Google Penguin is aimed at sites who manipulate links for rankings, violating Google’s guidelines by using techniques such as creating comment spam links or purchasing links.
According to Search Engine Land, changes to Google’s search results began to be noticed on Friday night in the US (early hours of the morning in the UK). This created speculation that the Penguin update due this month had been released. It has now been verified that Google have in fact released the Penguin Update. However, Google are yet to comment on the extent to which this Update has affected search results, or how much Penguin has changed.
Anyone previously awaiting this Update has no doubt been waiting anxiously for a year. Given that anyone previously hit by Penguin will not have known whether the changes they had made were good enough until now, this Update is no doubt very good news for some, and bad news for others.
Anyone hit by this Penguin Update will no doubt be glad to hear that Google have suggested Penguin will now be refreshed more often. So if you’ve been hit (or have been hit again), there’s a fair chance that you won’t have to wait a year for the next Update. This might be especially good news for anyone who disavowed bad links within the last three weeks, as this was reportedly too late for this Penguin Update.
It is important to remember that being affected by this Update does not necessarily mean you have been hit by it. Google may discount some links to your site without actually penalising you. Thus, you may see a decrease in rankings but luckily not actually be penalised – so you might only lose rankings/visibility caused by those particular links and not a punishment from Google.