What’s the Deal With the Google Penguin

google penguinGoogle’s Penguin update has once again been delayed, leading to increased speculation on when the notorious algorithm will be brought up to date. There has been no actual update on Penguin since October 17, 2014, and although a new release was rumored to be pushed out before the end of 2015, the update was delayed. Now, it appears that there will be no release for the foreseeable future as the program is not yet ready to roll out.

Penguin and Its Implications

While many people have heard of Penguin, few really understand the implications of this program or how it affects their own Internet rankings. Penguin is a codename given by Google to an algorithm that was first released on April 24, 2012. The update was designed to decrease the rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, Penguin targets websites that utilize so-called “black hat” SEO techniques.

Black-hat SEO means techniques that change the number of links pointing at a page in ways that are artificial or manipulated. These link schemes were giving certain web pages an unfair advantage in Googles Search Engine Rank Pages or SERPs. Penguin identifies these pages so that Google can take action to remove them from the SERPs.

Penguin has been estimated to affect a varying number of websites each time it has been updated. The first Penguin rollout was estimated by Google to have affected about 3.1 percent of all English search queries and about 3 percent of queries in other languages. The May 25, 2012, update, also known as Penguin 1.1, affected less than one-tenth of one percent of all English searches. This update was designed to catch excessive spammers. Additionally, web sites that used “doorways” or pages designed only to attract search engine traffic were targeted as being against Google guidelines.

Penguin 3 was released in October 2012 and affected approximately .3 percent of queries. Penguin 4, also called Penguin 2.0, was released in May 2013 and affected 2.3 percent of all queries. Penguin 5, which is also called Penguin 2.1, was released in October 2013 and affected about one percent of all queries.

Google has confirmed that the algorithm is not updated continuously and that manual updates must be pushed out. However, there is no word on when the next Penguin update will occur.

SEO Counsel is ready to help you make sense of Penguin and other Google algorithms. Give us a call today to learn more.

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