Google's distinguished engineer, Matt Cutts, has announced the latest release of the Penguin algorithm is now live.
Cutts posted the news on his personal twitter account, on which he simply tweeted: "Penguin 2.1 launching today. Affects ~1% of searches to a noticeable degree."
Google designed its Penguin algorithm to cut down on black hat webspam - the process of using things such as keyword stuffing and illicit link schemes in order to boost a site higher in the rankings. This is the opposite of white hat tactics, SEO firms following best practice use in their day to day operations.
Penguin 1 was launched over a year and a half ago now, back on April 24, 2012. At the time, it impacted around 3.1% of queries.
The first update was followed swiftly with a second one the following month on May 26 and after that the next update was on October 5, 2012. This year there has been one update in May 2013 prior to this new update, which was officially confirmed on October 4, 2013.
It was the initial billing of the first Penguin update as Penguin 1, which created a naming structure many sites subsequently reported in numerical sequence, i.e. Penguin 1, Penguin 2, Penguin 3, however due the fact there are also many minor tweaks and updates made to each algorithm, Google itself simply decided to add a decimal point to emphasis the minor changes instead.
This means that what many sites are referring to as the Penguin 5 update, is actually only Penguin 2.1 in Google terms, as the 'Penguin 4' update, in May was actually only the second major update change to Penguin since it first hit the spam busting scene in April 2012 - hence Penguin 2.0.
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