Get SEO news directly in your inbox?

What are the consequences of the Penguin Update 2.0?

What is the Google Penguin Update 2.0?

The Google Penguin Update 2.0 is a new and improved generation of the algorithm change “Google Penguin Update” that was first introduced for all languages on April 24th, 2012.

The Penguin Update 2.0 is not the third Data-Refresh of the algorithm change “Penguin”, but a comprehensive algorithm change on Google’s part, as, according to them, the technology to recognise and detect webspam has evolved and improved drastically over the years.

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.Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam, Distinguished Engineer


What impact does the Penguin Update 2.0 have?

The algorithm change Penguin 2.0 was introduced worldwide on May 22nd 2013 and impacted about 2,3% of all US English language search requests. The impact of this algorithm change may be considerably smaller or larger on other search markets or language regions, as Google points out that the Penguin Update 2.0 may turn out different results, depending on language region/language.

We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam 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.Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam, Distinguished Engineer


Did the goal of the algorithm change with Google’s Penguin Update 2.0?

No. As before, Google uses the Penguin Update 2.0 to explicitly punish violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and pushes domains in violation towards the back of the search engine result pages (often by a large margin). However, there are no “bonus points” if a website follows the Webmaster Guidelines.

One fact that is very interesting though is that Google is considering to eventually adjust the strength of this filter. For now, though, they want to test how the current filter levels behaves.

We can adjust the impact but we wanted to start at one level and then we can modify things appropriately.– Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam, Distinguished Engineer


Google is also asking for help on improving the algorithm for webspam detection. They made a form available online that can be used to report spam websites that obtain great ranking positions even after the Penguin Update 2.0.

Matt Cutts announces the start of Penguin 2.0 “live” in this interview:

Additional information on this topic:



Related posts