If that title sounds like the ramblings of a lunatic, then there’s a lot you need to know about Penguin.
Penguin is Google’s search algorithm designed to punish sites that use black-hat link building for Search Engine Optimization.
And now, according to the Official Google Webmaster Central blog, Penguin is now part of Google’s core algorithm. Penguin hasn’t been updated since the Penguin Panic of 2014 so this is kind of a big deal.
Real-Time Updates: In the past, Penguin’s evaluation of your site would stick around long after you made improvements. Now search rank changes will be refreshed MUCH faster.
Page-Specific Ranking: Rather than punishing an entire site for a few bad pages, Penguin now on ranks on a page-by-page basis.
Now for the “need to know” part
If you’re not an SEO professional, this might look like a bunch of technical details you can’t do anything with. But that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Have you checked your search rank today? If not, go do it now (as in right now).
If you’re not coming up on the first page for the terms your customers would use to find you, then you have a big problem.
Or more precisely, you have a huge opportunity to help Google show your site to people who are looking for what you have.
Behind all the technical details about algorithms and optimization, Google is telling you exactly how to do it, and they’re actually making it easier for YOU to be found (unless you’re a black-hat spammer, that is).
By punishing over-scheming SEO, they’re rewarding good content that people like to link to.
And this is territory we’re all familiar with, and anyone (with a bit of effort) can be good at.
So what should you do?
- Create content that’s genuinely useful and worth linking to
- Don’t pack your site with excessive keywords, Penguin hates that
- If your Site or certain pages aren’t showing up in Google Search, use Google’s Links to Your Site tool to see if shady links are dragging you down.
Beyond these tactical details though, the most important thing to understand is what all of this says about Google itself.
For many years, Google has worked aggressively to surface content that’s fresh, useful, and relevant. So if that’s your core approach to your digital presence, you’ll keep climbing in the Search Results. If not, you’ll gradually become unfindable.