Who can forget one year ago when the entire web was lamenting over the effects of Google Penguin?
The resulting effects are still being felt and some webmasters have completely closed up shop as their income stream went down the tubes along with their rankings.
But, yet again, we may have another Penguin update with which to contend. According to Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, Penguin 2.0 is close to launch. Penguin 2.0 will be much more sophisticated and more able to detect linkspam and other so-called “blackhat” techniques.
For those store owners who are not familiar with Google Penguin…
It is an update Google launched in April of 2012 that targeted over-optimized sites. So, in a nutshell, if you are using your keywords in too many places to manipulate rankings, your site may have been affected.
For more information on Google Penguin and other updates, read this article.
What about Google Panda?
Some good news on that front…
Google is working to refine Panda to help webmasters who may have fallen into what Matt Cutts defines as the “gray area.” These sites may have been partially affected by Panda, yet they have “additional signals of quality.” The webmasters with sites that fall under this umbrella may see some relief coming up soon.
What else is coming in the next few months?
Something that could prove to be monumental for the “little” guys who are trying to desperately outrank the “bigger” brands…
According to Matt Cutts, Google is working on changes that will benefit what he calls “regular webmasters.”
We all know that the million-dollar companies like Amazon and Zappos pretty much take the top spots for their keywords. Cutts didn’t mention that the big brands would suffer rankings, but he discussed doing a better job with detecting the authority of a site, even if it isn’t a big brand. So, the smaller “mom and pop” stores that generate high-quality content and publish sites that are authoritative in nature; their sites will have a better chance in the search results. (Note: he was vague on this so I inserted what I believe he was trying to say…in my own words).
These changes will help small/medium size businesses and “regular webmasters” as well. Cutts didn’t go into much more detail about this, but I suspect since so many webmasters complain about getting edged out by the “big guys” with the monstrous budgets, that Google is starting to do something about it. Time will tell if this change actually benefits the majority.
Google also continues to dedicate its time to foster transparency as it relates to revealing to webmasters what could be affecting their site’s rankings. The search engine will give more example urls and more concrete details whenever it communicates directly with webmasters via their webmaster tools account.
Matt Cutts addressed these changes within the timeframe of “the summer months.” But, he also stated that at any time these plans could change. The next few months will tell the story and I will bring you further updates as they are released. Stay tuned!