No, Google Hasn’t Released Unannounced Penguin Updates

penguinIs Google pushing Penguin Updates without announcing them? A recent Google video might give that suggestion, but the Google tells us this is not the case.

Confusion Over Penguin Refreshes

The last time Google has confirmed a refresh or update to the Penguin anti-spam filter was back in October 2012, with Penguin Update 3. That was about 4.5 months ago.

In a recent Google Webmaster Hangout with Google’s John Mueller, one person asked John about these updates. John replied in a manner that may be interpreted as Penguin is updated on a more regular cycle but not always announced. You can listen to what he said starting at about 4 minutes in the video:

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Google: Penguin Algorithm Is Not Refreshed Regularly

When I asked, Google said John was referring to general “link analysis” refreshes but not the Penguin algorithm. In fact, Google confirmed that there have been no Penguin updates since the last confirmed one 4.5 months ago. Google also told us that they do not do regular updates to the Penguin algorithm, like they do with the Panda algorithm.

Panda Algorithm Is Refreshed Monthly

As you know, the Panda Update algorithm is mostly on a monthly basis now and we should be getting a Panda refresh within the next couple days (the last, Panda 24, happened about a month ago). Google has not yet confirmed a Panda update for this month but some are seeing signs of a possible Panda update hitting.

History Of Penguin Updates

Here’s the list so far, showing when each Penguin update came out, the percentage of English-languages queries it was said to impact (other languages are also impacted, but we’re using English as a consistent baseline):

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


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Peter

    There has definitely been significant changes in last few weeks (for the worse). the niche industry I work in has even more keyword domains, new sites with weak content, even one site that has the same metatitle for nearly every page on their website.

  • Suzy Koch

    Great info to keep it in mind on my blog! I love you guys!

  • freelancerbd

    so much infrormative and valuable post. which i need.

  • Deboti Chowdhury

    Thanks Barry. Can you tell me if there where any other important algorithm updates besides Panda within the last two months, updates that may effect rankings?

  • SEO Expert | SEO

    i think Google will announce new panda updates within 10 days…

  • Lola Wolf

    I see changes every day especially regarding backlinks. It might not be a release but a continous revision of linking profiles.

  • Derek Ostler

    I am seeing more changes then normal too, and it is with pages we have not even touch or done anything with!

  • josh bachynski

    google is now backtracking – if you read what JM first writes here he first is saying basically some of the penguin data is being used – perhaps that penguin has been upgrade, or replaced. He admits in his second post (same url – scroll down) that penguin, or some part of penguin, is not running regularly, but some link analysis (which may or may not be part of penguin – if you take his first statement from the hangout) is. That doesn’t matter. The salient point is that they have link analyses
    running regularly like, or maybe part of, or a descendant of, penguin – it doesn’t matter what they call it. We want to know a) what’s running, b) when, so we can c) fix our sites or know when to expect the improving after link changes.

  • Dario Petkovic

    It makes me want to move away from SEO and toward AdWords – Google will love that, they win! I can’t ‘guarantee’ results or offer value add with such unreliable but the most popular search engine

  • Alan

    Hmmm so what we are saying here is that Google is full of it? That Matt and crew are out to confuse rather than inform?

    Some people have been saying this for a long time!

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