Google Penguin 2.0 The Facts

Posted on by in SEO

Google’s Penguin update was a mainly about link spam and over optimisation. A patent granted to Google on August 14th is expected to be at the root of the latest round of changes expected to occur over the next few weeks.

The patent is basically a spam tracking function. Google tracks the changes in back link production based on the rank of a web page. This transition rank is then used to see what the spammer is doing in response to changes in rank. Or as Google’s own patent says;

The rank transition function provides confusing indications of the impact on rank in response to rank-modifying spamming activities. The systems and methods may also observe spammers’ reactions to rank changes caused by the rank transition function to identify documents that are actively being manipulated. This assists in the identification of rank-modifying spammers.

What the outcome of this is unknown. Whether Google will penalise the webpages/domains involved, or just discount the activities that have been observed, is a matter of speculation. The patent does also say;

The rank transition function provides confusing indications of the impact on rank in response to rank-modifying spamming activities. The systems and methods may also observe spammers’ reactions to rank changes caused by the rank transition function to identify documents that are actively being manipulated. This assists in the identification of rank-modifying spammers.

A few weeks ago, Google’s head of webspam Matt Cutts announced that SEO’s “don’t want the next Penguin update”, warning that Google’s next moves would be “jarring and jolting” to SEO’s and webmasters.

Based on the information Matt Cutts has put out, and the information in this and other recent patents, the following can be suggested as the best approach;

  • Don’t make any wholesale or wide changes to your SEO practice, doing so may raise a red flag
  • Focus on the long term SEO strategies of building your profile and your brand. Aside from going crazy trying to figure out what Google is up to, this strategy will be better for your business in any case.
  • If you are working on link building activities, make sure they are completely above board and within the Google webmaster TOS.
  • Keep building great, interesting, shareable content
  • Keep working on your brand and profile offline
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