Penguin 4, With Penguin 2.0 Generation Spam-Fighting, Is Now Live

penguinThe fourth release of Google’s spam-fighting “Penguin Update” is now live. But, Penguin 4 has a twist. It contains Penguin 2.0 technology under the hood, which Google says is a new generation of tech that should better stop spam.

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Web spam team, announced the new Penguin 2.0 update during This Week in Google (Episode #199). He referenced the earlier video of himself talking about the next generation Penguin update, and said this is being rolled out “within the next few hours.”

Webmasters and SEOs: expect major changes to the search results. Matt specifically said that 2.3% of English queries will be noticeably impacted by this update.

Cutts later posted more details about this roll out on his blog. He explained that the launch is now complete, including for non-English languages, and that “the scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.”

Previous Penguin Updates:

Penguin 4? Penguin 2.0? We name each release of Penguin in sequential order, so it’s easy to know when one happened. The list so far:

  • Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
  • Penguin 2 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
  • Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 4 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)

But after the first release, the second and third still were data refreshes of the same basic Penguin algorithm with only minor changes. This fourth release is a major change, so big that Google has referred to it as Penguin 2.0 internally.

Penguin 2.0 Goes Deeper, Impacting More Webmasters

As we covered earlier, Matt said in a recent video that this Penguin update is a major update that goes go deeper than the original Penguin update and will impact many more SEOs and webmasters than the first generation version. Here is that video again:

For more on the Google Penguin update, click here.

Update: Matt Cutts tweeted that you can submit feedback to Google via this form about spammy sites this update missed.

Image credit to ShutterStock.

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

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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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  • Kamil Szestowicki

    Anyone can me explain why Matt have t-shirt with firefox?

  • Social Media Manager

    I can & I will remember #Penguin 4 on May 22, 2013 easily! Because my 25th birthday falls on 22nd May.

  • Hemanth Malli

    Good realize. May be many sites gets effected by this penguin 4. Because penguin 4 having the penguin 2.0 features as well as it can easily identifying English grammar check too. So its a very challenging time to the webmasters.

  • Guest

    yes we are …………….. The Victims

  • http://twitter.com/markelhum Elhum

    yes we are observing lot of changes in SERPs most of the keywords are down..

  • Nathan McDonald

    We’re noticing some massive changes in the UK particularly to “PPI Claims” and “Payday Loans”. Authoritative sites like the BBC and MSE have shot to the top whilst some of the spammers have dropped between 10-100 positions. Will update you further as I assess!

  • http://www.erocket.co.uk/ Dave Fowler

    This is the second major Penguin iteration, and for this reason Google themselves call it Penguin 2.0. In 12 months time will we really be discussing “Penguin 4 with Penguin 2.0 technology”? Come on, guys, swallow your pride and drop the ‘Penguin 4′ references ;-)

  • http://in.linkedin.com/pub/ashvini-vyas/37/474/451/ Ash Vyas

    yes it has been rolled out and many webmasters are experiencing the changes

  • Mukesh Kumar

    Seeing a major changes with the keyword position, most of them are down. Kicked from #1 to #7 and so on, for the keywords which we scored top ranking for almost 18months.

  • Sudhir Raj

    will you tell me some tips regarding how to work. My serp ranking changed. Will you pls help me out what should I Do..

  • Deniel Nash

    plz tel me what is mean “2.3% of English queries will be noticeably impacted by this update”

  • Muhammed Riyas

    Yes! I can see lot of changes here in UAE

  • http://www.sowhatmedia.co.uk/ Tom Roberts

    Watch out, we got a badass over here.

  • Unbound Marketing

    It’s only affecting English queries, so you should be ok.

  • Sergiu Draganus

    No changes in Europe yet. Bdw, nice t-shirt ;)

  • http://www.dreamtechie.com/ Admin

    Yup, now i can see some positive changes in Google SERP… That’s great :)

  • Roger Overdevest

    Ok, what we see here in the Netherlands. Penguin has rolled out. We checked SERP of about 35 websites. Those websites who have had or still have foreign links to their websites, went down in their rankings. And also, the more foreign links, the bigger the impact.

  • Amit Kumar

    I think the impact is more than 2.3%…………

  • http://www.musicandnews.co.cc/ Asmara Susanto

    nasib2 turun2 :D

  • http://www.yaqsh.com/ YaqshDiamonds

    Yes, It has been confirmed and there was change in ranking of keywords for many websites.

  • mitch pablio

    Lol… :D Well this update just confirms that google is incapable of anything apart from avoiding tax… and i am more intellgent then a multi bilion dollar company as well! (note the ironic spelling and grammar mistakes)… What people should be more concerned about is not the updates but the growing number of adverts at the top of the search results instead…need the government to stop this soon!

  • Sagbee C

    I have seen my client rankings getting down.. 3k to 0 and ranking goes to page 1 to page 10th.. wow… will see further… maybe its all glitches at the moment.

  • http://www.interpretation-prenom.com/ bouzidi samih

    To see the real changes that will bring ca. This infographic shows the techniques do not reproduce on 2013 and we see the blog spamming. Okay google wants a clean website with more authenticity, but waiting for her happy is always referenced natural take longer Greyhat a good SEO strategy.

    Finally ca would be great that I’m wrong and finally the happy first is SEO solution for years to come but I have my doubts.

  • Rich Brunelle

    I have a question? Exactly how does SEO and Google page rank represent the business community? I do not see it. I see search engine ranking that leads the consumer to believe the top of the SE results are the best for what they are seeking, which is untrue, and misleads the consumer to believe that this business is a better provider of a service than another business entirely based upon SEO.

    Am I the only one that sees that there is something wrong with this picture. Somebody explain if I am wrong, please.

  • JakubHanke

    I use VPN in the States for that… I thought there is a software able to do that in large scale :)

  • James Simmons

    oh great

  • jayson

    I use cuterank but sometimes it triggers automated queries warning from Google. It does a good job on reporting though :)

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    It’s better to use PageWash or a similar proxy that hides all information related to your location and previous history.

  • http://twitter.com/uponacloud Alessia

    I think Google knows that and is trying to create an algo which will push the best businesses on top for real, not the self-claimed ones.
    I want to believe in the good faith of marketers who really do business with companies they would buy from as customers and that do not create an alternative truth to sell rubbish to people presenting it as gold. This way really good SEOs should attract really good businesses who can pay for them to push their online presence…if this makes sense, in my head it does :)

  • http://twitter.com/Chenzoni Vincenzo Desroches

    smells like fish ;o)

  • Hitesh Jain

    This update not preventing spam websites. Matt said this is next generation update and will protect against spamming websites. Tourpackagesrajasthan.co.in – tell me about this — its totally doing spamming and put keywords only then how this website coming on top 10. I believed in quality content on the website and google spam team also. Then how they manage quality….

    Google doing partiality with quality websites only.

  • Rich Brunelle

    In a perfect world (at least my perfect world) webmasters do not have to do all this SEO crap, and Search Engines index your site fairly. It is ridiculous for the SE’s to use anything not controlled by other than Internet that can be easily manipulated. And, even more ridiculous to get penalized because somebody figures out how to manipulate others sites with the same data. If a site has become “spammy” because it is getting thrashed with spam trying to rank in Google, why is Google picking on the victim instead of going after the people getting the linkage.

    I am still stuck on how any of this actually does anything for business, except preclude the little guy from participation due to budgetary constraints. Google needs to look at the impact they are having on small business, and take over the known universe later.

  • Ajay Parashar

    what the f*** is this..even after doing quality work and creating gradual links most of my websites has fallen back..it is looking like Matt is Dictator wants to rule the SEO world..he doesn’t care about how badly he is ruining the business…I think Google want peoples to use their paid services more so ruining business like this way..

    what he is getting after spoiling thousand dollars business of peoples…I strongly think peoples need to switch to other search engines like Yahoo or Bing..

  • http://twitter.com/84law Law @ Drumtrip

    My business site has suffered some drops. Bigger brands have taken over, I am not overly surprised. Disappointed though, its a bit depressing.
    Will the best SEO strategy in 2014 just be ‘turn over more cash than your competitors, become a bigger business’?

  • http://www.creative.co.ke/ Peter Miles

    I’m happy about the update. I gained from it.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    I imagine ranks and traffic are going to be all over the place today for site owners. Try not to panic instantly and give the dust a chance to settle.

  • http://www.patrickwagner.com/ Patrick Wagner

    I found Matt’s follow-up video on YouTube where he talks about what those in SEO can expect this summer. There looks to be a lot of BIG changes coming this summer that will affect SEO big time.

  • http://twitter.com/uponacloud Alessia

    Part of SEO is mere structure of the website, another big one is about making it clear what your site is about…I see nothing wrong in giving a hand to them by not making it hard to find a website.
    Anyway I doubt it’s Google’s fault if smaller businesses are out of the game, Google can’t have an impression of what is good only from words on a page and code. Even if you employ people to check all the copy for the quality you can write BS that makes a business look better than it really is. The little guy should better invest time and money in building his brand and influencers’ network and become reputable before throwing himself among bigger fishes in the rankings. In the end we still buy because those we trust buy there and we like the guy.

  • Dave Smythe

    Rx (pill) spammers still showing strong, including many sites labeled “This site may be compromised.” Wonderful update really killed the spam…NOT

  • Wendy Piersall

    Matt Cutts tweeted a link for people to report spam that is still ranking well after the Penguin rollout: https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/337586357822169088 – bit.ly./penguinspamreport

  • Ashley Stanf

    Well most of the sites are dropped. Anyone see the same results?

  • Rich Brunelle

    What do you think happened to the Article sites, why are Directories having such a rough time. Article sites turned spammy because of Google. The sites didn’t do it, spammers attacked article sites trying to get into Google. And Google punished the article sites. It is damn near impossible to get people into a Directory site now because Google says “no” to paid linkage. Look how long this has gone on without this being clarified. Google has intentionally put small business out of business because Google wants to run the Internet. I’m too pissed to continue this conversation.

  • AdeshSaxena

    nice updation

  • Temple

    Lol at the so called white hatters.
    The profession of SEO Webmaster is essentially becoming pointless. What customer will pay you good money for services you cant guarantee on the next shake up.
    Plus you’re forgetting about the possibility of negative seo. The harder Cutts hits them the harder they can hit you.
    The reason I dont build good sites for SEO is because its a very unstable market; specially for small fish. If you’re smart you’ll utilize all traffics sources and get creative.
    Be careful what you ask for.

  • Eivind Otnes

    If you suspect your site to be affected by this update, how could you find out what to fix on your website?

  • Ali Zaidi

    Matt had said that clusters will be taken care of in this Penguin update during his latest blog.
    Anyhow, they are still there. And lots of them as well.

  • Ajay Parashar

    Google can’t ever remove spamming from web but in step of removing spamming Google ruining small businesses and peoples are feeling cheated by Google…I am strongly feeling cheated by Google, still lots of low quality websites are holding first page even after doing linking against Google standards.

    Google is not only ruining business but a question mark is raised on SEO’s carrier. Small companies are firing seo guys because they are not able to afford their salary because projects are slipping from their hands.

    Matt it is really bad to ruin business and spoil SEO’s carriers. If you guys really want to remove spam then release an update saying web directories, social bookmarks, articles directories and other SEO tactics are finished and let the world know about new tactics that you think webmasters should do.. but you guys never do that because you want to run SEO on your conditions..

    you guys want to keep webmaster’s and site owners in dark ….why you guys never come with clear methods to do SEO? just sniping the yarn since lat few years and making fool of peoples

    Matt always saying post unique and quality content..my question is how many times you can write a unique content on particular topic..everyday millions of people are writing on same topic so do you think how long you can write a unique copy..some words or lines will match and that is sure..it means that is duplicate copy…I am really pissed off with Google and Matt.

  • Ajay Parashar

    if they are still outranking you then will ever outrank you…this was major update and has affected 2.3% English queries so how could you think next time you will outrank them…never!

    Google algorithms are not correct…Matt just telling tall tales since last year.. we’ll do this and bla bla bla..what happened only disappointment in SEO industry but spamming is still there as it is..

  • Ajay Parashar

    I hope Matt must read this..

  • http://www.pattonwebz.com/ William Patton

    2.3% of all English language search terms people type into google will now have noticeably different results than before this update rolled out.

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