Penguin 4.0 - The Changes and What To Do

Penguin 4.0 - Let's Talk

Penguin 4.0 is here. Omi Sido, Michael Stricker, Zara Altair, and Bill Hartzer in conversation on the effects of the new link quality Penguin algorithm and steps to take to optimize your site. The benefits to Penguin as part of the main Google algorithm means that businesses no longer have to wait years to increase rank.

The conversation discusses many issues related to links on websites.  Refer to the time stamp below.

Michael Stricker:

1) Penguin 4.0 has already had the effect of recovering rank for many pages that disavowed "bad links".

2) Googlers verified that Penguin 4.0 removed the threat of ranking "demotion" due to engineered links. With this cautionary note, from Gary Illyes’ Pubcon keynote October 13, 2016: ‘If Penguin sees signs of manipulation, it can decide to discount ALL the links, which can be pretty bad for a site.”

3) Googlers specified the effect of links, would be limited to “devaluation”, either boosting "PageRank" or not. Either the link helps, or does not, but there would be no punitive effect FROM PENGUIN. This does not mean that manual penalties and filters may not be imposed.

4) Incorporation of Penguin into the ‘core algorithm’ enables it to act to devalue links with each routine crawl of target and source. No more 2-year waits for an “update” to run. This may be called “real-time”, though it is not, strictly speaking.

5) For several years, marketing discussions and budgets have been more and more focused on Content Marketing, and that is only ONE of the TWO top ranking factors, according to Googler Andrey Lippatsev. Now, links will regain attention.

Highlights Time Stamped

3:02 Brief history of Penguin

6:23 Are links still important? Content, Links, and RankBrain.

9:52 Which is more important: content or links?

11:24 User experience signals in content

15:15 What the Penguin update is

18:46 Google crawl impact; old disavow signals

20:16 New Penguin part of the core algorithm

25:02 Penguin now affects each page rather than entire domain

32:23 What if I experiment with links on one page? Can trigger manual trigger.

36:16 Do all algorithms work on a page level, not just new Penguin?

39:46 Broken links and content

45:27 What to do if backlinks removed but penalty still in place

50:55 Google best practice: first try to get the links removed

52:23 When it's OK to remove a url from the disavow file

54:05 What is a low-quality link?

59:56 Best tool for Penguin audit? Search Console, Majestic, SEMrush, Screaming Frog, ahrefs, Moz, etc.

1:04:47 Value of local links

1:05:45 Is replicating best backlinks from competitors a good idea?

1:08:20 What is the correct way to outreach?

1:11:49 What about social media?

1:15:42 How do you think the new algorithm will affect companies in the long term?

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