Matt Cutts has just released a video that presents information on the soon to be released Google Penguin 2.0 algorithm change in 2013. The bottom line is that it is intended to be a more comprehensive and deeper yet more refined assault on black-hat web spam. In listening to what Matt says it is clear that Google’s engineers have put deep thought into how to minimize ranking damage to innocent small business sites while fighting uber-spammers. This sounds like it may be an algorithm change that knocks the breath out of those practitioners that are blatantly using black-hat SEO. Watch the video and please continue reading for thoughts on Panda 2.0 and what it means for SEO experts and their clients.
What Should You Do?
The bottom line continues to be create websites with useful and valuable content for users. Activity signals, actions and metrics that indicate users revisit, share or otherwise seem to enjoy your site content make your site more attractive to Google.
Advertorials Are Bad
Advertorials are articles which are styled like an editorial or news piece but are actually paid advertisements. (Think of the late night infomercials on television.) Penguin 2 is geared to deliver stronger enforcement of spam penalties against native advertising and advertorials. If you do use advertorials you should make certain to include statements or call-outs that clearly indicate the content is paid advertising. Google is definitely targeting this sleazy approach to internet marketing.
Finding Ways To Go Upstream
Google Penguin 2 is also designed to use more sophisticated link analysis and ultimately deny value to link spammers. Personally I think this is fantastic because without it the rewards go to the spammers, and it encourages an otherwise white-hat SEO company to go to the dark side in order to help their clients. Changes like this add bite to the talk about black-hat SEO penalties. This will demonstrate to SEO clients that a lesser performing white-hat SEO company has been cheated but is now going to be your best bet for long term ranking success.
SEO Amnesty – Communicate With Webmasters
Apparently Google has heard they outcry from the multitude of small business sites that took devastating hits from the wide brush approach of Penguin 1.0. Matt Cutts spoke of Google’s intentions to attempt to offer help for sites in the borders of the danger zones. By offering more specific tips and concrete examples of good practices many of these sites can better understand how to improve both site quality and resulting ranking potential.
All in all it sounds as though Google has worked harder to make certain that the next algorithm update, coming soon, is a surgical strike and one that minimizes collateral damage. I certainly hope so because in this economy a slip in rankings can mean the loss of enough sales to kill a business. Google is more than just a search engine. Google is a vital part of what sustains a healthy business community.