SEO: Penguin 2.0 Algorithm Update

08 Oct 2013, Posted by Tom Edwards in SEO, Technical


Google’s head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, announced that latest release of the Penguin 2.0 algorithm is now live.

Cutts posted the news on his personal twitter account, on which he simply tweeted: “Penguin 2.1 launching today. Affects ~1% of searches to a noticeable degree.”


The Google designed algorithm was updated to specifically target black hat webspam – the process of using things such as keyword stuffing and illicit link schemes in order to boost a site higher in the rankings. While many black hat SEO’s continue to operate, this update is an attempt to stop that and encourage healthier SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages).

White hat SEO is the term given to quality and ethical search engine optimisation tactics and strategies that many SEO agencies follow in their day to day operations, us included. This often includes genuine, natural link building, quality content creation and on-page optimisation.
Penguin 1 was launched over a year and a half ago, back on April 24, 2012. At the time, it impacted around 3.1% of queries. In comparison to this update, which is claimed to effect less than 1% of results.

The first update was followed swiftly with a second one the following month on May 26 and after that the next update was on October 5, 2012. This year there has been one major update in May prior to this one, which was officially confirmed on October 4, 2013.

It was the initial billing of the first Penguin update as Penguin 1, which created a naming structure many sites subsequently reported in numerical sequence, i.e. Penguin 1, Penguin 2, Penguin 3, however due the fact there are also many minor tweaks and updates made to each algorithm, Google itself simply decided to add a decimal point to emphasis the minor changes instead.

This means that what many sites are referring to as the Penguin 5 update, is actually only Penguin 2.1 in Google terms, as the ‘Penguin 4′ update, in May was actually only the second major update change to Penguin since it first hit the spam busting scene in April 2012 – hence Penguin 2.0.

What does this mean for you?

As long as your SEO’s are doing the job correctly, not a lot. But in this video, Matt Cutts explains that the update will address the black hat methods and darker side of SEO. Techniques such as paid advertorials and native advertising that are violating Google’s quality guidelines.

Remember Google are simply try to make everyone of its users search experience more reliable and healthier, producing “quality” results time and time again.

Concerned about your websites SEO strategy or have faced a slip in rankings during the last few days contact us today on 01635 282 457 or by simply completing our contact form.

Tom Edwards

Founder & Director @DigitalEdwards - Obsessed with all things SEO & Social Media

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