Monday, May 13, 2013

SEO news: Penguin 2.0 still weeks away, Cutts says

Whether Google releases a new Penguin algorithm update in the coming weeks or not, marketers still need to go through the same optimization steps to build stronger websites and create quality user experiences. A lot of chatter has flooded the web over the past week about potential updates to Penguin, Panda or any of Google’s 500 ranking signals, but the search engine company’s Matt Cutts took to Twitter to derail any Penguin talk that might take place.

Cutts tweeted that no new Penguin algorithm rolled out yet, but in the next few weeks, version 2.0 will hit the streets. Now, for those self-proclaimed SEO gurus who say, “Penguin 2.0? What about the previous two updates?” Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan is on your side, and he’s got the scoop. According to an exchange between Sullivan and Cutts on Twitter, Google refers to the minor Penguins tweaks last year as minimal refreshes, calling them Penguin 1.1 and Penguin 1.2. Cutts emphasizes that the internal Google team refers to the upcoming update as the true Penguin 2.0 because it will bring major changes to the search space.

Back in March 2013 at SMX West, Cutts told the audience that Penguin 2.0 would be the most talked about algorithmic change this year, which alarmed many marketers. The problem: SEOs get up in arms when any new ranking fluctuation influences their sites’ PageRanks. Understandably, dropping from Page 1 of Google SERPs to Page 2 can greatly affect organic traffic, and it’s easy to point fingers toward algorithms. However, marketers should once again stick to the basics of content creation to absorb and outmaneuver any Google update.

Last week when a subtle change to search rankings had people wondering if either Panda or Penguin hit again, Brafton advised SEOs and marketers to remember how content marketing can help deflect any updates. Creating unique, custom content for the web builds an informational hub for users, and positions brands as true thought leaders in their fields. More, content writing can lead to guest blogging opportunities, generating natural links to improve PageRank. These tactics all help businesses optimize their sites for search in honest ways, and these practices also cooperate with Google’s guidelines, so any update shouldn’t be a threat.

Of course, beware of the next Penguin coming out in a few weeks – it will be influential to search and discovery. But remember that content can be the much-needed ally, and it’s never too late to put an editorial strategy in place.

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