শুক্রবার, ১৭ মে, ২০১৩

Google's Latest Algorithm Update

This latest algo update this is being rolled out is predicted to impact around 3% of search queries, and to put that into perspective, the original Panda algorithm was said to affect around 12% of all queries. However, us SEO's have learned to take Google's percentile predictions with a pinch of salt after Matt Cutts stated that the "(not provided)" keyword would account for less than 10% of all website traffic.



Before releasing any details on the algorithm update itself, Google kindly gave us some background information on how they feel about search engine optimisation. This is likely to counter the speculation from some SEO circles when Google make an announcement, the most recent example is the speculation that followed misreporting of the "over-optimization" penalty, which Matt Cutts discussed at SXSW. There was a suggestion that his speech was perhaps 'anti-SEO', however, those who have read the transcript of listened to the talk in full will know that this couldn't be further from the truth.

In this latest blog, Google have left no room for debate as they empathically state that: "SEO can be positive and constructive", "search engine optimization can make a site more crawlable and make individual pages more accessible" and "'White hat' search engine optimizers often improve the usability of a site, help create great content, or make sites faster, which is good for both users and search engines." These are only a few examples of the positive endorsement that ethical, organic white-hat SEO received from Google in this blog. The problem G have is with those who manipulate and game the system and rob search users of the quality user experience that they expect, I of course refer to the propagators of Black Hat SEO. As mentioned, it is sites that use black hat SEO tactics and violate the Webmaster Guidelines that will be hit by this algo update, in an attempt by Google to return higher quality search results.

G aren't able to reveal specifics about the changes to how they handle certain signals, as this would leave the door open to those wanting to game the system. However, from the examples given in the blog, it seems there is a real focus on on-page aspects of webspam such as keyword stuffing, and excessive exact match outbound links. SEO Consult will also be conducting a review in an attempt to identify other metrics that this algorithm update targets.

The second screenshot in the blog seems to indicate that this is another step by Google to clamp down on the blog networks favoured by spammers to acquire anchor-text rich links. It identifies a piece of blatantly spun content with three links semantically connected to the search query 'loans', which are completely irrelevant to the content in which they are placed. This is the kind of spam that would be found on low-quality blog networks such as BuildMyRank, which was recently de-indexed by Google.



As I alluded to in the second paragraph, Matt Cutts recently spoke about an "over-optimization" penalty that is expected to be rolled out imminently. We've cleared up that this wasn't a criticism of SEO general, but again, those who abuse the system and lower the quality of results that are returned to users. We don't think that this announcement is directly linked to the over-optimisation penalty, but we expect to see that released soon, most likely with a US launch followed by a global launch, similar to how Panda was launched.

While we haven't seen any dramatic changes in the SERPs just yet (and we're not expecting to see any change for clients), we will be closely monitoring the social networks and SEO blogs for a better understanding of the initial impact of this algorithm update. We have already seen numerous people complaining in the Google Webmaster Forums and in other blog comments about their site incurring a penalty. This seems to indicate that the update has already begun rolling out, but the full impact won't be known until later this week when the update is fully rolled out.

0 comments: