After a gap of almost two years, Google has finally updated its algorithm. The Penguin 4.0 is set to be the last major release of this type since Google has declared the same to be a real-time signal processed within its core search algorithm.google-penguin-2016k-ss-1920-800x450

What is Penguin and How Does It Go Real-Time?

Penguin is essentially a filter that is set to protect the Google search results from getting infected by any spam sites, especially in those cases in which Google’s own regular spamming systems don’t seem to work. First introduced in 2012, Penguin has been operating ever since on periodic basis.
In short, Penguin’s main work is to catch the spam sites and penalize them until the next time it ran—no matter whether the sites rectifies or improve themselves, they would remain penalized until the next time, which could even take months!
For example, the last Penguin update, Penguin 3.0, took place on October 17, 2014. So, any site penalized back then had to wait for two years to be freed.
However, Penguin has put these long waits in retrospect now as with the release of Penguin 4.0, the entire spam-search process has become real-time. As Google frequently recrawls and reindexes its pages, these pages will get assessed by Penguin’s filter regularly. Due to this new scheme, the pages will be penalized and/or set free by Penguin as an ongoing process.
According to a post by Google, “With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page.”

Thus, Penguin Becomes More Specific and Not Mere Sitewide

Terming its new Penguin 4.0 as “granular”, Penguin said, “Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.”
Previously, Google used to impose a sitewide penalty, but with this brand new Penguin 4.0, is Google hinting at going page-wise as far as the penalty is concerned? Keeping the tension intact, Google said, “It means it affects finer granularity than sites. It does not mean it only affects pages.”
So, one can guess that Google won’t penalize the entire site if the error can be rectified by penalizing one or more pages or sections of pages.

Google Will Confirm Penguin Update No More

Since the Penguin 4.0 is supposed to be a regular on-going process, Google sees no reason to update the version any more.
Although the new Penguin 4.0 is yet not fully active, it is slowly “rolling out”, but it may not take much time either considering the pace at which Google is working on the same.