When Google promised an update to their infamous Penguin algorithm for early 2016, website managers across the world braced themselves for a potentially devastating drop in their search engine rankings. The Penguin algorithm is designed to ‘punish’ websites that violate Google’s webmaster guidelines, and to promote those that follow the ‘rules’.
Many sites affected by the original Penguin update felt that they had been unfairly penalised by the algorithm. Particularly when it took months or years for many to recover their original rankings.
So when a change in ranking factors did finally arrive in the middle of January, there was instant panic that Penguin was in effect.
It’s not Penguin because Google says it’s not
After the dust settled, it quickly became apparent that the update was not Penguin-related. More importantly, several key Google figures even said as much on Twitter: