On March 12, 2013 Matt Cutts head of web spam at Google, announced a panda update coming Friday March 15th or Monday March 18th in 2013. This will produce Google Panda Update #25. A suspected panda update may have occurred this past week as many webmasters were in webmaster world chatting about how many things have changed in the SERP’s.
Also announced is that the search quality team is currently working on a major Google Penguin Update coming very soon. This is regarded as a major update as many websites will be affected. This will produce the Penguin 4 update we have been waiting for.
March 11, 2013 Changes
Changes that occurred included sites like yellow pages ranking above original sites that have a link from the yellow pages website. I noticed this as well in some niches and sites like yelp and yellow pages ranking above sites that should be ranking above these somewhat “directory” websites. Doesn’t make much sense at all that Google would rank a “directory” type-site above results that deserve to be there. Especially because Google de-valued links from directories in the past.
Other changes include websites stealing images and ranking above websites that were the original creator of the image in Google image search. This should definitely not be happening and seems to be an error on Google’s part in their image search tools. Seems like they are still toying with this image search algorithm as many changes were recently made to the whole display of this portion of Google search.
One more noticeable occurrence during this time period is that webmasters noticed websites with stolen content ranking above originators of this content. Another big no no for Google as they defend that the originator will always be rewarded over the copier. Well this doesn’t seem to be the case and is very unfair, as originators should always be rewarded for their hard work in producing original content.
Link Networks Being Manually Targeted
Big announcement last week that Google is manually targeting link networks and really cracking down hard in 2013 on these types of sites. Many adverse affects will happen if your site is getting links from these link networks. Even if a site that links to you that is caught for having a link on these networks will affect your site as well. Be on the look out for link devaluation to your site and fix it accordingly with high quality links. Matt Cutts explain that these penalties are for clear cut cases and that webmaster guidelines are very straight forward in what is expected from a website.
Google Quality Raters
In other news Google has given insight to its quality rater system. This is where real live people grade websites in accordance with user experience. It is said to not have a direct affect on algorithms, but is used when pushing out Google updates to an extent after the web spam team reviews it.
Website Advertorial Penalization
Prior news releases mention that major sites have been penalized for using advertorials in their content. This goes to how you that the Google team is on top of all aspects of spam and to do things right as you may get caught.
Google Seo Video Tutorial Website Launching April 1, 2013
Speaking of doing things right. Seo Hop has decided to launch a Seo video tutorial website with hundreds of high definition videos teaching webmasters how to do things right in Google’s eyes. This will be the most valuable website for seo’s and internet marketers, or anyone hurt by Google updates panda & penguin. We will be announcing the release of this site very soon