Even though it was a Friday night – and the start to what’s supposed to be, undoubtedly, one of the most unproductive weekends, Google pushed out an update to the Penguin update. For the sake of brevity, and accuracy, it’s been called Penguin 1.1
Matt Cutts, Google Spam Guru, announced via Twitter the data refresh. It’s supposed to impact less than one-tenth of a percent of English searches.
Here’s the transcript of his actual post.
Minor weather report: We pushed 1st Penguin algo data refresh an hour ago. Affects <0.1% of English searches. Context: goo.gl/4f7Pq
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts)
BACKGROUND: On April 24th, Penguin was the next update that occurred after Panda. After launching on the 24th of April, it was met by glee and contempt. Google described Penguin as a game changer, aimed at webspam, and websites which are violating the Google guidelines. Panda had unveiled an over-optimization and unnatural link building penalty, that was applied to millions of websites. This penalty was a manual penalty imposed. It seems that Penguin, is the first attempt at “automating” this penalty, instead of having it as a “manual” penalty. This is both a good and bad thing. It’s bad, because unless you have a dedicated SEO specialist, who is experienced, you may not even know that you were hit by the penalty. Unfortunately, no Google Webmaster Tools message greets you if you have it. On the flip side, it’s a good thing because you don’t have to go through a manual, and time-consuming, review process.
Often times, Google regularly sweeps its index and removes bad websites, which are linking out to numerous other websites. This decrease in websites, and consequently, backlinks, when done on a widespread scale, echoes and is sometimes interpreted as an algorithmic change, when in reality it’s just a series of minor clean ups. This was the first announced Penguin update.
Updates to follow on what we see.