Google confirmed the latest Penguin algorithm update is live now, Sept 23, 2016.
Back in the spring of 2012, Google launched a webspam fighting algorithm aimed at “overoptimization” known as Penguin. The Penguin algorithm filter was designed to filter sites and pages out of the search results if they were found to be using a high number of artificially created backlinks to fake popularity and inflate the site’s search engine rankings. Prior to Penguin, many SEO providers and do-it-yourself webmasters had either knowingly or unknowingly violated Google’s Webmaster Guidelines regarding link schemes.
The frustrating thing about Penguin for those who were hit by it, was that if you removed or disavowed the offending links, you had to wait until the next time Google updated or refreshed the Penguin algorithm. That could take weeks, months or even years. The last Penguin update before this one was in October 2014!
Now, Penguin 4.0 is supposedly running in real time, meaning the adjustments will be made not long after Google sees that spammy links have been removed or disavowed. We’ll have to see if real time really means instant or just that it won’t take weeks, months or years anymore. It is important to remember that Penguin is not the only part of Google’s algorithm that deals with links. It only handles those that are considered “linkspam”.
The new Penguin update is also claimed to be more granular, which is believed to mean that the penalty would be applied to specific pages and links, rather than tanking the entire site.
This was just announced today, September 2013 2016, so the official details available at the moment are few. We’ve been helping website owners and other SEOs deal with Penguin and other Google penalties and filters since before the first Penguin rolled out, so we’ll be digging into what is new and important to know about Penguin 4.0 as soon as possible.