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Google Penguin 2.0 – What to Expect

Yesterday, Google’s Matt Cutts announced Google’s new algorithm plans for the months to come.  Penguin 2.0 is designed to target web spam, created with black hat techniques to dilute the results the end user would find useful.  Below is the list of topics to be covered in the next update:

  • Advertorials
  • Queries That Lead To High Spam Results
  • Link Value
  • Hacked Sites
  • Authority Sites
  • Clusters Of Results From The Same Site
  • Panda
  • Improved Webmaster Communication

Advertorials

Matt Cutts says: “We’ve also been looking at advertorials, that is sort of native advertising… and those sorts of things that violate our quality guidelines.  So, again, if someone pays for coverage, or pays for an ad or something like that, those ads should not flow PageRank.  We’ve seen a few sites in the U.S. and around the world that take money and do link to websites, and pass PageRank, so we’ll be looking at some efforts to be a little bit stronger on our enforcement as advertorials that violate our quality guidelines.  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,” .

What does this mean?  If you are paying for PageRank, soon you may not get your money’s worth.  People will buy ads on high authority websites that link back to their website, and the buyer hopes that the PageRank flow will help their authority (and their Google Search Engine Rankings) increase.

Queries That Lead To High Spam Results

Cutts says: “We get a lot of great feedback from outside of Google, so, for example, there were some people complaining about searches like ‘payday loans’ on Google.co.uk. So we have two different changes that try to tackle those kinds of queries in a couple different ways. We can’t get into too much detail about exactly how they work, but I’m kind of excited that we’re going from having just general queries be a little more clean to going to some of these areas that have traditionally been a little more spammy, including for example, some more pornographic queries, and some of these changes might have a little bit more of an impact on those kinds of areas that are a little more contested by various spammers and that sort of thing.”

What does this mean?  Anyone who has searched “Payday loans” knows about this one.  Some popular search queries get spammed due to their high popularity, and Google has hopefully created some new developments to counter-act the spam, and clean up the results.

Link Value

Cutts says, “We’re also looking at some ways to go upstream to deny the value to link spammers – some people who spam links in various ways. We’ve got some nice ideas on ways that that becomes less effective, and so we expect that that will roll out over the next few months as well.  In fact, we’re working on a completely different system that does more sophisticated link analysis,” he adds. “We’re still in the early days for that, but it’s pretty exciting. We’ve got some data now that we’re ready to start munching, and see how good it looks. We’ll see whether that bears fruit or not.”

What does this mean?  Stop getting links from low quality directories or other low quality sites.  Be aware of who is linking to your site.  Even if you did not authorize the link, it still may impact your rank.  Google Disavow link tool will help.

Hacked Sites

We also continue to work on hacked sites in a couple different ways,” says Cutts. “Number one: trying to detect them better. We hope in the next few months to roll out a next-generation site detection that is even more comprehensive, and also trying to communicate better to webmasters, because sometimes they see confusion between hacked sites and sites that serve up malware, and ideally, you’d have a one-stop shop where once someone realizes that they’ve been hacked, they can go to Webmaster Tools, and have some single spot where they could go and have a lot more info to sort of point them in the right way to hopefully clean up those hacked sites.

What does this mean?  Google expects to be able to increase the help they can provide through their webmaster tools for webmasters dealing with hacked websites.

Authority Sites

We have also been working on a lot of ways to help regular webmasters,” says Cutts. “We’re doing a better job of detecting when someone is more of an authority on a specific space. You know, it could be medical. It could be travel. Whatever. And try to make sure that those rank a little more highly if you’re some sort of authority or a site, according to the algorithms, we think might be a little more appropriate for users.”

What does this mean?  Google will be the judge on whether or not you are an authority in your keyword phrase.  This may make things more difficult for the little (yet just as useful) guys.  We’ll see…

Clusters Of Results From The Same Site

Cutts says, “We’ve also heard a lot of feedback from people about – if I go down three pages deep, I’ll see a cluster of several results all from one domain, and we’ve actually made things better in terms of – you would be less likely to see that on the first page, but more likely to see that on the following pages. And we’re looking a change, which might deploy, which would basically say that once you’ve seen a cluster of results from one site, then you’d be less likely to see more results from that site as you go deeper into the next pages of Google search results.”

What does this mean?  We can finally stop seeing three pages of results from giant websites flooding Google!  Yay!  It makes for a lot of scrolling and page clicking when you encounter a giant website being the expert on what you are searching for, and you cannot get different results from other websites until page 4…

Panda

We’ve also been looking at Panda, and seeing if we can find some additional signals (and we think we’ve got some) to help refine things for the sites that are kind of in the border zone – in the gray area a little bit. And so if we can soften the effect a little bit for those sites that we believe have some additional signals of quality, then that will help sites that have previously been affected (to some degree) by Panda.”

What does this mean?  Now that Google does not announce “Panda Updates”, but instead just rolls them out a little at a time, he hopes to “soften the effect” for those websites that may have a little more to offer.

Improved Webmaster Communication

We’re going to keep trying to figure out how we can give more information to webmasters…we’re also going to be looking for ways that we can provide more concrete details, [and] more example URLs that webmasters can use to figure out where to go to diagnose their site.”

What does this mean?  Google want to improve the communication pathways between themselves and the webmasters all over the world that supply their search engine with content.

Final Takeaways

Just like Cutts says at the beginning, all of these changes may or may not happen.  If it was concrete before it happened, it would not be a Google Algorithm Update.  Spammers Beware!  The 3 key things to remember are: “quality is the spice of search life”, “if it seems tricky, don’t do it”, and “make sure you know what your user base is searching for exactly”.  If you need any help with these, you can always let us help you with your SEO, and remove the worry from your life.

About Duncan

Duncan Harmsworth has written 66 post in this blog.

I’m a Web Designer/Social Media Manager/Blog Writer. If it happens on the web, I probably have heard of it.

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