Google launched Penguin algorithm on April 24th, 2012 to remove spam from the SERPs. This algorithm basically hit websites those are buying links via link networks or using spam/blackhat techniques to boost their rankings. In simple words, this update decreases the search rankings of the websites those violate Google’s guidelines. Google Webmaster guidelines must be followed by everyone to avoid penalties.
Earlier to this, people were manipulating search rankings by working on negative link building tactics. Spamming was on its full stack but with algorithm launch, it is in control. When Google announced Penguin rollout, SEOs those were using toxic links started vanishing the Negative links (generating traffic and ranking) by using Google’s Disavow tool.
Due to the number of requests of disavowing, Google sent a notification to start working on the link analysis. This way SEOs started doing link analysis for their websites and sent requests to the webmasters to remove their website links from their sites. After that SEOs add a final sheet of live negative links in the disavow tool.
From September 2016, Google made Penguin Algorithm granular, real-time and a part of its core search algorithm. By more granular means your website is not going to vanish fully from SERPs for negative links. Instead of this Google will devalue the toxic links.
Releases in the past:
• Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 – impacting ~3.1% of queries
• Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 – impacting less than 0.1%
• Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 – impacting ~0.3% of queries
• Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 – impacting 2.3% of queries
• Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 – impacting around 1% of queries
• Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 – impacting around 1% of queries
• Penguin 4.0 & real-time on September 23, 2016, and completed on October 6, 2016