Google just released the latest Penguin updates and is scheduled to release an additional update in the near future. Here is the latest from Google’s Matt Cutt:
- Major Penguin Update
- Advertorial Spam
- “Spammy” Queries Being Looked At
- Going Upstream At Link Spammers
- More Sophisticated Link Analysis
- Improvements On Hacked Sites
- Authority Boost In Algorithm
- Panda To Soften
- Domain Clusters In SERPs
- Improved Webmaster Communication
1. Latest Penguin Update
The next generation Penguin update, Penguin 4 (AKA Penguin 2.0), which is expected to launch in the next few weeks, will go deeper and have more of an impact than the first version of that Penguin update. So expect that we will hear more of an outcry from the SEO community when this does launch.
Earlier this year, Google went after some websites for using advertorials as a means to artificially inflate their link profile. Matt Cutts said Google will soon take a stronger stance against those using advertorials in a means that violates their webmaster guidelines.
3. Spammy Queries
Queries that tend to be spammy in nature, such as pay day loans or some pornographic related queries, were somewhat less likely to be a target for Google’s search spam team – Matt Cutts said Google is more likely to look at this area in the near future. He made it sound like these requests are coming from outside of Google and thus Google wants to address those concerns with these types of queries.
4. Going Upstream
Matt Cutts said they want to go more “upstream” to deter link spammers and the value of the links they are acquiring from the sources. This seems to imply to me that Google will go after more link networks.
5. Sophisticated Link Analysis
Google is going to get even better at their link analysis and is in the early stages of this much more sophisticated link analysis software but when it is released, they will be much better at understanding links.
6. Improvements On Hacked Sites
Google has done a lot of work with hacked sites and their index, specifically labeling the search results of potentially hacked sites, removing those sites and also warnings webmasters about the hack. Matt said Google is working on rolling out a new feature to better detect hacked sites in the upcoming months.
7. Authority Boost
Google hopes to give sites that are an authority in a specific industry, community or space a ranking boost. So if you are an authority in the medical or education, or travel, Google hopes that related queries will return your site above less authoritative web sites.
8. Panda Softening
While many sites have been impacted by the Google Panda update, Matt Cutts said that many of those impacted are borderline cases. Google is looking for ways to “soften” that impact by looking at other quality metrics to move those on the line to not be impacted by the Panda algorithm.
9. Domain Clusters In SERPs
The number of clusters of the same domain name showing on the first page of Google’s search results should lessen this year by making the search results on the first page even more diverse, but when you click to the second results page, you may be more likely to see clustered results from the same domain name. Google is constantly tweaking how many search results from the same domain name show up on a single page of search results.
10. Improved Webmaster Communication
As always, Google is always saying they want to improve their communication with webmasters. You can expect even more detailed examples within webmaster notifications received within Google Webmaster Tools.