google Penguin Timeline

Here is a quick rundown of the previous Google Penguin updates dating back to Google’s first release in 2012.

  • Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
  • Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
  • Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 4.0 & real-time on September 23, 2016


Penguin is Now Core

Penguin has joined Panda as part of Google’s core ranking algorithm.  This means it is “baked into” the Google search algorithm, which consists of over 200 different signals.

From an SEO perspective, Penguin being part of the core algorithm won’t have any different impact on the search results that would be visible to searchers.  But it means that it is now part of the main search a algorithm rather than a filter.

Penguin now joins Panda as part of the core algorithm.