On Friday Google confirmed, via their perennial knight of webspam Matt Cutts, that they have released a new version of their Penguin Update. This update runs in tandem with Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, with their other significant update, Panda, also being integrated into the algorithm.
Now there is something to be cleared up here with a lot of people referring to Penguin 5, whilst others refer to it as Penguin 2.1. The reason being is that Google have released 5 Penguin updates, however, the fourth update was deemed too different from the third. So, Google decided to name it Penguin 2.0 as it was a pretty revolutionary and new update that was a cut above the previous Penguins.
But now we have Penguin 2.1. So what does this entail? Well the official release didn’t really give two much away. It was confirmed by Matt on his Twitter page with the tweet reading that Google have released the update and that it will affect around 1% of search queries. See the Tweet below:
Penguin 2.1 launching today. Affects ~1% of searches to a noticeable degree. More info on Penguin: http://t.co/4YSh4sfZQj
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) October 4, 2013
The thing to notice here is the text “to a noticeable degree”. With Hummingbirds release it affected around 90% of searches on Google. But with that, the SEO industry only noted a slight change here or there and there were no mass scale fallouts of rankings for people. But this time, with the 1% being to a noticeable degree, that’s more likely to mean that there will be a higher degree of page one listings changing. Much more likely to draw attention from the SEO industry.
Penguin 2.1 does seem to have hit a lot of sites that have so far seemed to escape punishment by Google. After all, that’s the point of Penguin 2.1, to root out websites that are manipulating the search algorithm, specifically though bad link building practices.
It seems to have taken hold already with a lot of fluctuations in traffic and rankings being noted throughout the SEO industry, especially on the Webmaster World forums. Have you noticed any ups or downs in your traffic or rankings?
Blog Post by: Greg McVey