Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam at Google, announced on Friday that Penguin 2.0 is due for release in the next few weeks.

We’ve known about a potential update for some time now, and have even seen slight fluctuations in rankings (possibly due to Google split testing their SERPs); however, this is the first that we’ve heard anything definitive from Google as to what Penguin 2.0 could actually mean and when it’s making its way here.

Theoretically, if you’ve been conducting ethical SEO then you shouldn’t have a problem, but who’s to say the change won’t affect what is currently considered “best practice” within the world of SEO? In a recent video on his blog Matt Cutts stated,

“If you’re doing high quality content whenever you’re doing SEO; this shouldn’t be a big surprise. You shouldn’t have to worry about a lot of different changes. If you’ve been hanging out a lot of black hat forums and trading all sorts of spamming package tips….then it might be a more eventful summer for you”.

After the release of the Penguin algorithm back in April 2012, websites that were hit hard are still struggling to recover over a year later. It’s hoped that webmasters and SEOs who have conducted major “clean up” operations will finally start to see the fruits of their labour taking effect, while others are concerned that a year’s worth of salvage work is simply going to have been futile.

On his blog, Matt doesn’t go into much detail about the update, however he does mention that sites adopting black hat web spamming in terms of links are unlikely to be showing up in Google’s SERPs by the end of the summer. It seems that the update will be introducing more sophisticated link analysis tools and specifically targeting spammers.

Matt goes on to mention that paid links and advertorials will be under the spotlight over the next few months and those passing on page rank will be hit the hardest.

There is good news, however, for sites that were affected by the latest Panda updates. Though not being rolled out as part of the Penguin update, Matt stated that Google are currently working on an update which will seek out additional signals from websites that may be beneficial to readers. Websites that are currently classed as “borderline” in terms of black or white hat SEO could start to see improvement in their rankings by the end of 2013 if they are deemed to have signals that are relevant and useful. Matt didn’t divulge any information on what these “signals” could be or when this update will be launched but could mean a glimmer of hope to websites that are currently struggling to rank.

At the moment, the exact details of Penguin 2.0 are mostly speculation, though it appears so far to be nothing new in terms of what is currently considered to “black hat”.

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Google Penguin 4.0September 27th, 2016