So we've talked about the main changes of Penguin from what Google told us, which was, to be frankly, not much.
As SEOs, we need to test and test again how the update actually works to figure out ways of improving our optimization and out content. Knowing these "ranking" signals has always been important and it hasn't changed with this update.
So what have we learned so far from Penguin 4.0?
1. As Google said the updates happen now in real life as soon as the Google crawler, end up crawling your website. Not many SEOs reported rank changes in the first couple of days. I myself found that only after 1 week some bigger changes started happening and most of my sites improved in rankings.
2. Some websites got panelized, unfortunately, some of us weren't that lucky, few websites got panelized as soon as Penguin rolled out.
3. Some people got the penalty removed. This means you don't need to wait for long periods of time to for Google to lift your penalty now, it can happen overnight and some lucky SEOs managed to remove penalties after this update.
4. In the past you could do lots of black-hat SEO to a website, improving its rankings but you will only get penalized after a Google Penguin update, that meant spammers could hold top positions for months on end without getting hit. This is no longer the case, if you are doing the nasty SEO, you'll get hit as soon as the crawler lands on your website.
5. Doing white hat SEO is greater and better than ever. Some of your competitors may have been building fishy backlinks, because of Penguin 4.0 you will now have the chance to go up in rankings just because they will go down, simple as that!