UPDATE: The ‘Webspam Algorithm Update’ has now been given the much catchier title of ‘Penguin Update’. Interesting second use of a black & white animal for an update that penalises black hat SEO Google!
There was a lot of backlash to the update, so Google have now set up a Penguin recovery form to contact them if you think your site has been penalised unfairly by the update.
Back to the original post…
Yesterday (24th April 2012), Google released its new search algorithm designed to stop people using spam techniques that are against Google’s publisher guidelines. They say that only 3% of search queries will be affected – but, judging by the comments already flying in on articles such as SearchEngineLand, lots of businesses have woken up today to find their sites have dropped significantly – and they don’t know why.
With a report entitled ‘Another step to reward high-quality sites’, Google once again defines what it sees as the definition of “optimisation” (steps taken to make a site easily found by natural search terms and to make the site easily crawl-able).
Incidentally, Matt Cutts backtracked on his use of the word “over-optimisation” when talking about the algorithm changes in recent weeks, and seemed to regret how the term had drawn SEO into the mix. Instead, the catchy name for yesterday’s update is the ‘webspam algorithm update’.
What is Webspam?
Google see “black hat webspam” as any links or site changes that are there purely to make sites rank higher than they ‘deserve’ to be ranked – changes that have no benefit or are of detriment to the user experience.
Most importantly, they identified some of the factors that they see as examples of ‘webspam’ and which will now cause penalisation.
Our SEO training focuses on white-hat techniques that don’t compromise the user experience – exactly the sort of thing Google rewards. The importance of social media and quality content are increasingly important for SEO, so you can benefit from our Social Media Training and Content Marketing course.
Why did my Google ranking drop today?
If your rankings have dropped this week, here are some possible reasons why: