During the busiest holiday shopping season, Google was making ongoing updates to the Penguin algorithm. There is no disputing that, Google confirmed it.
But since the second week of December, Google seems to have stalled all updates.
John Mueller of Google said in a Google+ hangout right before the new year, that the reason he had no updates on Penguin is because the engineers may have been trying to take a break.
John said at around 5 minutes and 30 seconds into the hangout, "I guess, one of the areas where the engineers are trying to take a break and see how things go at the moment, so no big changes happening there."
Here is the Q&A transcript:
JOSH BACHYNSKI: So I guess we're obliged to ask about Penguin and if you have any new information. And if you don't, that's no problem. We can just quickly move on.JOHN MUELLER: I don't really have anything new to share there, no. Sorry.JOSH BACHYNSKI: OK.JOHN MUELLER: This is also, I guess, one of the areas where the engineers are trying to take a break and see how things go at the moment, so no big changes happening there.
Again, to see how active the Penguin changes were during the holiday season, see this post.
Forum discussion at Google+.