This week Matt Cutts released a video (see above) outlining the plans for changes to the Google algorithm that may affect SEO in the next few months.
Some of the major talking points I found interesting:
Some of it was the same stuff… publish great content, blah, blah, blah. Yeah we all get that, right? But below are the talking points I found interesting in the video and of course my 2 cents on them.
But the next generation of Penguin 2.0 sounds interesting. They claim it will be better at detecting web spam. Should we expect more link networks to go down…? Nothing has be confirmed yet. Google has been systematically targeting these link networks over the past year and I guess the message is there will be more to come. So if you are leveraging link networks for rankings you may want to start getting educated on higher level backlinking strategies.
I am a firm believer (now…. never used to be) that it doesn’t take a whole ton of links to get you where you want to go. It’s really about solid trusted links and if you are smart and creative you can get stuff no one is thinking of. A good example is invest in getting local donation links (here is a good post on how to find them). They rock and they can even be source of tax write if you donate to the right causes. Get a dozen or two dozen of these, then build a larger site and use your internal linking and onpage SEO to let google’s algo know what you ought to rank for. You do that and you’ll kick it in most local verticals organically.
They also mentioned that they will be targeting advertorials and advertising opportunities that pass pagerank via do-follow links. I am curious to see how they will figure that out algorithmically..? Seems like a manual link spam play to me. I suggest that if you sell advertorials that pass pagerank, you may want to name that advertising something else because Google could be scraping sites for that word then having people manually follow up on it. This is really not a worry for most of my local clients who are small businesses because they don’t sell any advertising, but I do own a few sites where I do sell advertorials and advertising – hey a brother gots to make a living, right? So I’ll now need to rethink how I will handle the do follow links in that advertorial content.
Google - “Please be wary if someone approaches you and wants to pay you for links or “advertorial” pages on your site that pass PageRank. Selling links (or entire advertorial pages with embedded links) that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations.”
In my humble opinion, I don’t think I need to worry about it too much because I am already picky on the advertorials and I always make sure the content is something the website’s community wants in the first place. We don’t just accept advertorials from just anyone. At the end of the day, I don’t want to bring any unwanted attention to sites I own for something as silly as selling advertorials. So I might remove that as an option all together. Not sure if I will nofollow existing links b/c for the most part 99% of the time it make sense to link out on that content and it’s warranted.
I also think the sites I own that sell advertorials are small fry, I think they’d be looking at mid to larger sites who sell advertorials. A good example is where they penalized all 40 local news sites in Feb of this year.
Tough call. I’ll sit on it a bit.
Now this can be problem for some of my local clients. I have noticed Google is consolidating multiple listings from the same domain in local SERPs. There used to be some spaces where we had 2-3 listings on the first page with a domain and now it’s one. Often it’s been where they’ve merged the organic listing with the Google Places listings (which I am not too crazy about because we lose the meta description). The problem with this update is there is nothing we can do about. ;(
So that is what is new with SEO and this is what we may have to look forward to with Google this summer. What are your thoughts on Matt Cutt’s video? Let us know in the comment section below.