Google’s Matt Cutts, distinguished engineer and head of all things search, reported on Friday that the company has rolled out its first update of the Penguin webspam algorithm, which hit on April 24. Penguin’s primary focus is to punish websites that unethically stuff keywords into content, use complex link schemes to game search algorithms and engage in any practice Google considers as webspam.
According to Cutts’ Twitter account, the rollout came at about midnight on Saturday, so few marketers likely noticed the update at first. However, Cutts said that the update affected less than 0.1 percent of all searches, so few websites will be impacted by the update anyway.
The update was similar to most Panda iterations seen in 2012 as Google simply refreshed Penguin.
There has been some speculation from the SEO community that Penguin had already been updated following its release last month. However, Cutts and others at Google insist that Saturday morning’s move was the first for Penguin since April 24.
Brafton reported recently that the initial Penguin update was part of a serious string of activity from Google with three different algorithmic changes in an eight-day span. Aside from the first instance of Penguin, users saw two Panda updates in that time as well.