What Is Google Penguin 4?

Google uses a group of automated algorithms to filter all of the websites and pages it finds on the internet, removing many from it’s results, promoting others and maintaining a stubborn indifference to the remainder. Penguin 4 is the latest incantation of the infamous Penguin algorithm that measures, analyses and filters off-page backlinks pointing to a site.

Prior to Penguin 4, Penguin ran as a separate algorithm to Googles main ranking process. It was a large, unwieldly beast, and was used sporadically to refilter Google main results. Penguin 4 is the first occasion where that filtering process has been built into google ‘realtime’ googlebot results.

This means that for  webmaster, it is technically much faster for you to impact your rankings with good links, or alternatively, much quicker to harm your rankings with poor quality links.

The good news is that becasue penguin 4 is now integral to Googles regular scrape and rank algorithm, when you fix your rank profile, you will see the benefits much faster that before.

There was a time when we had to wait over 12 months for penguin to run again, meaning that if you had be penalised, there was nothing you could do because even if you made the changes needed to improve the quality of your backlink profile, until Penguin rolled again, no rerank was possible.

Those days should be over, meaning that for over excited optimizers, who have been too gungho with their exact match anchor text, drops in SERP’s might only be short term.

What Links Are Penguin 4 Friendly?

There are several key elements to keeping your site Google friendly;

  • Majority URL and Brand Backlinks
  • Quality link sources
  • Relevance
  • Avoid Link Networks
  • Be very sparing and random with exact match anchors

If all of your backlinks were to be created 100% naturally by other website owners finding your content and being so impressed that they wanted to link to it, the bulk of them would use either your company name, your brand, or a variation of your URL. Additionally, some might use ‘click here’, ‘see full article’, ‘more’, etc…… it is natural for you to have these links, so build them.

As a rule of thumb, (and the exact ratios depend on many factors inc; your URl, domain age, quality of existing links, etc) you should keep the density for any exact match keyword below 1%.

If we were to assume you have 100 links, 80 – 90 should be URL, brand and junk links, with 10% being longtail and exact match. This means that for every 100 links pointing to your site, 10 can be different variations of search terms, keywords and phrases, but only if they are different. Once you have 200 links pointing to your site you can begin to think about including another variation of one of your primary keywords.

If you follow these SEO guidelines then Penguin 4 is nothing to be afraid of and your site will benefit from Googles algorithm refinements.

Additional Reading:

What is SEO?