Matt Cutts of Google has just done something that he rarely, if ever, has done: give a preview of what is coming in terms of changes that will affect SEO in the near future, defined as the summer of 2013. Of course, this list was accompanied by the usual disclaimers that all of these initiatives are subject to change as the future unfolds.
A partial list of the proposed changes is below:
- Google Penguin 2.0 – Expect it to become more and more difficult to employ black hat link building techniques and gain rankings on Google. Stick to real links that a human being would use. Google Penguin 2.0 will be significant according to Cutts.
- Advertorial Spam Links Devalued – It will become difficult to get page weight credit for a link from a website that is paid for as opposed to place for the benefit of the website’s visitors.
- More Sophisticated Link Analysis – A stricter definition of spammed links and more sophisticated tools to use in detecting and discounting the value of these links.
- Improvements For Sites With Malware Hacks -More sophisticated tools to detect malware in a site and a full set of tools within webmaster tools to test, identify and eliminate malware from websites. This is especially noteworthy for sites built in Word Press.
- Authority Sites Boosted In Algorithm – Efforts will be made to identify true authorities in different areas of expertise and bonus these authorities in the search engine rankings.
- Panda To Be Relaxed – Some sites that have been held back due to Google Panda (lack of unique, compelling and original content) will be given somewhat of a break under the new guidelines.
Bottom Line: For most websites, SEO will likely continue to be a challenge, but not a challenge that will have significant negative impacts on site rankings. Webmasters will have to continue to strive to build sites that offer a great user experience through original and compelling content that is valuable to the visitors of the site. It is a lot of work, but you will sleep much better at night.
Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Design and Development, and Online Marketing Firm.