Google Penguin 2.0: Through the Looking Glass

Black SEO Hat / Penguin 2.0Quickly, look in a mirror. Don’t ask questions, just do it.

If the SEO hat you see sitting atop your head is black, you should make sacrifice to whatever god(s) you worship.

Today, Matt Cutts, famous in SEO circles for heading Google’s Webspam team, published a new video about what SEOs can expect from Google’s search algorithms in the coming months.  He is typically vague, but much of what he says confirms things he’s been hinting at for a while: Penguin 2.0 is going to be big.  In this video he describes it as “more comprehensive” and as going “deeper” than Penguin 1.0.

Could be painful.  

Here is a quick recap of the main points in the new video:

  • Penguin 2.0 will continue targeting black hat web spam, but will be more comprehensive and deeper than Penguin 1.0.
  • Google will be looking at advertorials and native advertising to make sure they conform to guidelines. Matt is careful to say that there is nothing inherently wrong with native ads or advertorials as long as they “don’t flow page rank” and as long as there is “clear and conspicuous disclosure.”
  • They will be looking at ways of cleaning up results for queries that are typically spammed.  Two specific examples he gives are “payday loans” (resulting from complaints in the U.K.), and queries for pornography.
  • For link spam, they’ll be looking at ways to “go upstream” to deny the value to link spammers.
  • They are going to be looking at ways to do a better job of detecting authority for pages and sites.
  • This one will be of particular interest for those who got bit by Panda updates: they’ll be looking for additional signals to help sites in the “grey zone” for Panda.
  • They are going to address the clustering of search results from a single domain.
  • Lastly, but not leastly, they are going to get more info out to webmasters, probably primarily through Webmaster Tools.

by Brian Tibbs