It would be absolutely mind-boggling if someone were able to compile all the text that has been spilled across forums, blogs, and comment sections about Penguin 4.0. For well over a year now, SEO
experts (and those who pretend to be) have been making predictions about the final Penguin update—what it will do, how it will be different from previous versions, when it will hit the Google search algorithm, and whether it has already hit and Google just didn’t tell us. As frenzied as the discussions get and as anxious as people are to find out when Penguin 4.0 will take effect, let’s remember something important:
It is actually a great thing for all of us that Penguin’s final update is taking so long to make it to the search results pages. You don’t believe us? Here are three reasons that you should be happy about the delays.
3. It freaks out blackhat SEOs.
The forum updates that sound the most panicked are not written by SEO consultants who are relying on solid content, balanced keyword usage, and organic links to promote their clients’ websites. They are written by people who know that as soon as Penguin 4.0 hits and fills in the loopholes that they have been relying on, they will have a matter of days (or hours) to find new ways to cheat the system and boost their clients’ sites in the search results without improving those sites’ actual quality. If nothing else, those panicked updates show you whom you should avoid working with—living in dread of what Google is going to do next shows that an SEO provider is trying to hide spam/blackhat tactics.
2. It gives you more time to fix any problems your website has.
One nice thing that we do know about Penguin 4.0—as long as Google’s representatives are giving us an accurate impression—is that it is not going to rock the world of SEO. Its changes will largely be an improvement on (and expansion of) what the first three Penguin updates did:
- Uncover bought/traded/spam/non-organic links
- Unmask cloaking techniques
- Better determine the quality and usefulness of a page’s content
If a past SEO provider reworked your website and you aren’t sure exactly what they did, the delay of Penguin 4.0 gives you a chance to find out and fix any lingering problems before Penguin penalizes you for them. If you are a nervous website owner in this position, a great step is to ask an SEO consultant that you trust to conduct a full audit of your site and look for anything that will jeopardize your search results once Penguin tightens down on spam SEO tactics.
1. Penguin 4.0, like cheese, will get better with time.
In a vague sense, we actually do know why it’s taking Penguin 4.0 so long to arrive. Representatives of Google, when bombarded by questions, reply that the fine-tuning of the update is simply taking the Penguin team much longer than anticipated. That makes sense, since Penguin’s continuous analysis (as opposed to a one-time inspection) will be a much more complicated process. If you need to catch up on the past three Penguin updates and what we have been told about 4.0 so far, you can do that by watching our most recent YouTube video and listening to our latest podcast.
Instead of clamoring for Penguin to take effect already so we can finally know exactly what we’re dealing with, we should be patiently waiting for the team to make all the adjustments necessary before unleashing the effects of this important update. If Penguin 4.0 is not completely ready when it is released, it could incorrectly penalize some sites, overlook cleverly hidden blackhat SEO tactics, and otherwise miss its mark. If that happens, high-quality websites will suffer and those that are trying to cheat the system will enjoy good rankings that they don’t deserve.
So instead of fretting about the shadow of Penguin 4.0 looming over us, take advantage of the delay! Give your website one more close look, or ask an expert SEO provider to do it for you and tell you if you have any important changes left to make.