14 May 2013 – André Voget – Featured –
Spammers beware! This summer, Google is going after black-hat and link spammers. In a video on YouTube, Google’s Matt Cutts announced 9 things that Google will do within the next months. How do these changes affect the position of your web pages in Google’s search results and what can you do to protect your rankings?
1. There will be more Penguin updates
Google is going to launch the next generation of the Penguin algorithm within the next few weeks. The Penguin 2.0 update will go deeper than the first Penguin version and it will affect a lot more sites.
The Penguin update targets websites that use spam tools to create backlinks. If you’re using tools that automatically create backlinks to your site, stop using them now. If any tool that you use contains the words “nuke”, “dominator” or “brute force” then it’s likely that your website will be affected by the next Penguin update.
2. Google does not like advertorials
Some websites use advertorials to get more backlinks. Matt Cutts said that non-nofollow links from these advertorials violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. If you purchase advertorials just to get backlinks, this might have a negative influence on your Google rankings.
3. Google will take a closer look at spammy queries
Some search queries such as ‘pay day loans’ tend to attract more spam than other queries. Google’s search spam team will take a closer look at these queries.
4. Link networks might get in trouble
Matt Cutts said that Google is going to go “more upstream” to make sure that some kind of links become less attractive. This probably affects link networks. Google has penalized several link networks in the past.
5. Google is going to analyze backlinks better
Matt Cutts also said that Google is in the early stages of a much more sophisticated link analysis software that will understand backlinks much better. That probably means that the influence of forum profile links might become even lower while the value of editorial links increases.
6. Better handling of hacked sites
Google is working on a better system to detect hacked sites. The new system should be available later this year. Google also wants to improve webmaster communication about hacked sites.
7. Authority websites will get a ranking boost
Google plans to give websites that are an authority in their category a ranking boost. For example, if your website is an authority in the medical space, Google plans to show your website above websites that are not as authoritative as your site.
8. The Panda update becomes less strict
Matt Cutts said that many of the websites that were affected by the Panda update were border cases. Google is looking at other quality metrics that enables them to make sure that these websites aren’t impacted by the Panda algorithm. The Panda algorithm targets websites with low-quality content.
9. Less domain clusters
Matt Cutts said that the number of same domain clusters on Google’s first result page should lessen this year. Google wants to make the results on page one more diverse. The second result page might contain more domain clusters.
What does this mean for your website?
At the end of the video, Matt Cutts explains that Google wants to reduce the number of webmasters who use black-hat spam techniques. Smaller businesses that use white-hat SEO methods should rank better.
If you want to make sure that your website rankings are safe, avoid spammy SEO methods at all costs. You can get short-term results with black-hat SEO tools but your website will be penalized as soon as Googles detects the spam.