Penguin is the part of Google’s core algorithm designed to catch link spam.
Before 2016, it worked like this:
Penguin sees an influx of spammy links to a website
The website might get demoted in the organic search results (i.e., rankings and traffic loss)
But then, Google released Penguin 4.0.
Now, rather than demoting entire sites, Google devalues link spam (or at least tries to).
Here’s how Gary Illyes explained the difference between devaluing and demoting:
Demoting as in adjust the rank of a site. Devalue as in “oh look, some crap coming towards this site. Let’s make sure it won’t affect its ranking.”
In short, Google tries to identify and ignore low-quality links so they don’t affect your rankings.
That’s why our free backlink checker gets an estimated 133,000 organic visits per month…
Dividing the workload like this whatsapp number list allows both the vendor and the affiliate to focus on their strengths. The improvements are similar on desktop and mobile. Most of the focus in 2021 was on mobile results.
… despite someone kindly linking to it from over a million spammy pages:
Google is clearly doing an excellent job of ignoring that blatant negative SEO attack.
2. Penguin 4.0 is “more granular”
Penguin used to demote entire sites with link spam.
So, if you experienced a negative SEO attack on one page, Penguin would penalize your entire site and rankings would drop across the board.
But since Penguin 4.0, things don’t always work that way.
Here’s what Google said in their official announcement:
Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.
Confused? Here’s Google’s “clarification” of what this means:
It means it affects finer granularity than sites. It does not mean it only affects pages.
Still confused? Here’s our best interpretation:
Penguin tries to devalue (ignore) the unsophisticated link spam associated with most negative SEO attacks. However, Penguin still seeks to penalize those who intentionally build manipulative links algorithmically. That’s the whole point of Penguin. If it sees link spam, it may decide to demote the page to which the manipulative links point, a subsection of the website, or the entire website. It depends.
In other words, the chance of a negative SEO attack being successful is lower now than in the pre-Penguin 4.0 era. Moreover, if it is successful, Google probably won’t demote your entire site—so the real-life negative effect is likely to be much less catastrophic than it once was.