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Do you know what Google Penguin Update is? A codename originally announced on 24 April 2012 for an update of Google algorithm is termed as Google Penguin Update. The violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines due to a subsequent decrease in search engine ranking of sites gave the main aim to the update.

Effect on SERP

According to the estimation of Google, approximately 3.1% of the English queries and 3% queries in Chinese, Arabic, and German queries because of Penguin effect are rated due to high spamming languages. The manipulative techniques used by the sites to achieve higher rank get penalized by the update guiding principles. For negative link building Pre-Penguin sites use it to get traffic and rank higher, penguin rolled out the content which means great and good content gets recognized, and spammy content gets penalized with no rank benefits.

In January 2012, to target sites with little content and too many ads, Page Algorithm Update which is also termed as Top heavy update gets released. Penguin 3 and Penguin 4 with releasing dates as 5 October 2012 and 22 May 2013 affect 0.3% and 2.3% queries respectively. On October 4, 2013, Penguin 5 got released that affects 1% queries that contain recent Google Penguin algorithm update.

Confirmed Penguin updates

  • Penguin 1 got released on 24 April 2012 with the impact of 3.1% queries
  • Penguin 2 got released on 26 May 2012 with 0.1% query impact
  • Penguin 3 got released on 5 October 2012 with 0.3% query impact
  • Penguin 4 (Penguin 2.0) got released on 22 may 2013 with the impact of 2.3% queries
  • Penguin 5(Penguin 2.1) got released on 4 October 2013 with the impact of 1% queries
  • Penguin 6 (Penguin 3.0) got released on 17 October 2014 with impact ˂1% English queries
  • Penguin 7 (Penguin 4.0) got released on 23 September 2016

Penguin 4.0 (7th updated Penguin)

Google Penguin proclaimed that now it has become part of core algorithms on 23 September 2016 which implies that real-time updates are possible. Hence, an announcement with future refreshes by Google will be executed. The sites get assessed in real-time thus ranking gets impacted by it. The webmaster had to wait for next update so as to get released from Penguin penalties during last year’s. Furthermore, a more granular update which opposes prior updates known as Penguin 4.0 got released, since it affects sites on URL.

Finally, it differs from rest of the prior Penguins versions as they demote website through the finding of bad links. Instead, links get discounted which implies its ignorance and no longer counting toward ranking of websites. This decreases the use of disavow files. Google makes use of both human reviewers and algorithm so as to identify unnatural, deceptive or manipulative links.


The usual process of Google Penguin penalty is to eliminate bad links by manually as well as disavow tools after request filling of reconsiderations.

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