Yesterday Google stepped up their efforts to combat ‘black-hat’ or spammy link building practises, releasing their highly anticipated Penguin 2.0 algorithm update. Google’s Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts confirmed the rollout on his blog;

“We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete…”

In this post Cutts goes on to say that approximately 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to an extent that a regular user may notice and the impact on other languages will differ according to their levels of webspam.

Cutts has since tweeted about a Penguin 2.0 spam report form on which webmasters can submit sites that appear to be have been unaffected by or even benefited from the recent update, despite evidence pointing to questionable link building practises. Time will tell as to whether any meaningful action on Google’s behalf will come of this.

Webmasters have taken to twitter and SEO forum message board to express their preliminary thoughts on the update, with some boasting significant ranking improvements whilst others are reporting that their sites have fallen into the SERP abyss.

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Initial reports suggest that porn sites, gaming sites and a handful of big names such as the Salvation Army and DailyDot.com have been Penguin 2.0’s prey of choice. Sites with thin links and links from untrusted sources seem to have suffered the biggest overall losses.

In the coming days, more information should emerge regarding what type of spammy link building behaviour has been specifically targeted as webmasters compare SERPs pre and post Penguin 2.0. The team here at Search Factory will be following these developments closely and will continue to keep our readers updated.