The History of Google Penguin
On April 24th, 2012, Google announced the implementation of Google Penguin, an advanced algorithm system meant to decrease the ranking of websites in violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Violations include “automatically generated content, link schemes, cloaking, sneaky redirects, doorway pages, malicious behavior, hidden text or links, and scraped content.” Since SEO relies heavily on linking to the webpage from other sources, many webpages will try to link from as many sources as possible. SEO best practices recommend that website hosts link from reputable sources. However, until Google Penguin was rolled out, many SEO strategists would excessively link from as many sources as possible, including comments sections, self-made articles, and other easy to access places. However, this is in violation of the Webmaster Guidelines, and it is the type of activity that Google Penguin targets.
What is Google Penguin?
Google Penguin works by performing a one-time, Google-wide sweep that detects any unnatural or offending links. The first round was on the release date of April 24th, 2012. The second Penguin algorithm update occurred on April 24th, 2012. The third followed in October of the same year, and so on. Similar to the Panda algorithm, it runs once and is re-run with each update or refresh. It does not continuously run, allowing webpages that have lost their rankings to clean up their unnatural links between refreshes and updates.
- Penguin #1: April 24th, 2012
- Penguin #2: May 26th, 2012
- Penguin #3: October 5th, 2012
- Penguin #4 AKA Penguin 2.0: May 22nd, 2013
- Penguin #5 AKA Penguin 2.1: October 4th, 2013
- Penguin #6 AKA Penguin 3.0: October 17th, 2014
- Penguin #7 AKA Penguin 4.0: Expected Q1 2016