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Last week, Google announced that Penguin 4.0 is now a permanent part of the algorithm. This means that it is constantly running rather than being periodically deployed.

Penguin initially rolled out in 2012 to root out spammy links, usually links that were purchased from sites with little authority in order to improve rankings quickly.

If you have been following Google’s search quality guidelines ( and are focused on building quality and authority so you can effectivly meet your customers’ needs, then you shouldn’t have too much to worry about with this update. In fact, the team here believes the update to the algorithm could have some positive effects.

Faster Recognition of Optimization

If you’ve recently optimized pages, you may see a reward for those behaviors sooner, rather than the old 30-90 days. Also, if you have disavowed spammy links to your site, we would hope that would be recognized sooner. Although it’s unlikely you can fully recover from past bad linking practices, you will more quickly see whether your efforts yielded any results.

Will This Help New Businesses on Old Domains?

We wonder what this update means for new sites that reside on old domains that once followed black hat practices. For example, if you purchased a parked domain because it was the name of your new business, would you continue to be penalized if that domain was used as a link farm back in 2010? Or will Google now recognize that this is a totally new site, new owner, new content, now serving a legitimate purpose and grant authority and rankings appropriately?

What Do You Need to Do?

Now we come to the question of the hour: what do you need to do in light of Penguin 4.0? Disavow and monitor. If you haven’t already done so, build a disavow list (, submit the list, and then monitor to see if the penalties have been lifted.

Remember, this algorithm update isn’t new. It’s been around for four years. So unless you’ve ignored it, there’s nothing new and different you need to do now. If you have been ignoring the update, review our original Penguin ( post from May, 2012 for more detailed advice.

Aryn is a Sr. Director of Earned Media and Creative Services at The Search Agency, where she’s worked for eleven years. Her previous experience includes managing the Creative teams, developing new business, creating client strategies, developing new Earned products and tools, being the lead project manager, overseeing workflow for Paid and Earned, implementing new strategic processes, leading client intake process, and developing internal efficiency projects.

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