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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Google’s New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Goes Live

Posted by @ 7:38 pm
10
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Google has launched another update to their search algorithm, designed to better target sites engaged in webspam tactics such as keyword stuffing and unusual link patterns. The update is the first major algorithm change since Google announced they were targeting ‘unatural’ links earlier this month.

Here’s a quote from Google’s blog post on the update,

In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. 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.

Google’s blog post provides some examples of well-known webspam techniques, but makes specific note of link schemes using spun content,

Here’s an example of a site with unusual linking patterns that is also affected by this change. Notice that if you try to read the text aloud you’ll discover that the outgoing links are completely unrelated to the actual content, and in fact the page text has been “spun” beyond recognition:

These black/grey hat SEO techniques are nothing new. Google has been busy targeting this type of webspam for over ten years. I’d consider this update as more of a refresh on their spam detection methods, designed to fix loopholes where this type of spam still worked.

But will the update lead to better search results?

Ever since Google announced the update, users across the web have been reporting less than impressive search results. It’s usual to see complaints from webmasters after almost every update, but this time search engine land has put together some comprehensive examples of poor results.

Just have a look at Google’s latest results for the term “Viagra” – one of the biggest spam targets,

Google fails to list the official Viagra site and links to four sites that have been hacked. But it’s not the only example of search results gone wrong; search engine land lists a number of other queries where the results from Bing trump Google.

According to Google, the changes have gone live for all languages and will impact around 3% of queries in English (panda was 12%).

If your website has been impacted, or you’ve noticed some questionable search results pages, leave a comment below.



Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile






Discussion (10 - comments)

[...] Google’s New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Goes Live Apr 26th, 2012No Comments [...]

By Google’s New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Goes Live « Miami Beach Web Designer - April 25, 2012



[...] Google’s New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Goes Live [...]

By Google’s New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Goes Live | RM2 Project - April 26, 2012



The example given isn’t a very good one. Spammers tend to target sex-related topics quite heavily. I’m hoping this will help reduce ranking for sites that slurp up content from other sites and re-publish with embedded ad links (eg, sites that re-post newsgroups, forum posts, stackexchange content, etc). I doubt most people will care if the company website for ‘viagra’ isn’t at the top of their search results when they type that word in; they’re probably looking to buy some, not research the company.

By Brian Vandenberg - April 26, 2012



[...] Google has released an official name for their latest webspam algorithm update, calling the latest change the “Penguin” update. See our coverage on the latest Google update. [...]

By Google’s Penguin Update: The New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Gets a Name | ineedhits - April 26, 2012



Wow! My site went from page 1 to page 24 and I only practice “white hat” Seo practices ~ Somethings not quite right with this update. Hopefully it will straighten out in a week or so as usual, quite disturbing though!

By Wes - April 26, 2012



[...] Google has released an official name for their latest webspam algorithm update, calling the latest change the “Penguin” update. See our coverage on the latest Google update. [...]

By Google’s Penguin Update: The New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Gets a Name « Miami Beach Web Designer - April 26, 2012



[...] Google has released an official name for their latest webspam algorithm update, calling the latest change the “Penguin” update. See our coverage on the latest Google update. [...]

By Google’s Penguin Update: The New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Gets a Name | RM2 Project - April 27, 2012



There always seems to be a mass panic whenever Google announces an algorithm update. The thing is, if you have been doing things properly (following a white hat strategy) there shouldn’t be any problems.

By Nick Stamoulis - April 27, 2012



Terrific work! This is the type of info that are meant to be shared across the internet. Shame on Google for not positioning this publish higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

By Ultimate Demon - April 28, 2012



[...] Google’s New “Webspam” Algorithm Update Goes Live — Perhaps the biggest news item in the world of marketing and SEO this week was the release of Google’s “Webspam” Update. According to Google, it was supposed to reduce the amount of keyword stuffed pages and sites using link networks to rank, but webmasters are seeing something completely different. Some marketers have even called it a bloodbath. [...]

By The Best Small Business Marketing News & Blog Posts of the Week — April 27, 2012 – DIYSEO - May 2, 2012




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