We are going to talk about the Google Penguin algorithm update in all of its glory. The birdy was first introduced to the triple w world in April of 2012.

What is a Google Penguin Update?

The Penguin update is for Google to eliminate websites from search results that violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines. It specifically targets websites that manipulated the number of links pointing to a page.

Backlinks should be naturally given and earned from other relevant websites. On the contrary, having your website’s links in content spams, link farms, and link schemes will lead to damaging effects on all of your organic traffic and SEO efforts.


As of October 13th, 2016, Google has officially confirmed the release of Google Penguin 4.0 real time algorithm. The live update, which was initially rolled out on September 23, 2016, is going to be one of Google’s core algorithms.

How does it affect websites? It means that websites previously impacted by earlier versions of Penguin have the opportunity to recover much faster. According to Google, the latest Penguin algorithm brings more “granular” focus in terms of penalizing link spams.

In other words, Penguin has taken a more intuitive and targeted approach to punishing webpages with bad links. The effects will happen shortly have Google re-crawls and re-indexes a page. As far as we know, pages with high spam signals will be devalued in ranking, but the entire website will not lose ranking altogether.

With that said if your website suffered traffic loss from spammy links and you have done a great job cleaning it up, Penguin real time will allow your website to be redeemed with re-crawling and re-indexing.

4 Activities Penguin Penalizes

  • Link schemes such as buying and selling links, as well as excessive link spamming
  • Tactics such as using highly keyword-optimized anchor links within content
  • Keyword stuffing content and overly repeat the same keywords in order to fool search engines
  • Low quality or duplicate content that deceives users will be penalized by both Google Penguin and Panda update

5 Ways to Avoid Google Penguin Penalty

1. Improve Links Value

Google cares about the quality of links coming to your website, not the quantity. The bottom line is, do not buy into SEO black hat schemes, literally.

That means stay away from buying backlinks and paying for guest bloggers from blogging networks. This can cause you to lose all the rankings. SEO link building is a long-term effort that involves making original and useful content. Good link back referrals will naturally follow with proper SEO practice.

2. Increase Content and Keyword Relevancy

For example, if your website is about shoes, do not include irrelevant links from completely unrelated websites such as car dealerships or food blogs. Non-relevant topics can result in Google penalty even if the content is of quality.

Likewise, if your content contains an abnormal amount of repetitive keywords with links, Penguin sees it as spam and can forfeit your website’s ranking.

3. Work on Linkable Assets

Tools, applications, or any useful content that is link-worthy assets can attract referrals and mentions. These may be your anchor content and key resources that contribute to valuable long-term link building.

4. Use Disavow tool

Google’s Disavow tool in Webmaster tells Google which URLs or domains should not be giving you credit or backlinks. This allows you to disallow backlinks that your website should not be associated with. By doing this, you can avoid Penguin penalty by removing yourself from spam website.

However, before taking this step, you should always try to reach out to that domain’s webmaster and request your website URL to be removed. If this step fails, then utilize Google’s disavow tool.

5. Perform Link Clean Up for Data Refresh

Whether or not your website was caught in the Penguin penalty hurdle, if it still has bad links, remove them immediately.

As of date, the latest release of Penguin Everflux happened on December 10, 2014. It impacted about 1% of queries according to SearchEngineLand. Your chance of recovery comes with every new release of the Penguin update. Judging from the past updates, only one happens every year.

The rumored Live Penguin 4.0 update was speculated to happen in 2016. Websites that have been hit by Penguin in the past can anticipate the data refresh that comes with the new algorithm release. This is the opportunity for these websites to be reconsidered for ranking again.

Practice Good SEO

It is not that difficult to stay unharmed from the little bird. Actually, if you have already stayed on top of good SEO practice, there is nothing to worry about.

The bottom line is to not participate in questionable SEO fads. Simply provide awesome content and adopt the right SEO link building strategies. Over time, your website ranking will grow steadily.