The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.
What does that actually mean?It’s an update to Google’s ranking algorithms that is designed to target websites that violate’s Google Webmaster Guidelines by using SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, duplicate content, link schemes and more. It is effectively the nickname for the over-optimisation update that Matt Cutts (head of the webspam team at Google) mentioned at SXSW. I did briefly cover it in a previous blog post but it went live on 24th April, 2012 and was updated a month later on 25th May, 2012.I realise that we are a bit late to the game with this blog post as it has been out for several months now but it has given us time to analyse the full effects of the update, rather than just writing a post full of speculation, guesses and possibilities of what might and might not happen in the months to come.
What does it target?– Keyword stuffed content I have talked about this point in a previous blog post, My site’s disappeared from Google; what do I do? but this point really needs emphasising. The content on your website should be written for the website visitors NOT for the search engines. Yes you should include keywords naturally but read it out loud and if it doesn’t sound right then it probably isn’t right to put on your website either.– Duplicate content Your website should contain 100% unique content, just copying content from your competitor’s website is a very bad idea, and has been for a long time.
Image Source: https://liyun.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/all-about-penguins/– Low quality inbound links Buying 1000 directory submissions for £99 might have worked 5 years ago but it won’t work anymore. Links to your website should be natural links from relevant, quality websites.– Link placement Natural links aren’t links just stuffed in the footer or sidebar of a random website. Natural means exactly that, give people a reason to link to you. Provide a great product, service or write genuinely interesting content and people will recommend your business/link to you.– Exact match anchor text 140 out of 150 links to your website using the exact phrase you are trying to rank for is going to raise alarm bells to Google. If you are building natural links then there should be a lot of variety. At the end of the day a link is a link and having good anchor text is just a bonus. You should focus on getting links on relevant sites rather than making sure your desired keyword is used in every single anchor text.