According to Gary Illyes, Google’s mighty Penguin algorithm update has finally been refreshed – two years since the last refresh.

What’s New with Google Penguin 4.0

As promised, Google Penguin is now a real-time update and will not need to be regularly refreshed – as it did with previous iterations. This is good news for users who have been penalized (or could be in the future) as you will no longer have to wait until the next refresh before seeing any changes with your organic rankings. Google said that changes should be seen shortly after a recrawl and reindex of a page. They also said now that Penguin is in real time, they will no longer comment on future refreshes of the penguin algorithm.

Another new part of Google Penguin 4.0 is that it “devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.” This isn’t exactly clear, but what some think this means is that this update will be more page-by-page basis vs. affecting the whole website.

As with most updates, give it a week or two to fully roll out. A big update like this will take some time to fully settle in the SERPs. If you have been hit by a Google Penguin penalty in the past, this is what you have been waiting for. If you are still having issues with Penguin and spammy backlinks, be sure to check your Google Disavow File.

Here’s a timeline of the past Google updates (courtesy of SEL)

April 24, 2012 – Penguin 1.0 (impact of ~3.1% of queries)

May 26, 2012 – Penguin 1.1 (impact less than 0.1% of queries)

October 5, 2012 – Penguin 1.2 (impact of ~0.3% of queries)

May 22, 2013 – Penguin 2.0 (impact of ~2.3% of queries)

October 4, 2013 – Penguin 2.1 (impact of ~1% of queries)

October 17, 2014 – Penguin 3.0 (impact of ~1% of queries)

September 23, 2016 – Penguin 4.0

No update on the percent impact with Google Penguin 4.0 as the update is still happening.