Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts announced on May 13th, 2013, that the new Penguin 2.0 update to Google search algorithm will be rolling out in the next few weeks.
Penguin vs Panda
The goal of the penguin updates are to reduce black hat web spam. That is, sites that violate Google’s quality guidelines such as keyword stuffing, overly aggressive link anchor text, low quality article marketing, blog spamming, keyword stuffing in internal and external links.
The goal of the panda updates are to reduce rankings for poor quality websites (not necessarily spam sites) which add little value to visitors, such as sites full of ads and paid links, and sites which copy (or scrape) content from other websites. However, conversely, the Panda updates are not just aimed at penalizing poor quality sites, they also promote high quality sites, that is sites with unique, thoughtful and quality content such as reports, analysis, research and helpful advice.
What Should We Expect from Google Penguin 2.0
Matt is giving us some general ideas of what the next penguin update is targeting – See the YouTube video below:
Paid Advertorials and Paid Links. Paid links violate Google quality guidelines. While they are not bad in and of themselves, Matt is saying that paid advertorials i.e. articles containing back links for which the owner pays a fee to publish on an external site, should not contribute to a site’s page rank. Paid ads should have clear disclosure that they are paid ads and should use the no-follow tag in the link.
Highly Contested Phrases. Google is also focusing some changes for highly contested queries such as “payday loans”, an area which tends to suffer from a lot more web spam. While details have not been divulged, if you are trying to run a legit site in a highly contested area without resorting to black hat SEO, you may find that this change helps you … we’ll see.
Link Spam. There will be more work on eliminating link spam, that is links from poor quality sites, link farms, and bulk linking networks. Essentially, links that contribute to your page rank will be harder and harder to get. High quality links will be more organic in nature i.e. links to high quality content on your website, quite possibly from related websites. Simply put, an ideal link is a link that you don’t have to ask for. In other words, someone reads a blog post or content on your website and thinks that the content is so good they want to share it with their audience.
Authority Figures. Matt also mentioned that Google is working on identifying authority figures in specific areas. Therefore, the goal of your blogging is to become a respected expert and authority in whatever area of business you are in. This is where the hard work comes in. You have to be actively engaged in your website content to establish yourself as an expert. You are an expert in your area of business after all, right? Writing doesn’t come naturally for everyone, therefore, if you choose to delegate (not abdicate) the task of writing to a staff member or outsource to a copy writer, you must invest the time and give them the proper guidance that will enable them to write accurately for you.
Hacked Sites. There will also be more work on sites that have been hacked, and tools to help webmasters try and fix their hacked websites.
Watch the Video
Google has always strived to provide its users with relevant, high quality search results. When Google achieves this goal, it’s users are happy and more likely to use Google again. This in turn allows Google to make money through its advertising channels. THEREFORE, commit to creating high quality content and Google will reward you with higher ranking. You can see they are trying to eliminate the spammers utilizing black hat SEO techniques, so stay away from that to avoid being penalized.
If you need help improving your website design, content and/or search engine optimization contact Radical Webs today for a free site review. We will give you honest, practical advice and solutions to improve your web presence.