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After the third update on October 7, 2014, Google today rolled out a new Penguin update, which will be the last update for this algorithm. Google uses about 200 signals to bring you the aptest search results in front of you. This is the 4th Penguin Update, making it known as Penguin 4.0. Google has announced that Penguin will be part of their core algorithm, one of the 200 signals they use to process search results.

A Little Background on the Google Penguin Algorithm

google penguin update: one of the latest google algorithm changes

The Google Penguin is an algorithm, more like a filter that Google uses to capture sites that have lots of links from spammy websites The algorithm also punishes those websites having an unnatural link building process, aimed at acquiring too many links within a short period.

Key Features of Google’s Penguin Update 4.0

1. It’s real time

Previously, if your site got penalized by a Penguin update, you had to wait for the next data refresh to happen in order to see your site rankings improve. However, with Penguin 4.0, the data refreshes happen regularly. So once you have removed all the bad quality links pointing at your site, you just have to recrawl and recache your website and the rank improvements would be visible almost immediately.

2. It’s now more page-specific

The previous Penguin updates punished the website as a whole. If you had just two or three pages having lots of spammy links, rankings for the entire site would get affected. As given below, Google announced the latest Penguin update to be granular.

latest google algorithm changes: the penguin update 4.0

Hence, it’s interpreted that Google Penguin would penalize the specific set of pages or a section of the website and not the whole website

3. Changes will be visible faster

Owing to the real-time nature of Penguin 4.0, you can see your site rankings improve quickly as soon as it’s recrawled and reindexed, should your site get penalized.

Why is the Penguin Update 4.0 Awesome

1. Easy recovery: Webmasters whose sites were hit by the Penguin Update need not wait any longer. They can see their site rankings improve quickly as soon as they have disavowed the spammy links.

2. Since it’s granular, you don’t need to worry about your whole site getting hit and not getting any of your pages listed for different keywords. The Penguin Update 4.0 targets only those specific pages where the spammy links point to.

The arrival of Penguin 4.0 comes as a good news for webmasters, digital marketers, and SEO Analysts, especially because of its real-time aspect. On the flip side of the coin, it is also a warning for all blackhats to keep themselves on their toes and not practice in getting links in an unnatural manner or from spammy sites. You can find more info on Google Algorithm by visitng Moz website.

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As announced by Google on its official blog, they are rolling out a new penalty update from January 10, 2017. This new algorithm update will punish those mobile sites that irritatingly pop up interstitials in front of the user trying to browse the site.

Google had previously rolled out an update on September 2015 targeting mobile interstitials that ask users to install a new app. Ever since Google had been focusing its research on the user experience due to interstitials in general.

Google mentioned this new algorithm change will rank the pages with interstitials way too lower than they did once ago. Google’s new update is actually a replacement of the penalty for mobile app interstitials rolled out in September, last year.

But that’s not it! Google says they are committed to “helping users find the content they are looking for”. So it will be tackling those intrusive interstitials by giving them negative rankings in search results. According to Google, these pages “provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible.” So after January 10, 2017, pages where the content is not easily accessible (that is, content which is present on the page and able to be indexed, but not viewable by a user due to an intrusive mobile interstitial) will have its rankings pushed down on search results.

Clearly speaking, Google won’t be negatively listing all sorts of mobile interstitials.

Sites that will be affected by the new Google Update

Here are some examples of non-accessible content pages with interstitials that Google will be punishing:

  • Sites that pop up a new window (the interstitial) that covers the entire content when a user immediately gets on the site from search results to view it
  • Sites that display a compelling, standalone interstitial that a user has to accept or forcefully dismiss
  • Sites that use a layout where the top portion seems to be a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneathGoogle Update Penalty for Sites with Intrusive Mobile Interstitials

But not all interstitials would be punished, as Google says. There are sites would not be affected by the Google’s new algorithm change.

Sites that won’t be penalized under the new Google Update

Examples of sites that wouldn’t get affected by Google’s new ranking signal:

  • Sites that show interstitial as part of a legal obligation, such as for age verification or cookie usage
  • Sites that show login dialog boxes, under which lies content that’s not indexable publicly. This is in regards to sites that contain private information that could be in the form of an email or the unindexable content behind a paywall
  • Sites that use a reasonable amount of screen space to display banner ads, which can easily be removed by clicking it.

new google update: sites with interstitials that won't be affected by this update

This new Google update comes across as an incredibly great news for mobile users and webmasters, who found such popups annoying.

Once again, Google has announced that content and the intent of a search query will still be a major ranking signal, whatsoever. And this new signal would be one among the hundreds of signals used to gauge whether the site is worthy of being included in search results. The good part is there is plenty of time for webmasters to gear up and see if their sites have got “intrusive interstitials” and remove them.

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