Despite telling John Mueller of Google that I wouldn't cover this, I now have to cover it.
At the end of his Google Hangout on Google+ last friday, John Mueller said at the 1 hour mark that he is going on vacation in two weeks and then said if something crazy happens, we can catch up on it with hangouts after. That got people talking that Penguin will launch when he goes on vacation but John did not mean that. With Google, something "crazy" happens every week. :)
Here is the transcript:
JOHN MUELLER: I’m going to be on vacation in two weeks, so probably not in two weeks, but maybe we can do one next week to kind of catch up, if anything crazy happens.
You never know. I mean, at least I don't have anything planned to kind of cause any kind of craziness, but we'll see.
DANIEL PICKEN: Well played. That's a hint.
JOHN MUELLER: There's always something that happens.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Yeah. Don't be trying to backtrack on what you've just said there, John. You've caused people to be talking about it. They think things are going to happen.
JOHN MUELLER: Oh my gosh. I shouldn't have said anything. No. I mean, things always change in search, depending on what happens.
So with that, I'd like to wish you all a great weekend and maybe we'll see each other again in one of the future Hangouts.
Here is the video embed at the start time:
Since then, the webmaster community has been on his back about Penguin launching when he goes away. He had to repeatedly say he did not mean that and it is not specifically going live when he is on vacation. He has no idea when it will go live.
Here is a tweet where he outright says no:
@joshbachynski Nope.— John Mueller (@JohnMu) April 8, 2016
Also, Gary Illyes is on vacation now, as he said on Twitter.
Would Google launch Penguin 4.0 with John and Gary away? I think so. But I don't think they are specifically looking to launch it when they are away. If it is ready, they will launch it, if not, they won't. It won't work around Gary or John's schedule. It should work around my schedule though... ;-P
Forum discussion at Google+.