Including the original Penguin algorithm launch in late April, this is the third update, so we’re calling it Penguin 3 and avoiding the previous 1.1, 1.2, etc. naming scheme, just as we’ve done with the Panda updates.
Penguin Releases So Far
Here’s the list so far, showing when each Penguin update came out, the percentage of English-languages queries it was said to impact (other languages are also impacted, but we’re using English as a consistent baseline):
Penguin 1: April 24, 2012 (3.1%)
Penguin 2: May 26, 2012 (less than 0.1%)
Penguin 3: Oct. 5, 2012 (0.3%)
Some Details On Penguin 3
Weather report: Penguin data refresh coming today. 0.3% of English queries noticeably affected. Details: goo.gl/AF5kt
He added more info via a few replies on Twitter, like these that mention the update will also impact a small percentage of queries in other languages such as Spanish, Italian and French.
For the first time that I’m aware of, we also learn a bit about what Google means when it cites how many queries are “noticeably affected.” In this conversation with UK SEO Rob Watts, Cutts suggests that “noticeable” means “above the fold,” at least to some degree.
Google first launched the Penguin update in late April, and even though the company talked about targeting webspam in general, the real impact seems to have been on websites with what Google considers (too many) low-quality inbound links. Prior to today, there was one previous update in late May and Google has promised further “jolts” related to the Penguin algorithm.