Penguin 2.0: Google Softens on Panda Smack?

[UPDATE: Just learned that Google has rolled out Penguin 2.0 even while this post was being written! Read Matt Cutt’s post announcing the release and from the comments on that post, it’s clear that Google indeed has soften it’s punches. So far, it does appear that not too many sites have been hit by Penguin 2.0 but we still have to wait for the results ro come in. For now Matt said only about 2.3% of English queries have been noticeably impacted by Penguin 2.0]

Since the year 2011 when Google came out hard on blackhat SEOs with the introduction of Google Panda and later Google Penguin updates, content marketers in particular and web entrepreneurs in general, have always been on the edge in anticipation of what Google is going to bring up next!

This was definitely the case when a few days ago Matt Cutt (I’m sure many SEOs now dread that name!:) ) gave an insight into what to expect from the stables of Google in the coming days.

In the Video Matt hinted on Google “softening” the impact of Panda on some of the sites that got hit in previous updates because, according to him, some of these sites  were really not true black hat sites!

Good to hear indeed, but not really enough to celebrate about because there is more to come! Watch the video right now and you’ll understand that Google is not yet done with cleaning up the system!

Recommended: Google’s Content Farmer/Panda Algorithm Change: What You Can Do To Stay Afloat!

Ok, here’s a run down of the points you need to note from the video:

  • Penguin Updates

Google will continue to tweak their penguin updates starting with a big change expected to go live in the next few weeks.  This update is supposed to have an even bigger impact than the original penguin update.  Naturally, this will make some people happy and others angry, but it really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

  • Advertorials

Sites using advertorials to attempt to inflate their overall link profile were penalized earlier this year.  Even more action against this type of link building is going to be coming out later this year.

Recommended: The Watertight Strategy for effectively Writing Content for SEO in A Post-Penguin Internet!

  • Spam Queries

Some keywords tend to attract black hat techniques more than others.  Terms like payday loans, for example, are flooded with hundreds of low quality sites.  Due to requests from outside of Google, these types of terms are going to be getting the attention of Matt’s spam team.

  • Upstream Targets

Link builders have been using layered ‘networks’ to avoid getting punished by Google for their unnatural link building.  Google is going to start looking upstream at where the links are coming from and punishing those who are building unnatural link networks.

  • More Sophisticated Link Analysis

This point was perhaps the most interesting of all of them.  Google claims they will be creating a more sophisticated profile of each site’s back links and where they are coming from.  This more detailed analysis will undoubtedly help them find black hat SEO strategies and penalize them as well.

  • Hacked Sites

Google will be implementing improvements on warning users of potentially hacked sites as well as notifying the webmaster so corrective action can be taken.

  • Authority Sites

It is no surprise to anyone that Google loves authority sites, and Matt made it a point to say that they will continue to give ranking boosts to authority sites.

Recommended: With the Many Algorithm Changes by Google, Are You Still Keen On Doing SEO?

  • Panda Smack

Google acknowledged that some of the sites which were hurt by the panda updates were really not true black hat sites and they will be working to ‘soften’ the impact this update had on some of these sites.

  • Multiple of Same Domain in SERP

In an attempt to diversify the results on the first page of results Google is going to reduce the number of pages from the same domain that are displayed.

  • Webmaster Communication

Finally, Matt once again expressed his desire to have more open communication with webmasters so everyone can get the rankings they deserve.

Over to you: Have you noticed any change in your rankings? Is Penguin 2.0 a favor to you or a disaster? Do you think Google is playing it too hard on search engine optimization with these constant updates?