Category Archives: Google News

Google Penguin 2.0 – Will Your Business Be Affected?

Google Pengion SEO-iGoogle 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
Comment spam
Guest posts on low quality, irrelevant sites
Article marketing
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.

Interflora proves that you can’t cheat Google

cheating google seo-iLast 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.

What is Google Author Rank?

google seo-iGoogle 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.

Get writing!

 

Google’s Winter Cleanup

google-winter-clean-up-seo-iGoogle 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.