The fourth release of Google’s Penguin Update 2.0 for spam annihilation is is now live. This Penguin 4 has a twist with technology under the hood, which Google says is a new generation of tech that should better stop spam.
Previous Google Algorithm Updates Called the Panda Updates
Previously, Google released a series of algorithm updates called the “Panda updates,” first appearing in February 2011. The Panda Update algorithms follow the logic by which Google’s human quality raters and determine a website’s quality. In January 2012, so-called page layout algorithm update was released, which targeted websites with little content above the fold. Hence the reason we encourage meaty content written above the fold on all pages and posts.
The strategic goal that Panda, Penguin, and page layout updates share is to display higher quality websites at the top of Google’s search results/ Index. However, sites that were ranked low as the result of these updates have different sets of characteristics. Publishers have already been wondering if a change in rankings that many have noticed this week was some type of Google update.
Face of Google’s Web Spam – Matt Cutts
Matt Cutts, the face of f Google’s Web spam team, announced the new Penguin 2.0 update during this Week in Google (Episode #199). Webmasters and SEOs will need to expect major changes in the search results. Matt specifically said that 2.3% of English queries will be noticeably impacted by this update.
Cutts later posted more details about this roll out on his blog. He explained that the launch is now complete, including for non-English languages, and that “the scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.”
Webmasters have been Watching for Penguin 2.0 – Impact on Web Spam
Webmasters have been watching for Penguin 2.0 to hit the Google search results since Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts first announced that there would be the next generation of Penguin in March. Cutts officially announced that Penguin 2.0 is rolling out late Wednesday afternoon on “This Week in Google”.
“It’s gonna have a pretty big impact on web spam,” Cutts said on the show. “It’s a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous iteration of Penguin would essentinally only look at the home page of a site. The newer generation of Penguin goes much deeper and has a really big impact in certain small areas.”
In a new blog post, Cutts added more details on Penguin 2.0, saying that the now complete affects 2.3 percent of English-U.S. queries, and that it affects non-English queries as well. Cutts wrote:
We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin web spam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. 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 is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally. For more information on what SEOs should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released.
Webmasters first got a hint that the next generation of Penguin was imminent when back on May 10 Cutts said on Twitter, “we do expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 (next generation of Penguin) sometime in the next few weeks though.”
Penguin Updates on the Information Online Highway Time Line
In March, Google’s chief web spam fighter Matt Cutts promised that the Penguin Update designed to fight spam would get a big refresh later this year. Today, Cutts gave an update — keep waiting. It’s still a few weeks off. Along the way, there’s some confusion about whether the next Penguin Update will be Penguin 2 or Penguin 4. It’ll be Penguin 4, in how we reckon things. Let’s dive in.
Publishers have already been wondering if a change in rankings that many have noticed this week was some type of Google update. Google won’t say what, if anything happened.
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