If there’s one thing predictable about Google, it’s change. This change takes place almost every single day on the world’s most-used search engine. As we all know, when Google makes changes, rankings change, which can be a very good or very bad thing depending on which side of the fence you end-up on.
Yesterday at SMX West Google’s Matt Cutts announced that a significant update to Penuin is on it’s way that is expected to have a major impact on the SEO world. Continuing to move forward with Penguin will most likely mean:
- Much more focus put on quality of inbound links
- Greater sensitivity to keyword stuffing
- Link Schemes (this is where I anticipate the biggest impact to be – moral of the story, don’t buy links)
- Duplicate content used for ranking
- And you thought Penguins were harmless…
While many people have already stopped doing many of these things, many SEO books still preach them as techniques for ranking better. On top of that, searching in Google will lead you to tutorials with completely out-of-date SEO techniques. This probably doesn’t bug Google too much since they really don’t want you to build for them, they want you to build for the user.
In the next few days Google will be coming-out with another Panda update. This will continue to turn the crank and remove “content farms” from search results. Yes, you’ll still probably see Wikipedia in it’s usual prime territory, but smaller and potentially spammy content farms will continue to be pruned out.
I’m a big fan of both Penguin and Panda and have been since they were first released. At the end of the day you really should be ignoring SEO and instead focusing on building something innovative that people like, share, and come back to. Rather than trying to game the system buying tons of high-PR links, why not try to do something interesting that people want to write about?
Last but not least, Google is on the lookout for link networks, and they’re taking them down. I typically think of link networks being incredibly old school, but hey, they’re still around so someone must be using them…not for long.
More to come but that’s the latest fresh from SMX West. Check-back soon for the full update on Google’s Panda update planned for this Friday or next Monday.