8 Steps to a Penguin-Proof Link Audit
If Google updates were hurricanes, Penguin would be Patricia. It’s by far the most sweeping of all updates — and perhaps the hardest one to recover from. The first Penguin, released in 2012, made unnatural links (the ones SEOs have been carefully building for ages) a spam signal that removed sites guilty of “link schemes” from the SERPs, and changed the way we do off-page SEO completely.
Today, Penguin 4.0 seems to be just round the corner, and it’s going to be a very different breed of Penguin. Apart from the fact that the mechanisms used to detect spammy, unnatural links will be tweaked, it’s going to be real-time; that means Penguin, instead of being rolled out every year or every quarter, will always be “on” and updating. You read that right — no more calm before (or after) the storm for SEOs.
So when is the scary thing coming? Google warned SEOs about it “coming soon” a couple of times by now; the original release was planned for early 2016, but it looks like the update needed more testing than Google initially thought. In any case, there hasn’t been an official Penguin update for over a year now, and there’s no doubt it’s coming super soon. The scary, we-are-talking-weeks kind of soon. The you’re-totally-getting-hit-if-you-have-not-been-preparing kind.