Late last week, Google engineer Matt Cutts announced the latest upgrade to Google’s spam-fighting filter, Penguin. Bad news for spammers, but good news for everyone else, the Penguin revamp will target sites that do not meet Google’s quality guidelines.
This is the fifth update to the algorithm since its initial release in early 2012, and will be labeled “Penguin 2.1” by Google since it is a rather minor change building on the prior filter, Penguin 2.0. Cutts, who is the current leader of the Webspam team at Google, stated on his twitter account that the upgrade would affect around 1% of all searches “to a noticeable degree”. The release of Penguin 2.1 is the second update to the algorithm this year after version 2.0 was launched in April.
Penguin targets sites which are thought to be spamming, but which still manage to maintain a high page ranking, particularly those sites that feature purchased paid links. Sites which have been hit by this new version of Penguin should expect to see a drop in traffic within the next few days.