Google’s Penguin 5 SPAM Update Launches Today

Strap in lawyers.  About an hour ago, Matt Cutts announced the launch of Penguin 2.1 (referred to in the SEO industry as Penguin 5 – don’t ask why).

Penguin 5

Today’s algo update is relatively minor (thus the “.1” instead of 3) but should impact 1% of searches.  Those negatively impacted will most likely have to-date gotten away with a dodgy, purchased backlink profile.  Beneficiaries may include sites that have been working on Penguin cleanup from past penalties.

Penguin Traffic Hit
Image from Hungry Piranah

How to Diagnose if You’ve Been Penguined

Penguin updates are immediate and severe.  Review your Google Analytics data for sudden and otherwise unexplained changes in (search) traffic associated with the dates of Penguin roll-outs (see below).  Additionally, you may receive notice in your Google Webmaster Tools account.  Past Penguin updates include:

  • April 24th, 2012
  • May 25, 2012
  • October 9, 2012
  • May 22, 2013

So, tomorrow morning, wake up, pour some coffe and compare today’s traffic to last Friday.  Then breath a sigh of relief if you’ve been doing all the right things, or panic and start reading Demystifying Link Disavowals, Penalties and More by Jenny Halasaz.