Google Penguin 4.0 is Finally Live after 2 Long Years – September 23rd 2016

Posted on September 24, 2016 by Satish Kumar

Google has now officially rolled out the Penguin 4.0 update after 2 long years and mentioned that it will be the part of their core algorithm. Websites which were penalized by Google Penguin 2 years ago (October 18th 2016) will now finally have the chance to recover, but only if their unnatural links have been cleared. Google has mentioned that the Penguin 4.0 update is rolling out in all languages in the coming few days and will now be operating in real-time.


Penguin, a petty criminal and main characters from Gotham TV Series.

What’s new in Penguin 4.0 Update

  • Penguin is now real-time: Prior to this, Penguin was a periodic refresh which was tougher for webmasters to recover from, in lesser time. Now with 4.0, webmasters need not wait for months or years for the Penguin refresh to recover their websites. This also means that Google Penguin can instantly punish and penalize your website if they find you scamming the system.
  • Penguin is now more granular: Earlier, Penguin was only a site-wide penalty, which pretty much used to penalize your entire website for a few unnatural links pointing to your website. Now Penguin is more page-specific, which means that it now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, instead of affecting the entire website.
  • Penguin will no longer be confirmed in Future: Webmasters used to wait for Penguin refreshes to recover from a penalty. Now Google Penguin will no longer be announced explicitly, since it’s a constant and ever evolving algorithm.
  • Penguin is still rolling out: Google has officially not rolled out the complete Penguin update yet. This means that you still have chances to recover your websites if you haven’t disavowed the bad links.


If you have observed the Mozcast weather from the past 30 days, there was definitely a spike in this week, which resulted from the Google Penguin worldwide. Learn how to recover your website quickly from Google Penguin 4.0.

How to Recover from Penguin 4.0 Update:

It’s never too late. You can still recover from Google Penguin 4.0 by following a couple of guidelines. All you have to do is to quickly identify your website’s spam links from any of the popular tools, such as Majestic, Cognitive SEO, Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, SEMRush and create a disavow file.

  • Identify the unnatural links pointing to your website.
    • Unnatural links are defined as links which don’t have much value. Few of the factors are,
      • Websites which have Trust Flow and Citation Flow less than 5/100.
      • Websites which have Domain Authority and Page Authority less than 5/100.
      • Links which have more than 7/17 spam score via Moz Open Site Explorer.
      • Website Links which has been already penalized and don’t provide much value to their users in terms of content, design, links and overall experience.
      • Links which focus on too many additional links and less content.
      • Links which get links from PBNs (Private Blog Networks)
      • Links which focus on Quantity vs Quality via Site-wide Links, Blog Sidebars, Footer Links and Anchor text links.
  • Copy all these domains in one text file and starting writing your disavow file.
    • is the format you have to fill your text file and submit it to the Google Disavow Tool. You can learn more about Disavow Tool by Google.
    • Following is the sample to create your Google Disavow File.


Past Penguin updates

Following are the list of Penguin updates over time and their impact on queries by Google.

  • Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 impacting ~3.1% of queries
  • Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 impacting less than 0.1%
  • Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 impacting ~0.3% of queries
  • Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 impacting 2.3% of queries
  • Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 impacting around 1% of queries
  • Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 impacting around 1% of queries
  • Penguin 4.0 & real-time from September 23, 2016

You can reach us in case you need any assistance in recovering your website from Google Penguin 4.0. We wish you a Happy Penguin Recovery!

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12 thoughts on “Google Penguin 4.0 is Finally Live after 2 Long Years – September 23rd 2016”

  1. Nikhil says:

    Hi Satish,

    Thanks for the new updates…

    The thing that all SEO + Web Developers needed..

  2. Kranthi says:

    Hello satish the article is good!

  3. Franklin says:

    Nice info, thanks for sharing

  4. Thanks Satish Kumar for this awesome post. It clearly mentions what Penguin 4.0 Update is and how to Recover from Penguin 4.0 Update.

  5. Okaagwotu says:

    Thanks for this article

  6. Thanks for this update on google Penguin. How do one know if his or her website has been hit by this update pls.?

  7. Reeshi says:

    Thanks a lot for Valuable information, But Can we Know when it is Going to End. Because My client sites has went Back last day and I can see the same Position form this Morning. Could you please Brief me on this.

  8. Hi, Satish,
    Thanks a lot for sharing valuable information. It is good for we. Please Keep posting and sharing for next time. Again Thanks.

  9. Hu Satish,
    Thanks for sharing a post about penguin update. It has now become a core algorithm will be more effective than before.
    Although, thanks for the great share.
    have a good say.

  10. Thanks Satish Kumar for this awesome post, I could know it through my email that i have subscribed. thanks….

  11. Rahmawati says:

    i receive this info from my email. thanks satish

  12. sowjanya says:

    Hi Satish,
    Thank you for sharing this article. I Searched for penguin updates at last i got here. thank you once again keep sharing

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