Google has confirmed to Search Engine Land that it updated its Penguin filter on Friday. Penguin targets sites deemed to be spammy, especially those found in violation of Google’s guidelines about linking,
Starting late Friday night, some SEOs noticed major changes in Google search results and speculated that this due to the Penguin Update that Google had said to expected this month.
Google verified to us that the update has happened, but it’s unclear how large an impact this made and if there were any major changes made to it since the last time Penguin was released.
This is the fifth release of Penguin. Google itself hasn’t given it a number, but we’re calling it Penguin 3.0 because it’s been so long since the last major update — Penguin 2.0 — that it’s worth counting as a major release.
Here are dates of all Penguin releases:
- Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
- Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
- Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
- Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
- Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 (impact not yet released)
This was one of the most anticipated algorithm updates in Google’s history, where webmasters have been waiting for a refresh for over a year. At SMX East there was confirmation from Google that they would update the algorithm in a week or so. A few weeks later, they have – that being October 17, 2014 at around 11pm EDT from my estimates.
Others noticed over the weekend that Google may be updating the Penguin algorithm as well.
It is expected that this update will enable Google to run Penguin refreshes more frequently, like they can with the Google Panda algorithm.
Again, we are waiting to hear back on how large of an update this was and if it was a refresh or update exactly.