Matt Cutts and the rest of the Google webspam fighting team decided they’d give everyone in the industry a heart attack last week with Matt Cutts latest video. In this longer than average video, Cutts discusses some of things that Penguin 2.0 will be focusing on, which has caused SEOs, online marketers, webmasters, and many more to FREAK OUT. This happens with any release from Google or Matt Cutts, but this roar is particularly loud due to the encompassing nature of the Penguin updates, but here is why everyone should just take a deep breath and stop stressing about Penguin 2.0.
The Good Practices Haven’t Changed
Far from it in fact. Cutts clearly states in the video that Google does not want webmasters and practitioners of white hat SEO to have to change up what they’re doing to any large degree after Penguin 2.0 rolls out. Just like the Penguin updates of yore, this next one is set to target the spammers, the black hatters, and those that aim to manipulate Google’s SERPs in a dishonest manner. This means that all of the natural tactics that were working before will still work, and will start to work better than before after more of the filler gets dealt with by 2.o. It’s important to remember that Penguin focuses on spammy, low quality backlinks that have been built by SEOs and webmasters rather than earned. The fact of the matter is that ever since Penguin rolled out last year, we’ve known what not to do as far as link building is concerned, and if you’ve continued to follow through with black hat tactics and are worried about Penguin 2.0…well you’ve had plenty of time to.
Machines Have No Mercy
One reason why people are so freaked out about the upcoming Penguin update is that it is an algorithm change. Along with Panda (the other large algorithm change), Penguin targets sites on its own accord without humans feeding it data or filtering the results. Many people get confused between Penguin penalties and Unnatural Links penalties, and you can read more here, but the major difference is that Penguin is algorithm-based, and Unnatural Links penalties are manual. This means that if you receive an Unnatural Links penalty notification from Google’s webspam team a real person took the time to review your site’s backlinks and felt that they needed to be addressed. The benefit of this is that you can take the time and effort (usually a lot of time and effort) to address the issue and hopefully get the manual penalty removed.
This is not an option when it comes to Penguin. If you get hit it can take a long time to recover if you ever do at all. Google’s disavow tool has gotten a lot of attention since it was released last October, but Penguin hasn’t had an update since that time so nobody knows whether or not disavowing problem links will help after a Penguin penalty. That being said, it’s understandable that people are nervous about Penguin 2.0 since algorithm changes can have sweeping consequences, but if you’re nervous, you probably have reason to be, which also means you have changes you can start making now.
A Better Web Experience
In all honesty, we should be excited for Penguin 2.0 –I know we are here at Page One Power because everything Matt Cutts says in his video points to a more natural, less spammy, and all around better web experience for users, SEOs, link builders, bloggers, and every other user on the web. Who truly likes spamming out thousands of emails, or spinning articles to send to low quality directories all day? These algorithm improvements by Google are only going to push the trend in to link earning over link building, and it will help to rank the sites that deserve to be on page one rather than sites who abuse links and search results.
In fact, just last week, Matt Cutts announced that Google had taken action against several thousand link sellers which means Penguin 2.0 may already have started rolling out. But once again, don’t freak out yet–unless you’ve used these kinds of link networks in the past.