Webmasters have been watching for Penguin 2.0 to hit the Google search results since Google's Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts first announced that there would be the next generation of Penguin in March. Cutts officially announced that Penguin 2.0 is rolling out late Wednesday afternoon on "This Week in Google".
"It's gonna have a pretty big impact on web spam," Cutts said on the show. "It's a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous iteration of Penguin would essentinally only look at the home page of a site. The newer generation of Penguin goes much deeper and has a really big impact in certain small areas."
In a new blog post, Cutts added more details on Penguin 2.0, saying that the rollout is now complete and affects 2.3 percent of English-U.S. queries, and that it affects non-English queries as well. Cutts wrote:
We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.
This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally. For more information on what SEOs should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released.
Webmasters first got a hint that the next generation of Penguin was imminent when back on May 10 Cutts said on Twitter, “we do expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 (next generation of Penguin) sometime in the next few weeks though.”
Then in a Google Webmaster Help video, Cutts went into more detail on what Penguin 2.0 would bring, along with what new changes webmasters can expect over the coming months with regards to Google search results.
He detailed that the new Penguin was specifically going to target black hat spam, but would be a significantly larger impact on spam than the original Penguin and subsequent Penguin updates have had.
Twitter is full of people commenting on the new Penguin 2.0, and there should be more information in the coming hours and days as webmasters compare SERPs that have been affected and what kinds of spam specifically got targeted by this new update.
Let us know if you've seen any significant changes, or if the update has helped or hurt your traffic/rankings in the comments.
UPDATE: Google has set up a Penguin Spam Report form.
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!