tl;dr Google's Penguin Algorithm has been added to their core ranking algorithm.
The day we, well mostly myself, have be waiting for since October 2014 has arrived! Google has announced that their Penguin algorithm has been updated and is now updated in real-time and included in their core ranking algorithm. This wraps up their two stand alone algorithms that have been integrated into their core algorithm. Panda was moved into their core algo several months ago.
The Penguin algorithm is designed to reward high quality sites that have good links and punish sites that use link schemes or bad, black hat SEO practices to gain links.
There was two big things of note with his update.
- Penguin is now real-time. This means that instead of having to wait for Google to refresh the algo, which can seriously take years, it updates on the fly. This will mean Google will take any improvements into consideration much quicker.
- Penguin is more granular. If your site is “penalized” or rewarded by Penguin it won’t affect the entire site just the pages that are the issue. This is a good thing and a "one bad apple won’t spoil the whole bunch" type of situation.
Here is Google’s announcement post if you would like to read further.