It’s official, Google have released the latest Penguin. This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, this is an updated algorithm not just a data refresh (the process Google uses to refresh the data within the algorithm). The first update shook the Internet, literally. Webmasters had to re-invent themselves and embrace content marketing.
We have had more than enough time to prepare for the next generation of Penguin. Back on May 10 Google’s Matt Cutts said on Twitter, “we do expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 (next generation of Penguin) sometime in the next few weeks though.” For those who are worried Cutts has said that “About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.”
This update specifically targets black hat spam and will be more intensive than version 1 of Penguin. Spammers and black hat SEOs should be worried. If you’ve been focusing on quality content, the user, and haven’t participated in black hat techniques, then there is no need to fear the update.
Penguin v 2.0 is an algorithm update. A data refresh is the process Google uses to refresh the data within the algorithm. An index update is simply the seamless and day to day operation that refreshes or updates the index. It used to be quite noticeable, but now it’s relatively seamless.
Previous Penguin Updates
Each release of Penguin has been named in sequential order:
Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
Penguin 2 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
Penguin 4 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)