Penguin 4.0: What is it and how to keep it happy

If you’ve ever looked at analytics and freaked out after seeing a tremendous drop in your traffic, you’d probably think that Google has punished you with an undeserved penalty (or deserved, you guilty one!;) if you’ve asked yourself how suspicious your harmless link profile is, and if you tremble at the possibility of infuriating Penguin 4.0 due to your link building strategy, you have reached the correct post blog. Here you will learn how to keep Google’s fearsome penguin happy so it does not affect your SEO strategy.

Penguin 4.0, is one of Google’s main algorithms, which, within a multitude of updates, algorithmic changes and constant changes in search results, is one of the main algorithms that any SEO professional has to take into account in his/her online marketing strategy. If you do not know it yet, you should never forget that Penguin 4.0 is an update to Google’s algorithm that began to operate five years ago, whose objective is to analyze the indexed websites, in constant search for patterns of suspicious links, created by manipulating the ranking of websites in search results.

Recommended: Why is Google’s search algorithm such a secret?

Primarily, what this ‘virtual police agent’ of Google pursues are the cheats and tricks of many SEO experts (mainly, Black Hat experts, so to say) to improve their positioning. However, when this stern penguin is happy, due to the good practices of the users, it also rewards the naturalness of the links and the good quality of the indexed contents with better positions.

What angers the Google penguin? Some will say that it is a matter of common sense:

  • The over location of links in several sections (yes, you know, “friendly websites.”)
  • The creation and posting of copied or poor-quality articles in different websites.
  • The exchange of links of different topics (with reciprocal links.)
  • The overuse of links in low-quality directories.
  • Comments in a continuous and abusive way in blogs without moderation.
  • The buying and selling of links.
  • The massive creation of profiles in forums (fake or not!)
  • Non-natural links located in different parts of a website, either the footer or sidebar, repeated continuously.

But above all, Google seeks to monitor any alteration that smells of SPAM:

  • Excessive meta tag optimizations
  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Misleading redirects
  • Tiny Texts
  • Invisible texts

It is very important to keep in mind that Penguin 4.0 will now become part of Google’s main algorithm, and this means that no one will be able to know when future updates will be released with the same precision that has been known so far. Those are terrible news for some people, since, from now on, Penguin will be updated in real time, and this will prevent Black Haters from learning how to evade their fault detection system, as well as their corresponding penalties. Penguin 4.0, as an artificial intelligence monster from a science fiction nightmare, is now updated live, at the same time it detects any anomaly on the Internet.

Read also: How to get deeply into technical SEO and Web Analytics, by ReputationDefender

Nevertheless, if an SEO strategy is based on good SEO practices (White Hat,) this algorithmic update will benefit you, since you can act quickly against any negative SEO attack and you will not have to wait for Google to penalize and decriminalize, thus avoiding months of loss of benefits and visibility in the SERPs.

Now, if you want the penguin to love you, you should focus on the inclusion of natural links in your website for the benefit of users eager for information. For many experts (yes, especially Black Hat experts), it will no longer be enough to review their link profiles every time a new algorithm update is announced. Everything will be more difficult for cheaters due to real-time updates, as penalties can arrive at the least expected moment.

The best thing to do here is to spend more time developing a link building strategy. This can be vital for Penguin 4.0 not to put its merciless eyes on your website or blog. Well, there is a basic and key principle, still current today: in terms of SEO, it counts more quality than quantity.

Image courtesy of Craig R. Kirkby at

Similarly, the existence of a constant balance between the typology of links (especially if a link profile contains 90% of DoFollow links,) may save your visibility. Therefore, balancing DoFollow with NoFollow links may keep Google’s evil pet to leave your website in peace (and it may also reward you, of course.) Being above a 50% and never getting over an 80% of DoFollow links is the best thing you can do. Likewise, if you do your best to get all the incoming links to come from related websites, you can breathe easy about your link building strategy.

Finally, remember: You should work for users and their information needs, not for the fearsome Google penguin!


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