Google Penguin 4.0, Another Content Based Move

Last Update: September 27, 2016

When Google rolls out any of their animal updates, search engine marketers scurry to find out not only if they are impacted by the updates, but what they can do to adhere to them.

Penguin 4.0 (announced by Google on September 23rd), also known as Penguin Real Time is no different.

Something strange is happening though. People here within Wealthy Affiliate and people I have worked with over the last 11 years don't even flinch when Google rolls out a new change to their rankings.


Because they are once again after higher quality, more relevant, more engaging every other update. Let's look at the two key aspects of this update and reverse engineer them to try to make more sense of them.

Google 4.0, The Breakdown

Penguin is now real-time. Prior to this, search rankings were largely impacted by Google Penguin updates all at once. Now these changes will take place in a real time (or close to) nature, giving Google much more relevant and in most cases timely results.

This is going to allow results to be much more current and it is my belief that Google is going to really start granting sites and particular posts even higher rankings if they are getting consistent dialogue with them (think SiteComments). This also includes many other metrics in their search rankings that will be influence and will fluctuate far more quickly.

Only a good thing in my eyes, dead content is going to eventually lose it's lustre and blackhat SEO techniques will be dealt with much more quickly in Google.

Penguin is now more granular. Instead of an entire site being punished because of one mishap, Google is going to be working far more on a per post basis than an overall site basis.

Just because a website has good authority and has produced great SEO ready content in the past, does not automatically indicate that they are going to produce great content in the future. That is why Google is going to become much more granular with their processes in terms of ranking specific content, and ultimately, devaluing particular posts.

I have my feeling some of the more "authoritative" websites will be adversely impacted by this that are producing low quality content and being rewarded for it, simply because of their SITE WIDE authority.

This is only a good thing for the "little guy/gal" in my opinion.


There are 1,000's of metrics that go into Google rankings and nobody knows for sure the finite details of all of these, but if you step back and realize that Google is in the "more relevant and useful search" business and you build your content based on that idea, you will never be negatively impacted by Google updates.

In fact, since Google Penguin 4.0 was released, most folks here have been impacted in a very positive way by this. Higher rankings, more rankings, more traffic.

Onwards and upwards.

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
ruthrobinson Premium
Kyle, I am so glad you do your homework so we can cheat off of your paper. Keeping up with technology is something my dad always said to do. Trouble is tech is moving so fast every time you learn something it seems to be old knowledge before you even get to apply it. Sp glad that you and Carson study to show yourself approved! We can confidently walk in your footsteps or stand in your shadow without fear of unknowing.
Every time I think I can't afford to stay, I realize I can't afford to leave!!
chucks1248 Premium
Having been a nurse for 47 years, you learn very quickly that the more you know, the more you learn that you don't know.

Trying to learn this internet marketing thing, I feel the same thing. I learn something only to learn that I need to learn more about that thing.

I have been "looking" at learning for several years. I am so thankful that I found WA. You explain the issue much more clearly and with out any "Fluff" that is so commonly found, making it sound more that it actually is. THANKS!
Thanks for the update Kyle! Since Penguin is now real-time, does that mean that ranking for new sites is now faster from the usual 3-6 months aging period? Also, are subdomains/subfolders better with regards to this update, for related niches, but I'm trying to get more keywords into the URL... Thanks!
PatriciaWarf Premium
This is a good point to add to my Wealthy Affiliate review. Added layer of 'protection' and support even when the outside influences change. Thanks!
Question: Do we need to do something to meet Google's requirement for all sites to be https? My shortened Google url is an https but my own domain name and my siterubix are not.
Thank YOU
Kyle Premium
No, you do not need shortened URL's. They are of no benefit as Google will know what the end link is, so this isn't an effective way of hiding affiliate links if that is the intention.

We are going to be rolling out SSL for ALL here at WA soon, it is going to be a big deal and moving forward you are going to be able to add SSL to all websites hosted here at WA.
PatriciaWarf Premium
Thank you Kyle.
JohnStevens Premium
Hi Kyle,

As always first and foremost, you are thinking of your members. Informing us of this update keeps everyone in the loop, it is comforting to hear us little guys/gals may benefit.

Every time I see Kyle has produced a new blog, it has to be read because he will have written this because it will beneficial for us to read.

Thank you,

norma029 Premium

I received a notice from Paypal stating on Sept 30, my account could be impacted.

They want to know if your system is SHA-256 and G5 compatible.

Does your system support SHA-256 Root Certificate for trust validation

They ask that you run a test using Paypal sandbox.

Is there anything I am supposed to do with this?

TexPat Premium
this post is all "Greek to me". I am a newbie so tell me, at what point will I be able to go back, read this post and say "oh yeah, I get what he is talking about"?....lesson 3 or lesson 15? I am just being totally honest about my level of internet/website/ranking knowledge. For example, the first sentence Kyle mentions "animal updates".......what in the world are animal updates?????? Does Google name all their updates after animals? What is the purpose of that (if there is one)?
TimMcKinlay Premium
Haha, don't worry we were all new here at one time. Yeah, Google has a tendency to name all of their updates after animals lol. Panda, Penguin etc.

The more you stick at it the more you will learn, it won't take long and you don't need to be an expert to make money online. Hope this helps!
TimMcKinlay Premium
I couldn't agree more with this, this is why I love WA for content marketing. Kyle really is telling people how it is and keeping us ahead of the game instead of teaching 'tricks' that don't work.

I think it really evolves around one concept, value. Google will ALWAYS want to give it's users more value, no matter what. It will continue getting better and better at determining what is good and what sucks. By creating the best content possible and focussing on the value you are giving your audience, you need not fear updates and you will absolutely see more success as time goes on. My 2 cents :)
Hari S Nair Premium
Despite of working on a particular niche for about more than 3 years and hearing from you that it may not matter anymore whether or not your site has made a good reputation in the past, Google will rather see its current state, I am very happy to know about this update from you Kyle.

The reason is because every WA member has always been following the "build quality content" rule always and I am one among them, so probably there is nothing to worry with this or any future update because Google has and always will work to make the user experience better.

I guess there is a good news also, we can now more easily win the race in SERPs by posting new contents and getting social engagement, right?
Kyle Premium
Build quality, engaging content that targets KEYWORDS. But do so in a way that doesn't feel manufactured, in a way that avoids any duplicate or rewritten content, in a way that leads to people wanting to "share" your content.
Hari S Nair Premium
I hear ya!
andrel Premium
Thanks Kyle for good news. Actually, not as News but as a confirmation of my and remaining WA folks right path.
I still remember well the recent attack on Google's Zoo on my tiny sites. I do not understand those people who know about Zoo but do not care and still looking for Easy Money Schemes.
Kyle Premium
People will always chase easy money schemes because they are convincing and frankly most people like the idea of being able to buy something that makes them successful (which is never the case) versus actually working for it.

As long as there are people, there will be many that fall for such schemes.
Anh Premium

What I focus on when it comes to SEO, is search engines' vision. What they thrive to do for their audience, and of course, that is to give them the most relevant and high-quality content.

If you follow that formula and thrive to help Google with their mission, you'll be rewarded handsomely.

Thanks for sharing!

Kyle Premium
Well said Anh!
Megastar Premium
Hi Kyle I can't find words to express your creativity. The pictograph you have uploaded is so apt and it says it all:
- A sheriff has arrived on Google as Penguin 4.0.
- Guns loaded to shoot down poor content.
- The positive theme being onwards and upwards and escorted well with caution.
Great Kyle!!!
DoroPark Premium
That's very interesting. I guess that pure sales pages that are linked to from the blog don't get good rankings anymore, if they are not updated on a regular basis, right?
I am new here and am happy to see that you update us on those things! Thank you Kyle!
derekmarshal Premium
Interesting Kyle.

"dead content is going to eventually lose it's lustre"

Now, how does that affect our much older posts that have not received comments in a while?

Would be good practice to request some comments to freshen up that content, or indeed make an update of older content to freshen it up?
Hazy Premium
I think this means that old 'websites' that have aged and still ranking for a lot of keywords but not getting updated.

I think these are ONLY ranking because the high authority that the site has but the content is low quality.

Hence why we need to keep our websites updated constantly to be on Googles safe side.

Hope this makes sense.
Kyle Premium
It won't affect them much if the rest of the content you are ranking against it is also dead or not quite as relevant.

In saying this, if you are ranking well under a keyword that gets traffic and your content is engaging, there is a good chance that you will get trickle dialogue that will lead to your content always being fresh. ;)
Brendie Premium
It's good to see that Google is keeping their search engine, bots, etc., continuously updated. The low quality sites will be hit, that's for sure!
I do have one minuscule problem with this post. I am probably going to be in trouble but here goes nothing!
*small voice* In that first paragraph, the first part seems a little off. Note the following:
"When Google rolls out any of their animal updates"
Is that really supposed to be 'animal' instead of 'annual'?
ChrisSA Premium
It's animal because google names their search algorithm versions different animals, At least i think that's why.
Brendie Premium
Thank you for your response!
Google has their animal names.
Apple names theirs after big cats and landmarks.
Android (personal favorite) names theirs after desserts.
Quite funny in a way.
Kyle Premium
Google Panda
Google Penguin

To name the main ones. They might have more in house animal names for the ones we never here about. :)
Brendie Premium
They probably do! I know it's not a mistake but it still feels like it. Such is the curse of being a spelling and grammar nut.
lg28469 Premium
I'm using an SEO program to help me make better content called Yoast, it's great for telling me if my SEO is enough to get a good rating in my content, it even tells me if my readability is really good too, although it can get a little bit annoying when creating content and it tells me all of a sudden it needs Improvement, but overall I really liked it and it's really helpful, hopefully it will help me with Google Penguin rankings as I create more content.
DarleneB Premium
Thanks for the easy to understand explanation. I don't really worry about updates. I just follow exactly what I've been taught here through your course. I do hope the update will decrease websites from ranking higher than you for the same keyword when their content is something like 300 words or poorly written.
ValerieJoy Premium
Thank you Kyle for this helpful information. It's good to know that Google Penguin is real-time. We can now set our standards knowing that this animal will not hit us with unpleasant surprises.
So, as you say, it's onward and upwards, with a future of success when we adhere to the rules of this great master, Google :)
rosieM Premium
I, for one, am thrilled that those irritating popups that take over the page or lock it will start to be cause for penalty. It is high time the general public was treated with the respect they deserve and not like some brainless zombies who will click anything or sign up for everything they see. Integrity......
ClareG Premium
Thank you for this Kyle - I believe everything taught at WA keeps us on the right side of Google updates!

I was under the impression that the Penguin updates had more to do with links and that the Panda updates were to do with content?

Penguin seems to mostly have those with PBNs and dubious link profiles scurrying around biting their fingernails. If we are following the WA training we needn't worry about that! :)
Kyle Premium
Yeah, Penguin has much more to do with spam links and omitting links/content/websites than Panda which has been more content based. Ultimately though, this will effect content creators (all website) of any type. That is what Google serves within their results.
Freedomseekr Premium
I hadn't really been paying attention to what Google has been up to lately, just doing what I usually do. But I'd been wondering about a rather recent increase in, after reading this, thought I'd check a few of mine...and yes! It's been a positive impact indeed!

Even a post of mine that was written three years ago is now up on the first page at number one again...sorry, if I seem like I'm tooting my horn a bit here, lol.

Anyways, this is great news for all of us here! Thanks for sharing the news on Google, Kyle!
Best wishes :) ~Sherry
Kyle Premium
No, definitely toot your own horn. That is great and that is sometime to be excited about.

Penguin updates tend to hit home on those running true blackhat techniques where they are trying to game Google's results through linking strategies, PBN's, etc.

Those delivering the highest quality content with that being the core focus are always rewarded during Google Penguin updates.