Google is constantly improving their algorithms, but every now and then there is an update that gets some extra attention. Two days ago Matt Cutts, of Google, announced that there are some major changes to be made in the summer, Google Penguin 2.0 being the most important. We will discuss the effects in this article.
Previous updates: Google Panda and Google Penguin
The most significant Google updates are Google Panda and Google Penguin. These updates are developed to make sure that irrelevant websites and web shops do not end up on the first page of Google.
Google had their first big clean-up early 2011. Under the name of Google Panda they expanded their existing algorithm, which improved search results displaying high-quality websites and web shops first. The Google Panda update aimed to eliminate so called link farms; websites without any content or, just duplicate content that often only consist of links, or had the sole goal of redirecting visitors to different websites. The content is of poor quality – according to Google. Important factors that are used to recognize these sites include:
- Poor quality texts. A high bounce rate can be an indication that the texts are not very useful.
- Copied text – Google doesn’t appreciate websites that copy text from other sites.
- Visitors spend very little time on the website.
- There is a lot of advertising on the site.
Google Penguin 1.0
Google Penguin is meant to attack web spam by eliminating optimized websites from the search research. This consist of recognizing these two components: keyword spamming and link spamming. Keywords spamming pages are being written around one keyword. Link spamming is where links, which consist of a single keyword, are being placed on an external website. For example, if you own a web shop where you sell clothing, it isn’t a good idea to use links that consist of all the same words, like “clothing web shop”. Try to use different terms when you are creating external links, like “women’s clothing web shop” and “men’s clothing web shop” “big size clothing web shop” etc. This way the “clothing web shop” reoccurs every time, without using the exact same words.
You can do the following to avoid becoming a victim of these updates:
- Make sure you have a natural link profile. Are you using bulk bought links or automated links? Delete these. And definitely don’t use any links that you feel are not reliable.
- Prevent having a keyword spammed profile. Do you have any pages where your main keyword is used unnecessary? Try to remove them where they are not relevant and expand your texts while making logical sentences to use your keywords. All your texts need to be easily read.
- Focus on high-quality, and relevant content. As long as your website offers quality content, Google will reward you.
- Links must be natural and relevant. Think about what every link on your site has to offer to your visitors.
- Think about what kind of websites you want to link your shop to. It is way better to place your link on websites that relate to what you do and are interesting, than to have links that are full of random content and ads.
Google Penguin 2.0
Now that you know a little bit about Google's updates, you will have a better understanding of the next update. In the video below Matt Cutts explains what to expect. A short summary:
The most significant update is, without a doubt, Google Penguin 2.0. Content is, according to Google still the most important. If you offer quality information, are you getting a lot of shares through social media, a lot of bookmarks and many return customers? You don’t have to worry.
Spamming, link spamming and advertorials remain an issue with Google. Cutts indicates that Google has new ways to qualify advertorials and paid links. It is not clear how exactly they do this.
How they will discipline spammers and link-spammers is not clear either, but it seems that spamming will become less effective. There is a big chance that Google will be mainly focusing on 'black hat' SEO.
What do I have to do?
The way it looks now, there won’t be much that you would have to do, if you are playing by the rules that is. As long as you are not using 'black hat' SEO, have no links to your sites on dodgy websites, keep offering relevant information in your shop and blog, you have nothing to fear. In this case you will actually get more advantages. If you have your own blog, you can now, with relevant info and extensive content, get a lot more customers to your website or web shop. Good luck!