Google has launched the next generation of the Penguin web spam algorithm, Penguin 2.0.
Distinguished engineer at Google Matt Cutts officially announced the roll out on 'This Week in Google' after first stating that an update would take place back in March. In the video, he said:
"It's a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous iteration of Penguin would essentially 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."
Cutts has also stated that Penguin 2.0 is designed to target black hat spam on a much greater level than the original Penguin and other previous Penguin updates. Meanwhile, he has given hope to webmasters who don't practice such techniques, saying: "If you're already producing high quality content when you do SEO, you won't have to worry."
What will be the impact?
A blog post written by Cutts has provided further details on the effect of Penguin 2.0, suggesting that the algorithm change is set to noticeably impact on 2.3 percent of English-US queries as well as non-English queries.
The initial launch of Penguin also affected around 2.3 percent of queries, while the two following data refreshes involved minor changes to the algorithm and altered less than 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent of queries respectively.
Cutts has emphasised that Penguin 2.0 is an updated algorithm rather than a data refresh, and will have a greater impact on search results. Google will even be referring to the change as Penguin 2.0 internally, which implies that the new generation of Penguin is also being seen as revolutionary by the search engine giant.
Rachel Hand, head of content at theEword, said: "While many webmasters will be paying close attention to SERPS today, Penguin 2.0 has been designed to crack down on black hat tactics. This means that that webmasters who don't practice spammy tactics and instead concentrate on producing high quality content for their users shouldn't have to worry."