This week’s “Friday Finds” highlights Matt Cutts’ recent announcement that Google will soon be releasing Penguin 2.0. In his video, Matt talks about Google looking closer at advertorials that violate Google’s quality guidelines. He also talks about new algorithm changes that attempt to detect links to “authority” sites and rank them higher in the SERPs. Another article that you may find interesting addresses speculation (among some SEO experts) that Google+ may come into play when it comes to detecting authority.
Google Penguin 2.0 Algorithm Updates
Last Friday, Matt Cutts (the head of webspam at Google) tweeted that within the next few weeks, Google will be rolling out version 2.0 of its Penguin update. While the first update focused on black hat SEO and quality links, Cutts noted that this release promises to focus on giving special ranking boosts based on “authoritative” sites. While he doesn’t offer specifics on how authority is determined, there’s speculation that participating on Google+ may have a positive impact.
To quote Michael Garrity, author of Could Google+ Play a Role in the Upcoming Penguin Update?, one expectation is that “. . . content that gets linked to or from Google+ will be weighted more heavily or at least with more credibility, than if it were just a link on a random website or blog.”
If Google were to begin giving more weight to links shared on their social networking site, this could potentially have an impact on where an article appears in the SERPs. Of course this is just speculation at this point but for those of us who have been somewhat slow to actively participate on Google+, this may be one more reason to think about it strategically.
Matt Cutts: What to Expect in terms of SEO from Google?
For those of you who may have missed the “What should we expect in the next few months in terms of SEO for Google?” video that Matt Cutts recently released, you can watch it here:
Basically, the highlights (that I’ve gleaned) from this video are:
- Create a great website that visitors will love. (Google will work hard to show high quality sites.)
- Google has been “looking at advertorials, that is, sort of native advertising and those sorts of things that violate our quality guidelines”.
- “There is nothing wrong inherently with advertorials or native advertising but they should not flow page rank and there should be clear and conspicuous disclosure.”
- Google is looking at ways to deny the value to link-spammers.
- Google continues to work on “hack” sites and to communicate better with webmasters who have had their sites hacked.
- Google is doing a better job of tweaking their algorithms to detect when someone is sort of an “authority” in a specific space and helping them to rank a little bit higher. (This portion of the video starts at approximately 4:42 and is what the first article that I linked to refers to.)
Over to You
What are your thoughts? Are you concerned that the Penguin 2.0 updates may have a negative impact on your SEO efforts? Do you find that these video chats that Matt Cutts tapes to answer specific questions valuable? Personally, I believe him when he closes his video saying “We’ve got a lot of nice changes queued up that hopefully will help (you know) small/medium businesses and (you know) regular webmasters as well”. I’m hopeful at least.