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Google rolled out it’s updated Penguin algorithm on 22nd May 2013, referred to as Penguin 2.0. About 2.3% of search engine results have been affected, so what does this update mean and will your website be affected?
Last year Google Penguin 1.0 launched and affected a lot of sites in a big way through rankings and traffic loss. Penguin 1.0 was created to address the issue of low quality, spammy and unnatural links pointing to a website which included:
Paid text links
Guest posts on low quality, irrelevant sites
Links from questionable sites
Penguin 1.0 lived up to its expectations and companies that didn’t practice safe and white hat SEO methods got hit in a big way.
Penguin 2.0 is the new generation Penguin and just as 1.0 focused on dodgy link profiles and the use of heavy exact match anchor text with links, Penguin 2.0 does too, but the new Penguin dives a lot deeper.
The first version mainly looked at a websites home page, whereas the new Penguin 2.0 looks at the quality of all of a sites pages. Not only does it look at your inbound links but it also looks at the content on your website too.
This new and powerful penguin can distinguish a lot better whether content is good or bad and if it is actually useful to a user or created just to push your keywords. Penguin 2.0 is there to look after the user, to make sure that they get great content which is related to what they’re looking for.
As always well-written and unique content is key to getting good rankings. Great content will be consumed by users and shared around the web through their social profiles and they will link to the content itself from their own websites. This is a natural linking process and you will get great rankings if you can achieve this. But if most of your links come from unrelated and untrustworthy websites, this is usually accredited to poor content and in turn you will see a negative affect with your rankings.
If you practice high quality SEO methods and write fantastic unique content on your website then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about, but if you use black hat methods and don’t have the user in mind then be warned…its only a matter of time before Google hits you with a penalty.
Below is a video from Matt Cutts, the Head of Google’s Webspam team talking about what we should expect in the next few months in terms of SEO for Google.
How can you recover from Google Penguin 2.0?
If you’ve been affected by the Google Penguin 2.0 update or you are worried that you could be, then there are some things you can do which could help.
• Remove as many unnatural/spammy links pointing to your website as possible
• Disavow links that you cant remove (for further info on this check out this great post on using the Disavow tool)
• Start to regularly build quality links and write fantastic, unique content on your website
You should focus on eliminating the bad links and replacing them with good ones.
If you concentrate on providing great value to your users through quality content, then you will be rewarded. Another big part of the SEO equation is through Google Authorship tags, Google+, social signals and the use of rich snippets. Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and stay on the safe side when it comes to SEO.
Last week Google punished Interflora for using spammy link building tactics by penalising their own brand name and other top generic terms i.e. ‘flowers’, ‘florist’, ‘flower delivery’ etc, for which they were at the top of the search results.
Google imposed this penalty to Interflora for apparently using unnatural link building techniques centred around paying for links. It is very clear that Google does not like paid links as these types of links are usually manipulative and spammy and in their own words “make a mockery of search”. To stop these types of links from benefitting with Google, all advertorial content should use a ‘no follow’ attribute, this tells Google not to pass on any link juice from the link, something Interflora failed to do.
David Naylor (head of SEO marketing at Bronco) has stated that Interfloras penalty is most likely from an aggressive advertorial-heavy campaign of buying links in the run up to Valentine’s Day. This also ties in with the decrease in rankings and PageRank of many newspapers who ran these ads. Many of these publications rankings and PageRank has dropped as a result of selling these types of links.
Advertorials can work well for SEO but they have to be used extremely carefully, this was Interfloras mistake, they went too far and paid for as many advertorial links as they could, therefore suffering the consequences.
Dave Naylor also commented, “With the penalty that Interflora has come under this week, seeing them lose their top ranking position for their own brand name, as well as the main traffic terms in the flower sector, just shows no one, not even the biggest brands can escape Google’s penalties.”
Paid links is a massive problem for Google and 90% of all links on the internet are paid for. Google’s actions were to make an example of Interflora to shock and scare others who are using these same tactics.
As of yesterday Interfloras rankings have started to come back in the search results, the penalty hasn’t been completely lifted yet but their rankings have began to reappear. The penalty hit a week before Valentine’s Day and has began to be lifted just before Mother’s Day. There is no doubt that this strong punishment dished out by Google will have certainly had a big impact on Interflora as well as other companies using the same black hat techniques.
This story highlights just how important it is to choose an SEO company that do not use any black hat or spammy techniques and Interflora has proved that you can’t cheat Google, the only way to get good rankings is to work with them.
I’ve recently been thinking about how much we use and depend on the Internet. It has gone from being a convenience to a necessity and it’s fair to say that we’ve come to rely on it. It has come to fill the role of everything that we need and do in our lives including shopping, bills, banking, business, entertainment, a source of information as well as interacting with people and being sociable.
So what would happen? Would we all be running around like freaks or would we take it in our strides? If it were to die, it would certainly bring everything to a screeching halt. Many companies, including SEO-i are reliant on the web for their business and the global economy would take a HUGE hit with millions of people suddenly out of work.
A lot of us spend every day, if not every hour on the web, having this taken away from us would give us a real sense of loss and many people would need to find other things to do with their free time.
The Internet is also a hermits paradise, making it so that we never need to leave our houses, everything is delivered straight to our doors. We would definitely be forced to go out a lot more and libraries would once again be full of people. Perhaps this loss would cut down on obesity levels? Using the Internet takes up a lot of time and instead of sitting on our bottoms, people may opt to use their legs instead.
Not only would it be a major hassle and drain on the economy but it would also be psychologically damaging too. A lady from New York recently made herself stop using the internet as an experiment for 1 month to see how she would cope. She said that during this time she felt like she was living in a cave and that she thought it would be much easier to get off heroin than stop using the Internet. We really have become dependent on the web more than we like to think.
No email, no Twitter, no Facebook, no online shopping, how badly would you freak out without the Internet?
Google has been talking about Google Author Rank for a long time now, previously referring to it as Agent Rank in 2005. If your not ready for it then you better get prepared because it’s coming.
So what is Google Author Rank I hear you cry? Well in a nutshell, it is going to bring quality content to the forefront and the quality of an authors content will significantly affect the rankings of your website.
This is what Google had to say about their previous Agent Rank idea:
“The name of the writer can be used to influence the ranking of web search results by indicating the writer responsible for a particular content piece … Assuming that a given writer has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that writer will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable writers in search results.”
This means you really need to make sure that whoever writes the content for your website or blog is creating quality copy and they need to build up an authoritive profile too.
To get ready for Author Rank, complete the below steps:
1. Set up Google+ and optimise your profile, make sure your profile picture is a picture of you and not your company logo, it has to be a profile picture.
2. Use the rel=”author” attribute and link your Google+ profile to your website.
3. Write brilliant quality content now! It’s all based on this so if your not good at writing, hire someone that is. It will be worth it trust us.
If you need help setting up, optimising and linking up your Google+ profile then give us a shout. We’re great at writing copy too!
For further info take a look at SEOmoz post on ‘How to prepare for author rank and get the jump on Google‘ for a more in depth view on Google Author Rank.
We would like to say a huge congratulations to our competition winner Hazmat Response. They have won a thorough SEO audit of their website. This includes keyphrase research related to their site to find what people are actually searching for as well as a plan of action that we will put together specifically for their website, helping to improve their website rankings in the search engines.
Once again, congratulations to Hazmat Response!
Do you want to increase the number of visitors to your website and increase your rankings in Google? SEO-i are here to help.
We are giving away a personal and thorough SEO audit of your website carried out by SEO-i. As part of the SEO audit we will carry out keyphrase research related to your business (ecommerce or information only) to find the keyphrases that people are actually searching for. You will receive the data as evidence of our research. We will then go through your website and write up a ‘plan of action’ specifically for your website and keyphrases with tasks of what you need to do to help improve your websites rankings in the search engines. You will then be able to go away and action the tasks yourself.
To enter our unique competition all you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number and website URL. To gain an additional entry just Like our Facebook page and share this competition with your Twitter or Facebook friends. Let us know by leaving a comment on Facebook or Twitter.
Competition end date 10th February 2013 at midnight.
English language only websites may apply.
The winner will be picked at random and we will contact the winner the next day by email to let you know you’ve won. You will then need to reply with a short list of phrases that you would like to target related to your website to help us out with our research. Once we receive this information we will then carry out the necessary work and you will receive the Keyphrase research and ‘plan of action’ within one week.
The ‘plan of action’ tasks are SEO-i’s recommendations as to what you need to do to your website to improve its rankings and visibility in the search engines, we will not carry out any of the tasks ourselves as part of this competition.
Due to the nature of how search engines operate and in accordance with Google’s own SEO guidelines, we can make no guarantees of specific results.
SEO-i is the home of online search marketing. We make it easier for online businesses to get noticed in the search engines. Our main aim is to increase your traffic and revenue. We offer affordable SEO packages to suit every type of businesses needs, whether big or small, ecommerce or information only, we can help get you results. Take a look at our website to see how we can help you.
Thank you for entering and we look forward to helping you get more visitors to your website!
YouTube has removed billions of view counts from some of the music industries top artists with YouTube cracking down on people purchasing fake views.
The fake YouTube views make videos appear more popular than they really are. The number of view counts affect the amount of people that see a video with the most viewed ranking in YouTube’s ‘Social 50’ chart. These viewer figures are also the way that YouTube work out advertising revenue shares with partners, making them even more valuable to channel owners.
Below is a list of some of the top offenders:
- Universal, the record label for Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj lost 1,015,800,118 YouTube view counts.
- Sony BMG lost 851,488,973 view counts.
- Britney TV (Britney Spears YouTube page) lost 462,567,893 views.
- Chris Brown TV (Chris Brown’s YouTube page) lost 187,412,448 views.
- Beyonce lost 151,445,205 views.
Google recently confirmed that the companies that lost a large portion of their YouTube view counts were violating their terms of service which prohibits users from artificially inflating YouTube video views.
Google has announced the closure of certain products and services for the end of 2012 in a bid to clean up products that don’t make enough impact to peoples lives.
- Closure of several Google calendar features including reservation table creation, Smart Rescheduler, add gadget by URL and the ability to check and create calendars by SMS – Ending 04th Jan 2013.
- Closure of Google Sync to new customers. If you already use this feature it will continue to function – Starting 30th January 2013.
- Closure of Google Calendar Sync – 30th January 2013.
- Closure of Issue Tracker API – 14th June 2013.
- Closure of Punchd – 07th June 2013.
Google Maps has finally released an app for the iPhone. Google Maps set out to make what your looking for much faster and easier by showing more map on screen as well as vector-based, sharper looking and quicker loading maps. It has smooth titling functionality and the really cool ability to rotate 2D and 3D views.
The best thing about the Google Maps app is that it gives you detailed information for over 80 million business and points of interest. Making this information so easily available to mobile phone users is brilliant for businesses!
In just 3 hours, the Google Maps app for iPhone shot straight up to number 1 in the Apple App store making it the most popular free app.
If you haven’t got it yet, we recommend you do, it’s far superior than Apple’s native map app and you’re less likely to get lost!