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First the Rant

Google has created its own mess. From using incoming links to creating “good content” It is my belief they have done more damage to the quality of the internet then positive.

Does anyone really know what “good content” is? And more importantly who wants to read on the internet anyway? I mean the only people that will really read any of these ranting’s about Penguin 2.0 is others in SEO. Certainly potential new customers are not going to read it. That is for another post…so in the true spirit of generating some “good content” here you go…

Penguin 2.0 Rolls Out

Wednesday, May 22nd, Penguin 2.0 rolled out, an algorithm update surrounding the web-spam-combatting strategy of Google. This is the fourth update that the algorithm has undergone, with the previous three being the initial launch, and then two data refreshes with small tweaks.

This launch was a substantial enough change to qualify as an algorithm update, but seems to be relatively minor in its changes, as far as legitimate SEO’s are concerned. But in listening to Matt on this video, it seems there is more to come to ensure an eventful and hot summer.

First, according to Matt Cutts, the update is expected to affect about 2.3% of English-language websites. Certainly, there is a huge number of English-language websites, so 2.3% is not an inconsequential figure. However, what Google has claimed is that the algorithm update is specifically intended to target those who are using black hat SEO practices.

Speculation on the internet as to what, specifically, was affected is still mostly that—there isn’t any hard data to back up the theories. However, what there does seem to be is a general consensus as to what the algorithm likely changed. Here, I’ve summarized a few of the different changes that are speculated to have occurred by Matt Burns on SEJ. Along with some of my own points and thoughts.

Tiered Linking Should Increase in Riskiness

Tiered link-building strategies are going to be harder to hide if you are one who partakes in them. So blasting high volumes of links through an automated program hopefully will come to an end. I doubt it. Already getting spam emails from the black hat world with new and improved tools to fool Penguin 2.0.  The sad thing is many small businesses will fall to the misleading and false advertising in pursuit to a fast and easy way to the top.

Google Compiling the Disavow Data?

Disavow data being used to create “bad neighborhoods.” The disavow tool allowed webmasters to tell Google not to consider links from sites that they believed may have been hurting their rankings. One theory states that Google has taken this data into account and have used it to impact consistently-disavowed domains. This however is speculation, but does make common sense. Time will tell.

Exact Match % Getting Smaller?

Percent of exact match anchors could be even more heavily scrutinized. There is much talk on what xx % of exact match will hurt you. The fact is no one really knows what the magic number is, if there is one. It is suggested that the current threshold of exact match anchors before drawing scrutiny is about 70%, and that this update reduced that threshold to 50%. That’s a pretty specific speculation, but the point is clear: The ratio could be getting significantly tighter.

More Competition with Bigger Sites

Authority Sites & Social sites seem to have done well. You can look at some of the top one here. So even though you may not have been caught in Penguin 2.0 you now may be having to compete for page one real estate with the big boys & gals.

Faster is Not Better

Link Velocity may also play a bigger role in the coming months. Google may be looking for unnatural spikes of links, as this would not be natural. Unless of course there was some kind of viral take off for a digital asset you own, and this Google would be able to realize.

But Bigger Could Be Better

Social indicators are likely to get a bump. I tend to believe that your overall social “footprint” is being looked at and factored into the rankings on a small scale. How much are you talking and more importantly how much re others talking about you could have a bigger impact down the road. We will see.

Is Paid Really a Guest?

The efficacy of guest blogging could start to wane as Google cracks down on sites that allow for paid guest blogs. Earned guest blogs will probably continue to be as strong as ever.

Interestingly, there isn’t quite the same reaction to Penguin 2.0 as there was to Penguin 1.0. It seems as though SEO’s see these changes as much more subtle, and less likely to interfere with their already-established strategies. Time will tell, of course, how sites are actually affected, but as it stands, none of our sites have been negatively impacted, and, since there isn’t that much fear going around, we expect that Penguin 2.0 simply expands enforcement of Penguin 1.0 concepts.

If you would like to see some of the big loser who got Penguin Slapped in this update you can click here

A few tips to wrap it up.

  1. Focus on your visitors and providing them what they want – their problems solved.
  2. Guard your link profile. Watch it close. Build its trust factor.
  3. Be more social – connect and share.
  4. Create more sharable and linkable digital assists that have real value to someone.
  5. Focus on solving the problems of your customers – oh already mentioned that, but if I were to pick one that would be it.
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