Summer is coming – the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, so what is the first thing that springs to mind…..SEO? No? Well, maybe it should!
Google’s Matt Cutts posted a video earlier this week on his blog which outlines what we can expect to see from Google over the next few months. In case you missed it, Google Penguin is coming back in the summer of 2013, so here is what you can expect.
There have been several updates of Penguin since it first appeared in April 2012, but this one feels more significant. It’s called Penguin 2.0, and promises that it will be more comprehensive and deep than ever. It is likely to hit unnatural links (like 2012’s Penguin), but will also look at advertorials that violate Google’s quality guidelines – this may be an issue for many businesses.
Penguin is going to hit the deepest where there is a lot of web spam, for example in gambling and personal financial services. It will also look at its blacklist (presumably built up by people filling out the Disavow Tool), and anyone who gets a link from one of these sites may have a problem.
To put a positive spin on the update, Matt pointed out that there would be a number of improvements to the Webmaster tools including more support for webmasters whose sites have been hacked.
So what should I do?
Unless you feel very confident that the Penguin updates will not affect you, you should perform a link audit of your website. There are lots of free tools on the web to do this. If you find some links that you don’t want to be associated with, then follow these steps:
- Contact the relevant webmaster to ask them to remove the link
- If this fails (and you really need to make every effort to remove them before this stage) you should use the Google Link Disavow Tool – more details can be found here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en&siteUrl
The best advice is to keep the end user in mind. Matt continues to mention that Google’s objective is to provide compelling and relevant content for its users: if your objective is the same (and you haven’t been dealing with black hat SEO services), then this summer should be a good one for you.