April 16, 2014

Google Releases Penguin Update 1.1

Posted on 27. May, 2012 by in Search Engine Land

No matter that it’s late Friday night on the start of a three-day holiday weekend in the U.S., Google has just pushed out the first update to its recent webspam-fighting Penguin algorithm. Let’s call it Penguin 1.1.

Google’s Matt Cutts announced the news a short time ago on Twitter, calling it a “data refresh” that impacts less than one-tenth of a percent of English-language searches.

Although webmasters and SEOs have been speculating consistently in recent weeks that Google had already pushed out a Penguin update (or several), Cutts specifically says this is the first update since Penguin launched back on April 24th.

Google has described Penguin as an algorithm change that’s aimed at webspam and, more specifically, “sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality guidelines.”

Penguin led to immediate outcries from across the SEO industry, with many questioning if it made search results better or worse. Because it’s an algorithmic change, Google said it wouldn’t consider reconsideration requests made via Webmaster Central, but it did setup a form for webmasters to use if they believe Penguin had hit their sites by mistake.

Even though tonight’s update affects a small percentage of English searches, that form is still online.

For more about the Penguin update, see the articles listed below.

Postscript From Danny Sullivan: In the comments below, you’ll see some people wondering if they haven’t recovered from this update, does that means they’ll never recover and should start over. I’d wait a bit longer before that.

After Penguin 1.0 came out, Google said that anyone hit by that had been penalized. But soon after, there were examples of sites that didn’t appear to be spamming Google but which yet had traffic drops.

A few of these might have been false positives, but it’s far more reasonable to assume that when Google wiped out wide swathes of links, some sites that used to benefit from those links lost credit. In other words, they weren’t penalized — they just didn’t get as much credit as before.

I’m still trying to get Google to confirm this or not, if everyone hit by Penguin 1.0 was really penalized or if there were some who just don’t get as much credit as before, because others were penalized. Stay tuned.

Related Topics: Google: Penguin Update | Google: SEO | Top News

About The Author: is Search Engine Land’s Executive News Editor, responsible for overseeing our daily news coverage. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He blogs at Small Business Search Marketing and can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus.

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