One of the reasons I love being a Search Engine Optimiser is because Google algorithms are constantly changing and keeping me on my toes. The 2.0 version of Penguin1 landed a few weeks ago that’s more comprehensive at targeting black hat2 web spam. It affected about 2.3% of English-US search queries, and I am happy to say that largely there has been few negative impacts of this change on our clients search results, and that recently there have been quite a few climbers (wahoo!).
There are certainly a lot less algorithm changes so far in 2013 when comparing it to last year, it makes me think that perhaps there is a big algorithm change in the works and Google are going to surprise us shortly. However, I watched a recent video from Matt Cutts, an associate from Google, specialising in Search Engine Optimisation - he was giving a few hints as to what’s to come in the next few months. On the whole it seems their objectives are to get rid of black hat SEO’s, implementing more sophisticated link analysis and to detect website hacking sooner through better hacking detection and improved communication through Webmaster Tools3.
These changes don’t sound scary at all and reassure me that there is no need to be threatened by Google. They are just trying to ensure that they deliver the most relevant and high quality results to their users. It’s my job as an SEO to see what can be done to make a website more relevant for its search terms, ensuring that a website qualifies as that desired page 1 result.
1Penguin: Code name for the Google Algorithm which penalises websites for the duplication of web pages, and black-hat SEO techniques e.g. keyword stuffing and link farms.
2Black hat: SEO tactics that break the rules and regulations of search engines, creating a poor user experience and/or tricking search engine spiders into seeing something different to search engine users.
3Google Webmaster Tools: A free web service by Google that allows Webmasters to check the indexing status of their website and optimize its visibility on Google.
14 June 2013