Penguin 4.0 finally arrives.
After months of waiting, Google finally launched Penguin 4.0. Many people in the SEO community have been waiting to see what impacts the new algorithm will have on the organic search results.
I was personally expecting to see a crackdown on link building methods such as guest blogging and PBNs (Private Blog Networks). However, from some of the testing sites that I personally use, it seems like the impact has been low.
You can read the discussion on Webmasterworld here.
What can I see happening with link building?
I can see that links from authoritative sites are working well and that methods such as authoritative guest blogging and resource links are working well. Even the use of exact match anchor text in moderation is working well.
Google has also said that they won’t be announcing any more updates after this one, as it will be a rolling algorithm. So any changes that happen should occur in real-time.
Additionally, sites that have been affected negatively by link spam should be able to recover in real-time as well. It’s been said that sites that submit any Disavow files to recover from link penalties will do so quickly.
You can see more information on Search Engine Roundtable’s thread here.
Google confirms AMP rollout.
AMP in the mobile core results was rolled out during September. The good thing is web users should improve their experience with those sites that are using AMP and ideally webmasters will also improve their mobile rankings. It is still early days. More information can be seen here.
Google penalising widget links.
They have said this before, but companies that use widgets to gain links to their website are breaking Google’s Terms of Service. This is a problem if the widget contains editorial links that weren’t placed within the widget by the webmasters themselves.
Any links that contain anchor text should either be removed or use the rel=nofollow attribute.
You can see the forum discussion here on Google +.
Paid link reports are reviewed manually by Googlers.
Google has continued to make algorithmic changes to identify paid link schemes, however they have a dedicated team that reviews paid link activities manually. Hopefully, you would be engaging in white-hat SEO activities and your site won’t be affected. You can see the discussion with John Mueller on Twitter here.