Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team, has announced that the rollout of Penguin 2.0 was completed today (23 May). This is not simply an upgrade of previous anti-spam algorithms but a whole new generation which will penetrate deeper into web sites for good material and will target links manipulation, payment for links and other 'black hat' practices. According to Mark Cutts's blog:
"We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.
This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally. For more information on what SEOs should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released."
Here's the video.
As always, the stated intention of Google is to encourage and recognise quality web sites and penalise bad practice. Since the introduction of their Panda algorithm the focus of Search Engine Optimisation has been shifting away from the received wisdom of the SEO industry and towards rich content - in March 2012 we posted an early warning in "The Google Panda Algorithm" together with Google's own guidelines on the constituents of a good quality site.
It should be recognised that there are other, and possibly more effective, methods of attracting attention than through search results, and that SEO is just one part of the marketing toolkit. But the guidelines outlined in our March 2012 Panda post represent good practice for web sites generally, and Google's developments are trending more and more towards the principle that good content, designed for web site readership, will automatically attract the attention of search engines.
Editor's Choice from Share Wales on Flickr. Harlech Castle at Dusk, by Eddie Evans.
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