Welcome to Penguin 2.0

The next generation of Google’s Penguin web-spam algorithm was rolled out this week, with around 2.3 per cent of English-US queries affected. This makes it the most considerable change in Google’s Penguin algorithm since Penguin 1.

Webmasters across the globe have been expecting a major Penguin update from Google for many months now and Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, confirmed that the spam-fighting Penguin 2.0 Generation technology has been successfully implemented across its search engine.

This update is  anticipated to  have 666 per cent greater impact than its predecessor.

Cutts said: “It [Penguin 2.0] is a leap. It’s a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous iteration of Penguin would essentially only look at the homepage of a site.

“The newer generation of Penguin goes much deeper. It has a really big impact in certain small areas.”

Marketers are likely to experience a noticeable impact on search results, with notable changes to the algorithm including an “authority boost”, which hands authoritative websites in specific niches and communities a rise in SERPs.

The Penguin 2.0 technology also boasts more sophisticated link analysis software that is more in tune with a website’s link profile.

Users can also now flag websites considered as ‘spammy’ via Google’s webspam report page for the attentions of Google’s talented engineers.

The form doesn’t ask for any level of identification from the reporting party; it simply requires a copied URL.

Although this ease of use may, on the surface, represent a golden opportunity for users to abuse the system, Matt Cutts insists that Google has always had an extensive range of options in place to weed out spammy websites and they will continue to “listen to feedback and look for ways to improve results”.

What might this mean for you?

As long as your website does not violate any of Google’s webmaster guidelines and contains a good level of unique, high-quality copy and ‘white hat’ search engine optimisation then your site may experience an improvement in search rankings –  this is no guarantee however!

However, Penguin 2.0 may affect your website adversely if:

  • You have pages on your website that do not meet Google’s guidelines
  • You have pages that link to your website that do not meet Google’s guidelines
  • A search term you were ranking for was particularly afflicted by spam and subsequently all results for that term may have changed as Google decides how best to change settle on rankings.

 

Image: Reuben Yau (flickr)

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