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Matt Cutts About the Next Penguin Update
abhishekmishra




msg:4485417
 10:27 am on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts discussed at SES San Francisco to talk on stage and answer questions...

When people asked Cutts about the next Penguin Update he thought: You donít want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard.


For Penguin:- The updates are going the be jarring and julting for a while.


Webmasters who want to get as much visibility as possible should look at the spectrum of value youíre adding.

 

crobb305




msg:4485617
 8:36 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here's what I've been doing for over a year now that seems to work well and reiterates what has been said and hinted around.

1. Focus on conversion and user experience. Not a far stretch to think the PPC quality score algo has been implemented on the organic side and the CTR, bounce rate, time on site, etc.. play a role here. If any of you have done PPC, you know what I'm talking about. Hence, focus on the user and the experience. Improve conversion, lower bounce rates...

2. Link building - build brand links in droves. Don't worry so much about exact match anchor text (unless your profile is choked full of them, then you need to worry), build the brand, deep link where you can, the rest will follow.

3. Content and on-page - basic SEO 101 applies here and still works (just don't over do it), content needs to be more interesting and the page should contain what the user's intended it to be about. Not sure here? Check all the sites that rank in the top 10 for a hint on the "intent". What do they do that you don't? What's on their page that you don't have? If you have all of the above, see #1 and focus on improving that, then work on #2. Still not there? Then you over did the on-page or on-site and probably have an OOP.

ponyboy96,

Those are good tips. A question I am struggling with is internal linking (sitewide navigation, content links to other pages, or even to the homepage, etc). I don't see a lot of discussion about that, however. I'm worried that modifying the internal link structure will worsen existing penalties. It seems like any small tweak I make to improve the site causes the site to lose position. We shouldn't live in fear of changing our sites. To me, it's like getting an HOA fine every time you plant a new shrub in your yard, but unfortunately it's exactly what I am seeing.

Leosghost




msg:4485620
 8:40 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

internal linking (sitewide navigation, content links to other pages, or even to the homepage, etc

Always done it, never hurt..YMMV

suzukik




msg:4485626
 8:54 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

OP is cited from this article:
Matt Cutts: "You shouldn't put a lot of weight on +1s just yet" at SES San Francisco #sessf - State of Search [stateofsearch.com]

P.S.
I wonder if it's fine I put the URL here, mod?

backdraft7




msg:4485652
 9:41 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm quite sure Cutts meant - One more Penguin iteration and we'll all be knocked below poverty level income. I'm there already.

whatson




msg:4485654
 9:49 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just to re-iterate. Penguin is all about links right? If so then I couldn't be squeakier cleaner. No worries here.

Bewenched




msg:4485670
 10:03 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts: "You shouldn't put a lot of weight on +1s just yet" at SES San Francisco #sessf - State of Search


Well that's probably because no one is bothering to use it. We added it to our product pages and in the course of 5 months we have exactly 10 +1's for products..... with thousands of visitors a day they just aren't using it... I'm about to remove it forever... it takes up space that I could use to cross promote more product.

jimbeetle




msg:4485690
 10:58 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Penguin is all about links right?


Nope, a quite popular, uninformed misconception. See the original Google announcement [insidesearch.blogspot.com].

crobb305




msg:4485694
 11:06 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Penguin is all about links right?


I have been approaching it as an attack on web spam, gleaning as much information as I can from last year's patent update. On-page/off-page factors.

What worries me, in the industry I am in, is the number of backlinks that have been generated over the past few years by a company creating fake content (hidden from the search engines), with hyperlinks to competitors, that do a redirect to a lead-generation landing page. In my backlinks, I see thousands of these links, often on .edu pages. These are likely the ones hurting my sites, but Google expects me to eradicate them. I can't.

[edited by: crobb305 at 11:10 pm (utc) on Aug 16, 2012]

whatson




msg:4485695
 11:08 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Oh right, yeah, links and over-optimization. Luckily I am good on both fronts.

zeus




msg:4485729
 12:03 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

(e.g. the April 2011 update incorporated new signals like sites that users block) uses block whats that?

I hoped they would update Panda more often, Penguin have never touched any of my sites, just panda and I also think thats the update that has messed up search the most.

aristotle




msg:4485736
 12:33 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have been approaching it as an attack on web spam


If I remember correctly, Matt Cutts initially referred to Penguin as an over-optimization penalty, then later began calling it an anti-spam action.

aakk9999




msg:4485739
 12:52 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

(e.g. the April 2011 update incorporated new signals like sites that users block) uses block whats that?

If you are signed in Google, you get an option on Google SERPs to block a particular site from search results. The option usually appears next to the site you visited when you click back to SERPs.

BaseballGuy




msg:4485746
 1:25 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just to re-iterate. Penguin is all about links right? If so then I couldn't be squeakier cleaner. No worries here.


I had a 100% white hat site murdered by Penguin. Yes, I did a few blog links here and there/etc....but nothing over the top. I followed the propaganda of "build it and they will come" and made sure that my content was better than anyone else's content out there.

Having my sole income source in life wiped out, I made the decision to go blackhat.

I made a few friends and over the course of the past few months learned quite a bit.

My take-away on this is that Penguin/etc goes after the lazy spammers. The spammers that don't know how to spam properly. The rest of the "smart" spammers are laughing their asses off at Cutts and Panda and Penguin and the rest of the "the end is near" crowd.

The fact of the matter is that Cutts cannot kill webspam completely. Many honest white hat webmasters are paying a dear price as Google is cutting off its nose in an attempt to spite their face with these algorithm updates. More and more, I'm having to go to Bing to do an internet search because Google just can't get their #*$! together. The first 4-5 pages are littered with EMD's and other spammy sites.

But I digress....

I have a feeling that the upcoming Penguin updates will cause even more SEO guys to do 1 of 2 things:


1. Quit SEO altogether

2. Start learning how to spam properly.


A good friend of mine is a spammer (black hat, no hacking). He's driving a brand new 760i BMW and pulling in around $60k/mo. I took him out for drinks a few weeks ago and the subject of Penguin/Panda came up....I have never heard a human being laugh more heartily and honestly before in my life.


Good job, Cutts & Co.

SevenCubed




msg:4485749
 1:56 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

The first 4-5 pages are littered with EMD's and other spammy sites.


I have been trying to talk a friend of mine into abandoning Google as her default search engine for a few years. She is a totally non-technical everyday user. I've explained so much to her in depth about Google's abuses and even though she understood what I was saying she couldn't be convinced. Every time her PC was brought to me to get all the gremlins out of it (spyware, etc) I would make a point of setting all toolbars and browser settings to Bing (with her grudging approval of course). But every time her PC ended back on top of my bench for it's regular purging of gremlins all defaults were back to Google.

So recently I gave up. Now a few weeks ago she brings up the topic without me prodding it and says lately she has noticed Google is bringing up "very bad results" as per her own words. So, a gleeful smile comes across my face as I had a vision of finally getting her to switch to Bing (or anything else). But, what she said next blew me away. She said she found a way around it -- she inputs her query then when the results come up she immediately skips ahead to page 5,6, or 7 randomly and begins reading results from that point on and totally ignores the first 4 pages. A grown man crying is not a pretty sight.

So whatever it's called these days (panda, penguin, pipe dream) the results are at their all-time worst for even a non-technical casual user to notice it.

By the way I've been unplugged from all this tech stuff for a bit more than a year until recently and only checked in for a quick browse once every couple months -- when did the panda become a penguin?

zehrila




msg:4485750
 2:04 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tedster:
I hope the engineers have been working VERY hard. In the past they may have demoted content that was ranking merely artificially, but then they let the door open for a lot of junk to float to the top.


Penguin reminds me of how digg front page looked like after the redesign couple of yeas ago.

jdizm




msg:4485751
 2:08 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

she inputs her query then when the results come up she immediately skips ahead to page 5,6, or 7 randomly and begins reading results from that point on and totally ignores the first 4 pages.


when regular folk find fixes like this you know "stuff" is hitting the fan =]

BaseballGuy




msg:4485752
 2:18 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Penguin reminds me of how digg front page looked like after the redesign couple of yeas ago.


Top 10 reasons why you should switch from Google to Bing!

warner carter




msg:4485760
 4:30 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

The one thing that really strikes me is how awful so many search results are now. So many searches I do return something like 5 results from one site followed by 6 or even 10 results from one other site followed by 5 or 8 results from one other site. I see this a lot just checking the results for various keywords clients are shooting for. The groups change too from time to time but the pattern remains much the same. One I recently checked had the first 11 results all from one site. Yea it must be nice for that site but what kind of result is this for the users?

If Google's intention is to provide better results then they don't even see themselves that results are much worse?

Donna




msg:4485766
 5:03 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Penguin forms to be an OOP towards Off-page SEO based mostly on anchor text as just ignoring the links it dislikes, and all the talk about penalties looks like just ole school link discounting.

Giving the massiveness of the web it creates its own domino effect within the domino effect which leads to all this weirdness of the results, nothing new under the sun really.

My personal bet on the adjustments they do will minimizing the spread of this domino effect that will equal to a lot of sites coming back to their old positions after the next refresh.

CainIV




msg:4485773
 6:07 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Finding a business model that Google cannot penetrate that does not revolve necessarily around Google organic traffic is key.

Rankings are going to continue to flux, and real estate in organic positioning will continue to fade.

Anyone who can't see that coming might have a rude awakening one day.

rajivatre




msg:4485780
 6:40 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree with SevenCubed about his client.
Many of my non technical friends recently started complaining about google results.

They said that many times they dont get proper results on first 1-2 pages.

Remember here there are very few users who said they go to 3rd or 4th page to search.

So if they dont find relevant information they go and change their search term and so on.

I think this could be the classic case why google is claiming that users are using google more time.

The reason could be that users are not getting correct results and so they are trying to search again and again with different search terms.

This may not be alarm bells for google but may be they need to look into this angle as well.

My 2 cents.

Thanks
Rajiv

Martin Ice Web




msg:4485785
 7:27 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@rajivatre,

and the nice effect of users are search more because they canīt find anything related is: google blows up the search overall traffic and because there are more searches the percentage for google of the searchs that is done for all search engines is going up.
Now the stats say googles search engine rises from 80% to 85%.
That is how to do business.

topstar




msg:4485827
 10:04 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is there more info about problems with duplicate content and Google not being able to decide what site has the original content? He says keep posting new content. Well I did, and it worked well for 5 years until Panda 3.9.

tedster




msg:4485846
 11:50 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Top 10 reasons why you should switch from Google to Bing!

Practically, I need to use both. Bing's index tends to be a lot less deep, at least as seen using the site: operator. And yet for some queries, Google might do better by NOT digging so deep - at least while Penguin is letting so many weak pages float up.

timwilliams




msg:4485847
 12:03 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

at least while Penguin is letting so many weak pages float up.


That's an interesting point. Penguin and the regular algo seem to be in a tug of war, at least for our site. Penguin has manually actioned a page on our site for a specific keyword but the algo wants to return a result from our site, as it should (IMHO). The algo can't show the most relevant page due the manual action. So it shows other pages from the site, very poor matches most of the time.

My guess, if this even is an issue, is that the fix would be to make the manual actions site-wide by keyword. And that's probably not good news.

aristotle




msg:4485860
 12:50 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a suggestion for the Google engineers who are working hard on Penguin. Why not put a time limit on how long you include a questionable backlink in the calculations? For example, you could stipulate that any questionable backlink more than two years old be excluded. Actually, as I suggested before, you should just devalue all of them anyway. But if you insist on including them, at least put in a time limit, so that the site isn't penalized forever.

netmeg




msg:4485887
 2:34 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt (and RustyBrick) have dialed back a little on that one post, so you might want to go back and read the updated version.

[seroundtable.com...]

BaseballGuy




msg:4485890
 2:41 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ Netmeg

"You don't want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard".


What's said has been said. Kinda like me screaming the name of my girlfriend while I'm having sex with my wife. "Dialed back" or not, unless Cutts is a poor public speaker (and just says stuff without really thinking "why"), he said those exact words above. They have had to come from somewhere....

aristotle




msg:4485920
 4:09 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

From Matt Cutts' latest clarification at seroundtable:

we're still in the early stages of Penguin where the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm. Because of that, expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact. It's not the case that people should just expect data refreshes for Penguin quite yet.


This sounds like something that was rolled out before it was ready.

netmeg




msg:4485922
 4:14 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since I wasn't there, I can't say for certain that that *was* what was said, or that it's in context.

Not like *that* never happens, after all.

indyank




msg:4485933
 4:48 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

From Matt Cutts' latest clarification at seroundtable:

we're still in the early stages of Penguin where the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm. Because of that, expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact. It's not the case that people should just expect data refreshes for Penguin quite yet.



This sounds like something that was rolled out before it was ready.


No. It sounds like they aren't going to do away with the existing signals. Rather they would only be including additional signals. If what you consider as half-baked had already negatively impacted a number of websites, that remark definitely sounds ominous for several more websites. netmeg is right. :(

[edited by: indyank at 4:49 pm (utc) on Aug 17, 2012]

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