I am sure that you will be well aware about Google Penguin Version 2.0 rolling out from yesterday – May 22, 2013. It is 4th update in Penguin series, but after 1st update the next 2 were just data refresh updates so Matt preferred to call it Penguin 2.0 (So would I).
Seriously, this update has created huge buzz, as Matt Cutts, head of web spam at Google, has recently published a new 7-minute video in ‘Webmaster Help’ revealing what his web spam team has planned for the upcoming months and what it actually means for the SEOs and webmasters.
Here are the key topics covered by Cutt’s in his latest video published on 13th May, 2013, which are geared to shuffle the SEO world.
1. The Next Penguin Update
Cutt said in the video that, “We are relatively close to deploying the next generation of Penguin”. And as you know they have already started rolling out from yesterday. Penguin 2.0 or 4.0, whatever you name this web spam update, it has surely shaken the Google SEO world in the same way as the first Penguin update did. In fact, according to Cutt, this is more comprehensive and will affect huge.
Here is what Cutt’s posted yesterday on his blog:
“We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin web spam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more web spam will see more impact.”
So, it is high time now to start cleaning your link portfolio (if not already done). And at the same time, you should focus more on generating quality backlinks via sharing top-quality content on social media platforms.
The Google web spam team is also set to strike on advertorials. They will keep an eye to ensure no one offend to our quality guidelines. So, if say a business is paying for an ad or a coverage over the web, it should not impact on its page rank. Cutt says,
“There’s nothing wrong inherently with advertorials or native advertising, but they should not flow PageRank, and there should be clear and conspicuous disclosure, so that users realize that something is paid – not organic or editorial”.
3. Queries That Results in High Spamming
Google will work exclusively on queries that see more spamming and will focus on areas that are contested by more spammers or that kind of thing. So we can predict that highly competitive keywords would be under strict review.
It has always been great to target Long tail keywords, but now it’s very important to focus on Long Tail Keywords.
4. Discredit Link Spammers
Spammers, beware now! Google is making aggressive efforts to discredit the link spammers – individuals who spam link in different ways.
5. Hacked Sites
Cutt’s team is trying hard to detect hacked sites and handle them in better way. Many webmasters have confusion between hacked sites and sites that give out malware. And hence, Google is planning to launch to more comprehensive site detection technique.
6. Authority Sites
Google has planned to give more value to content coming from people who has authority of a specific topic or space, be it medical, travel or anything else, by giving their posts a slightly higher ranking in search results.
So, if you are not penning some quality content in the area you specialize, it’s the right time to begin. But, this doesn’t mean you can load a bunch of scrap content on web and Google spiders will like it. The search engine spiders are seeking more quantity of top-quality content.
7. Domain Clustering
As you go deep in the Google search results, you sometimes find cluster of several results from same domain or site. You won’t typically notice this in the first two pages. Google is keen on rolling out a change that will reduce your chances of seeing more results from the site you have seen a cluster of information in earlier pages.
Google is looking forward to refine the effect of ‘Panda’ for sites those are in the gray area (previously affected by some degree, not wholly). They are having some additional quality signals that I think they will apply to Algorithm and re-analyze those websites. Google has published ’23 questions for publishers and webmasters‘ to use as a guide to how Panda is thinking.
Please Note: Google has changed their Panda Update Strategy. Now, Panda update is an on-going process and Google will not announce or confirm Panda updates.
9. Enhanced Webmaster Communication
Google will continue finding more way to pass on more information to webmasters to help them diagnose their site.
Tons of things are coming and industry is changing by leaps and bounds, and it’s very important for each one of us to understand these changes and apply in SEO strategies in 2013. Else, we’ll be lost!
In the post-panda and post-penguin world, SEO is not just traditional SEO, but it’s now much bigger than that. The old school tactics like title, Metatags, relevant content, keywords density, site structure, etc. will no more work. Today’s SEO is more sort of online marketing because there are many new factor that are contributing to gain good search engine rankings, including user behavior data, brand signals, co-citations and social signals.
SEO industry is evolving so fast since the last couple of months that, many SEO professionals have changed their titles from ‘SEO’ to ‘Digital Marketing’, ‘Inbound Marketing’, ‘Online Marketing, and/or ‘Earned Media Marketing’. If you are still just an SEO, you are perhaps missing on the biggest thing to win the game.
However, a question still remains – how can we evolve to best suit the new world of SEO, and ever-changing world? Here are my top 4 tips:
#1. Produce More Quantity Of High-Quality Content
As discussed above, Google is looking to give more ranking to authority sites who consistently publish top-quality content, in form of PR, blogs, articles, infographics, etc., in specific field or category. Low or average quality content won’t work in today’s highly competitive SEO world.
#2. Relevant Links
Days are gone forever when you get thousands of poor links and expect higher ranking in search results. Today, SEOs need to focus on getting quality links from different sources, which should be from the same arena or niche. Guest-blogging is a sure-fire arsenal; it will get you high-quality content and natural links from social media. Like-wise there are many amazing and innovative techniques to generate high quality of backlinks.
#3. Get Social Signals
No doubt, Google do consider Social Signals as one of the most important ranking factor. So get involved in real social media marketing, and get quality of signals. Get your presence and be active in all popular social media websites, especially in Google Plus as it directly comes from Google.
#4. Stop Link Building, and start Link Baiting
Techniques like article spinning & bulk submissions, low-quality directory submissions, etc. will generate low quality backlinks, and this will not be able to help you, but instead will hurt your site’s rankings. Google spiders are much better in tracking such links. Divert your efforts from manual link generation to creating something unique, high quality and innovative, and you’ll be amazed to see that you’ll be able to tap more than expected natural backlinks.
Be wise, and analyzed each and every technique you using to generate backlinks. If you think any of them can bring big risks to your site, then stop it immediately, and take an oath for not using them again!
Change is Eternal, and for SEOs it’s not a new word. But this time change is bigger, so we need to stress ourselves a bit more. But I am pretty sure, we’re mature enough to understand and get in sync!
To sum up, I leave you with a great quote by Charles Darwin.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
I would appreciate if you leave your thoughts or views in the comments section below!