On September 23, 2016 Google announced that Penguin is now part of their core algorithm.
Penguin was originally released in April 2012 and it was an important algorithm targeted at web spam. With Penguin, ranking for sites actively participating in web spam techniques would decrease when Google felt the site was violating Google’s quality guidelines. These guidelines include, but are not limited to, techniques such as keyword stuffing and link schemes.
Two things to note with this latest change
Penguin is now real-time.
"Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time." If your site had been caught by Penguin, and then you or your webmaster made improvements to your site, seeing yourself back in the search results was not a quick process. You would need to wait for Penguin to refresh you. And it took time. Which is why we continually teach that you want to stay on top of Google's Guidelines, and NOT "Wait and See" and then have to play catch up.
The good news is now that Penguin has become part of the core algorithm, it's data will be refreshed in real time, so changes will be seen much faster, typically taking effect shortly after Google re-crawls and re-indexes a page.
Penguin is now more granular.
"Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site."
Important Innkeeper Takeaways
- Penguin is just one of over 200 signals Google uses to determine the placement of your site in their search results.
- Google's goal is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their informational needs.
- It is imperative that you verify you are following Google's Quality Guidelines and that you don't have any Digital Baggage that can cause your site to get caught in Google's net, and thus lose placement and revenue.
And remember, Google is KING...
...when it comes to direct bookings made thru your Website. You must continue to be diligent in following Google's Guidelines so that you may achieve the highest placement possible for your property. If your guests can't find you, how do you expect them to book with you?