Archive for May, 2013

Title: The New Google Penguin Update Goes Much Deeper Into Your Site

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

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Google has been warning of a big and scary new version of the Penguin update for quite some time. When Google’s Matt Cutts released a video discussing the upcoming SEO menu earlier this month, he mentioned that Penguin 2.0 was getting closer. Now it’s here.

Have you been affected by the new Penguin update? Is this update good or bad for Google results? Let us know what you think in the comments.

In the aforementioned video (below), Cutts said this about the update: “We’re relatively close to deploying the next generation of Penguin. Internally we call it ‘Penguin 2.0,’ and again, Penguin is a webspam change that’s dedicated to try to find black hat webspam, and try to target and address that. So this one is a little more comprehensive than Penguin 1.0, and we expect it to go a little bit deeper, and have a little bit more of an impact than the original version of Penguin.”

Even before that video, Cutts was discussing the update on Twitter. He pretty much said the same thing: it’s called Penguin 2.0, and it would be larger.

Late on Wednesday, Cutts revealed that the update rolled out. He took to his personal blog to say, “We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.”

“This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally,” he noted. “For more information on what SEOs should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released.”

This does not mean that this is the last we’ll see of Penguin, by any means. When a reader of Cutts’ blog noted that he still sees a lot of spam in results, Cutts responded, “We can adjust the impact but we wanted to start at one level and then we can modify things appropriately.”

Side note: Cutts tweeted out a link to a “special spam report form” for spam that Penguin missed:

Here’s a special spam report form:… Please tell us about the spammy sites that Penguin missed.

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 23, 2013

So, it sounds like they’ll still be working on Penguin-ifying results more beyond the update that has already rolled out. I presume this will come in the form of data refreshes, much like the last two version of Penguin we’ve seen.

Penguin is all about webspam, and Cutts discussed other webspam initiatives in that video. Specifically, he talked about denying value upstream for link spammers.This is not part of the Penguin update that just rolled out, so expect more there too.

“That comes later,” said Cutts.

Another reader suggested in the comments of Cutts’ blog post that people are finding it riskier to spend the time buildling authoritative sites that Google supposedly likes, because there’s still a chance that an algo update will (even if unintentionally) knock it down for one reason or another. He makes the case that it’s easier to build a bunch of “throwaway affiliate spam sites” that could easily be replaced if Google shuts them down.

Cutts’ response to that was, “We have some things coming later this summer that should help with the type of sites you mention, so I think you made the right choice to work on building authority.”

Cutts briefly discussed the new Penguin update in a conversation with Leo Laporte on Wednesday right before it was getting ready to roll out. In that, he said, “It 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.”

It will be interesting to see how long Google waits for a data refresh on Penguin again. Unlike Panda, which saw many refreshes, before ultimately transforming into a rolling update, Penguin, since originally launching in April, 2012, only saw two refreshes before this new update (May and October, 2012). If this one is even bigger, should we expect refreshes even less often? The less often they happen, the harder it is to recover, some webmasters have discovered. I’m guessing a lot of those impacted negatively by this new update will be looking at starting over with new sites.

It remains to be seen just how big the impact of this update really is on webmasters. If you’ve been affected (either positively or negatively) let us know in the comments.

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Title: Google Penguin Update Gets Ready To Bite Webmasters’ Noses [Penguin 2.0]

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

Matt Cutts revealed late on Friday that Google Penguin Update 2.0 is on the way, and that it will be a big one. Yes, there have been multiple iterations of the update to come out, but those have simply been data refreshes of the original update. Google is readying a big new version of it, and when we say big, we mean bigger than the original.

Matt Cutts says the internal team at Google is referring to it as Penguin 2.0, despite what other numbers are making the rounds out there.

@dannysullivan your call, of course, but the internal team here has taking to referring to the upcoming release as Penguin 2.0.

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 10, 2013

@dannysullivan the next update of Penguin will be larger, yes.

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 10, 2013

Get ready, because it’s coming:

@mrjamiedodd we do expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 (next generation of Penguin) sometime in the next few weeks though.

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 10, 2013

In case you don’t get the nose-biting reference, enjoy this scene from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns featuring Danny DeVito as The Penguin.

Hat tip to Danny Sullivan

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Title: Is International SEO More Important Now?

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

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Ranking in search engines, particularly Google, is not getting any easier, but how often are you considering the search engines around the globe? Many in the industry see international SEO as only gaining in importance.

Do you think it’s more important for marketers to optimize for different search engines around the world than it used to be? Share your thoughts in the comments.

A recent report from BrightEdge indicates that the majority of search marketers think that it is becoming more important for sites to rank in global search engines. According to the firm’s survey, six out of ten believe it will become either “more” or “much more” important this year, compared to last year. 36% said “more,” while 27% said “much more.”

Global SEO

“SEO marketers at global companies aspire to reach customers worldwide, and drive leads, revenue and traf!c through global SEO initiatives,” says BrightEdge in the report. “Looking beyond a single country also helps them demonstrate a greater ROI on marketing investments. Not only does this boost marketing ROI but also maintains global brand consistency while accommodating local nuances. A global concerted approach to SEO marketing addresses these needs.”

Respondents were specifically asked about Chinese search giant Baidu, with 31% saying it would be much more important to rank in Baidu in 2013, and 10% saying “much more important”.

BrightEdge - Baidu

“With roughly 540 million internet users, 900 million mobile users and 388 million mobile internet users, China is the world’s largest internet market,” says BrightEdge. “Baidu, China’s dominant search engine, is one of the most valuable gateways to this large internet user base.”

You can download the report in its entirety here. It deals with numerous topics, far beyond the topic of global SEO.

Another recent report (via MarketingCharts) from Covario found that Baidu generated three times more global paid search clicks than Yahoo/Bing in Q1.

“I no longer believe it makes sense for any company to roll out an international SEO programme to multiple countries without also having a PPC campaign in place,” writes WebCertain CEO Andy Atkins-Krüger in a post for Search Engine Land about multinational SEO. “In some cases, we would recommend leading with PPC and landing pages first, rather than full blown (and relatively expensive) international SEO.”

He adds, “There are a number of reasons why we recommend this, but one is that user satisfaction on your site can be measured much more quickly with PPC than with SEO. Behavior really matters — so if you can study it first and quickly with PPC, your SEO efforts later will work out to be much more successful. I do worry that the association of search engine warnings with SEO being ‘bad’ are beginning to stick with people who are newer to the industry, and therefore, SEO is having a health warning attached.”

Dave Davies has a great article on international SEO considerations at Search Engine Watch, in which he concludes, “While expanding one’s market is generally a good thing, what people often forget is that you still have to maintain what you have, so make sure you have the resources. Many wars have been lost simply by trying to fight them on too many fronts.”

“If you have just enough resources to dedicate to a successful SEO strategy in your own country, it doesn’t make sense to expand in that you’ll be drawing resources away from the strategy that’s keeping the lights on,” he adds. “You need to make sure it’s the right decision for your business and if it is, make sure that you’re picking the right strategies to maximize your odds of success in the shortest period of time.”

In your international optimization efforts, you may also want to keep in mind some recent changes Google has made to its indexing systems. They’re now treating some country-code TLDs differently in terms of geography vs. generic. The list will change over time, but right now, these are the ccTLDs Google is considering generic: .ad, .as, .bz, .cc, .cd, .co, .dj, .fm, .gg, .io, .la, .me, .ms, .nu, .sc, .sr, .su, .tv, .tk and .ws.

Are you increasing your focus on international SEO, or are you simply focusing on your own region? Let us know in the comments.

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