We knew that it was coming at some point but the mystery surrounding the Google Penguin release date seemed to have the online community alive with the sound of speculation as to when the search giants would release their backlink profile focused algorithm into the wild, more than one year since it last ran.
Amid the absence of a Google Penguin update since October 2013, the search engine rankings have been filled with guideline infringing sites that have manipulated the rankings through clear link building breaches, however Google have failed to address the issue, instead pushing their resources into the development of the new Google Penguin update which we can confirm was rolled out into the search engine results last Friday.
Sites that were previously impacted by the update and undertook recovery action to clean up their link profiles have finally been released from the actions that impacted their search engine visibility (as long as the algorithm believes that they have done enough to warrant release) while it seems that there are a vast number of sites that are still to see the impact that we would have expected to have seen based on manual review of their backlink profile.
Voices across the online community have stated that they have seen various levels of impact being recorded following the announcement that wide spread organic fluctuations were in fact related to a Google Penguin refresh however the search engine powerhouses are still to reveal the level of impact that the update has had, raising the question that there is still more movement to be seen in coming weeks.
Unlike a manual action penalty, Google Penguin actions are placed onto the site and will remain there until action has been taken by the site owner to clean up the issues that Google believe are worthy of a Penguin based dampening and what makes matters worse is that the actions can't be listed manually, instead the algorithm needs to roll again in order to release or entrap further sites.
As well as a number of web 2.0 properties being thought to have been "completely wiped out", it seems that blackhat practitioners have revealed that ‘negative SEO' could well be a winner in this update, with some of their tests pushing adult and porn links into target sites and this latest update taking action against them based on those links, however we are unable to see the full report on this and so we have to accept that information at face value.
With spam and hacked sites till present on a number of niches, we believe that Penguin is still operational and that there will be more complaints of actions being taken in coming days, especially since Google Panda is know to take up to 10 days to completely roll out and this being a new, bigger update of one of the most feared algorithm updates in the industry to date.
With the wider impact levels still to be seen as search visibility tools look to update their data quickly, we would be really shocked if there was nothing more to come from the release.
We know that there will be a number of site owners that could be impacted by the latest Penguin update roll out and should point out that Google revealed that if you made use of their Google Disavow tool in Webmaster Tools within the past three weeks, your additions would not have been accounted for within the latest update, making a valid case for site owners to spend time each month adding the sites that they would like to be included into the file in order to prevent that happening again.
Were you impacted by the Google Penguin refresh? Were you one of the webmasters that took action too late for your Disavow to be considered?
Drop me a comment below and let me know how you did.
Edited 21/10/14 Due to update being named as a refresh, making this more likely to be Google Penguin 2.2