Google launched the first update to its recent web spam-fighting Penguin algorithm late Friday last week, with online forums naming it Penguin 1.1. Matt Cutts who works for Google’s Search Quality division first announced the new update on Twitter, calling it a “data refresh” that affects only 0.1 percent of English-language search engines.
Speculation among webmasters and SEOs has been rife in recent weeks with many saying Google already launched the Penguin update(s), but Cutts refuted the claims and stated this is the first update since Penguin launched on April 24th, 2012.
Google described Penguin 1.1 as an algorithm alteration aimed at webspam and websites that violate its quality guidelines.
The new update is already causing outcries across the SEO sector, with many questioning if it has actually improved search results. Since it is an algorithmic alteration, Google said it would ignore reconsideration requests on Webmaster Central. They, however, set up a feedback form for webmasters whose sites may be affected by Penguin 1.1. Even though the update affects only less than a tenth of a percent of English searches, they still keep the form online.
Many webmasters and search engine optimization experts are still wondering if they have not recovered from Penguin 1.1 and if it means they will never recover and should consider starting from scratch. Who knows?
After the launch of Penguin 1.0, Google stated that those affected by it had been penalized. However, shortly after that, some sites that were not spamming Google saw traffic drops. A few may have been genuinely penalized but it is more likely that when Google wiped out millions of links, some websites that benefited from them lost credit. This means they were not penalized, rather they just did not get as much credit as previously. However, Google is yet to confirm whether this is the case.