The Penguin algorithm is actually a way to deal with sites that want to improve their position in search results by buying backlinks or using black hat techniques in link building.
In 2012, Google unveiled its new anti-spam algorithm. The main purpose of this algorithm was to fight against abnormal linkages or spam. The new algorithm later became known as the Penguin Algorithm due to a tweet from Matt Katz.
Although the name has been officially confirmed by Google, so far the philosophy and the reason for its choice have not been officially stated. Of course, there are speculations about this, but none of them seem convincing. Here is a detailed description of this algorithm and everything you need to know about penguins.
If you do not have enough time to read the text, we suggest that you watch the video below to learn more about the Penguin algorithm and how it works:
What is Google Penguin Algorithm?
The Penguin algorithm was a way to combat sites that wanted to gain high rankings using unnatural methods such as spam linking. The Penguin algorithm is still working and is part of the core of Google’s algorithms.
The algorithm visits websites at various intervals and may penalize the offending site if it detects signs of spam linking or other abnormal methods.
Before the introduction of the Penguin algorithm, the number of links played a more important role in scoring websites when Google was reviewed. In other words, before introducing this algorithm, Google bots, when ranking results, paid more attention to the websites that had more links and placed it in the best rankings of the search results page, regardless of the quality of the website content.
What is the main task of the Penguin algorithm?
The Penguin algorithm is Google ‘s answer to increasing the use of black hat SEO and abnormal link building, Matt Cutts said at the 2012 SMX conference:
“We thought about how to deal with poor quality content and introduced the Panda algorithm to solve this problem. But after introducing this algorithm, we realized that this is just the beginning and there are still many spam websites. “Then we designed the penguin algorithm to solve this problem.”
The purpose of this algorithm was precisely to reduce the effectiveness of black hat methods and to take control of the situation by Google. With a better understanding of the linking process, Penguin was able to promote websites that received natural and reputable links, and rank websites that received spam and fake links from high to low.
Initially, Google focused its algorithm on punishing malicious sites only on incoming links and paid no attention to the outbound links of the websites.
If you want to know everything about the Penguin algorithm, buy backlinks!
However, outbound links from the site and internal linking were also considered by the Penguin algorithm.
Fight keyword repetition
The main purpose of the Penguin algorithm is to check the health of linking sites, but one of its side tasks is to fight against keyword stuffing. In the past, in order to get a good position in Google results, it was enough to repeat our desired phrase with a certain percentage in the content.
Do you think 3% of the content should be keyword repetition? Say hello to the penguin…
Excessive attention of SEO experts to this issue led Google to consider other strategies to determine the topic and keyword of the page, and practically repeating or bombarding the keyword became known as one of the black hat SEO techniques. The penguin algorithm detects pages that have used this technique and causes them to not rank well in search results.
Penguin Algorithm Updates
When the Penguin algorithm was first introduced in 2012, it caused fundamental changes in search results. According to official Google Penguins, it directly affected 3% of the results. Of course, the changes to the Penguin algorithm were gradual, and with subsequent updates, the algorithm became more effective. One of the most important changes and updates to this algorithm was released in May 2013, and with this update, another 2.3% of search results were affected by this algorithm.
As we have said, important updates were published for this algorithm and many changes and improvements were made in it. Many of these updates were not even announced, and some of them were officially announced by Google. In the following, we will discuss the changes and updates of the Penguin algorithm that have been officially introduced.
1- The first introduction of Penguin algorithm (1.1) – March 26, 2012
In this update, the information of this algorithm was updated and there was no change in the core of the algorithm.
With the release of Penguin 1.1, websites that quickly removed their spam links were pardoned, and many other websites that were not affected in the first phase of the release were trapped.
2- Penguin Algorithm Update (1.2) – October 5, 2012
On October 5, 2012, Google’s Penguin algorithm was updated to affect search results in different languages. Until now, only English-language sites tasted like penguins.
3- Penguin Changes (version 2.0) – May 22, 2013
Unlike previous updates, this update addressed technical changes in the core of the algorithm and affected how it would affect results.
By making these changes, 2.3% of the results were affected. In this algorithm, Google went ahead of the main page and important categories of websites and examined all pages to find evidence of spam linking.
4- Version 2.1 for quick correction of version 2-4 October 2013
After updating to version 2.0, Google noticed the need for more changes to this algorithm. This update also affected one percent of search results.
5- Penguin Algorithm Information Update (3.0) – October 17, 2014
This time, too, only changes were made to the Google database and the Penguin algorithm, and although it was described as a sweeping change, there was no change in the core of the algorithm.
Google forgave many websites that made up for their mistakes and restored many of their rankings. As usual, websites that escaped Google’s radar were caught by penguins using black hat methods.
6- Last official update (4.0) after two years – September 23, 2016
2 years after updating version 3 of the Penguin algorithm, the latest version of this algorithm was released. With this update, the Penguin algorithm was added to the core of Google algorithm. You might think that with the addition of this algorithm to the basics of Google, the way it works has changed, but it does not; In fact, this changed Google’s view of the algorithm.
With the changes made in the latest version of Penguin, Google’s attitude towards malicious and spammer sites has changed. From here, things get trickier, and this is where the true meaning of Google’s lies lies.
Since September 2016, no official update has been announced for the Penguin algorithm, because with major changes in Google’s main algorithm, there is no need for cross-sectional updates and search results are analyzed and presented in an instant.
Is it possible to return the rank?
In some cases, after webmasters have cleared spam links, they still have not been forgiven and returned. There may be many factors behind this, for example:
- The traffic and rankings obtained were generally unreliable and were obtained through suspicious backlinks.
- Once the old links have been removed, no attempt has been made to obtain natural and valuable links.
- No negative or erroneous backlinks have been removed or these spam links have not been sufficiently removed.
- The problem is generally not with spam links.
When you are forgiven by Google and Google starts to restore your rankings, you should not expect to return to your former position. You may have gained a great deal of ground by buying and earning questionable links, so even if you are forgiven, you should not expect to return to the top rankings at all.
One of the problems for site owners was that it was difficult to estimate the value of the links, so they had to disable all their links. As a result, many of the valuable links on the websites that earned them a place were lost in the process.
Common Mistakes About Google’s Penguin Algorithm
One of the interesting things about SEO knowledge is that there are always new hypotheses and experiments about it (from unreliable sources). This has led to many errors in Google’s algorithms. Here are some common mistakes about the Penguin algorithm.
1. Is a penguin a kind of penalty?
No. Penguins are not a penalty. One of the biggest mistakes with the Penguin Algorithm is that many people refer to the Penguin Algorithm as the Penguin Penalty. While the penguin is part of the core of Google’s algorithm.
2- Will Google notify you if the website is fined?
Another common mistake with the Penguin algorithm is that Google will notify you if it fines your website.
Unfortunately, this is not true. Google Search Console, our only way of communicating with Google, does not provide any information about the reason for the drop in rankings or the loss of your position due to the application of the Penguin algorithm.
3- Disavowing malicious links is the only way to get rid of the fine?
While this method will neutralize many of your low quality and malicious links, you should know that being forgiven by Google requires a lot of time and money.
The ratio of good quality links to malicious links and spam is important.
Therefore, you do not need to focus all your attention on removing and neutralizing malicious links, and it is better to get natural and valid links at the same time. This will likely help boost Google’s trust and return to your position early.
4- Is it impossible to fine the Penguin algorithm?
This is completely rejected and wrong. Although getting rid of fines is a time consuming and difficult process, if you run it well, you can be forgiven by the Penguin algorithm.
As we said, one of the best ways to neutralize malicious links is to get natural and valid links and introduce invalid links through the Disavow tool in the Google Search Console panel.