Penguins are super cute creatures that delight zoo visitors and artic dwellers with their playful antics. The Google Penguin update wasn’t nearly as adorable for the 3-5% of websites that lost their ranking.

Recently Google announced that Penguin is officially part of their core algorithm. What does that mean for your website? Let’s find out!

Penguin Then and Now

When Penguin was first introduced it was meant to encourage “white hat” search engine optimization – like what we do here at SearchRPM – and discourage “black hat” webspam tactics (something we never, ever do). Penguin targets webspam websites that don’t follow Google’s quality guidelines.

The websites that were hit by the Penguin algorithm were those that used keyword stuffing, spun content and inserted links into content where they made absolutely no sense. At the time Google wouldn’t divulge the specifics of the Penguin algorithm for obvious reasons, but they did tell webmasters and SEO experts that they should focus on creating high quality content.

The Penguin algorithm update happened in April of 2012, which is essentially an eon in Google time. During the last four and a half years their team continued to test and develop the Penguin algorithm.

Penguin Goes Granular

Catching those sneaky black hat tactics takes fairly sophisticated search spiders. So Google has gone more granular with the Penguin algorithm. Instead of affecting the entire website it specifically devalues the spam.

Penguin is Now Real Time

The engineers at Google went one step further with Penguin by making it real time. That means when an affected website is improved to meet Google’s quality standards it’s noted by the Penguin algorithm as soon as the site is recrawled and reindexed. Before Penguin had to be refreshed periodically before it would register that a flagged website had been improved.

We like to remind clients that Penguin is just one of Google’s 200+ unique signals. If you want first page ranking you have to play by the Rules of the Web. That’s why we take a three-pronged approach that focuses on technical SEO, on-page optimization with high quality content and natural link building. It covers all of the bases for sustainable ranking.

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By Michael Ramirez
SearchRPM Founder


Michael Ramirez is the Founder of SearchRPM, an Austin, TX based search marketing company that’s well-versed in Search Engine Optimization best practices. You can follow Michael Ramirez on Twitter @openmic0323 or on Google+ to see what he’s up to next.