The latest video to be released by Google’s Matt Cutts gives webmasters a heads up as to what they can expect to see in the near future in terms of SEO for the search engine. As usual, he reminds viewers to take the information with a grain of salt because things are always subject to change (timing, when they launch, etc.), but he claims that this is what Google is up to.
Here are some of the upcoming changes that Matt says have either been approved or look promising:
Penguin 4/Penguin 2.0
I don’t think it’s any secret that Google is relatively close to deploying the next generation of Penguin, which Google has internally been referring to as Penguin 2.0. Matt warns that the next generation of Penguin will go deeper and have a much bigger impact than the original. The goal of the update will be to target more black hat web spam.
In the near future Google will be looking more at advertorials (also known as native advertising), which violate quality guidelines. As Matt states in the video, if someone pays for an ad, those ads should not flow PageRank. Google plans on being stronger on enforcement of advertorials that violate their quality guidelines.
Matt did say there is nothing wrong with advertorials, as long as they’re not being abused for PageRank and linking reasons. If you are going to use them, just make it clear that it is paid and not organic.
Payday loans & porn
This summer Google plans on looking more at queries that tend to be spammy, such as “payday loans” and some porn-related queries. Matt didn’t really go into what exactly Google plans to do about it, but he hinted that something will be happening.
Denying value to link spammers
Matt hints that Google is working to make link buying less effective. Again, he doesn’t go much into details but my guess is that Google will probably go after more link networks.
Cracking down on hacked sites
Matt says that Google plans on cracking down on hacked sites in a few different ways. By detecting them better, they hope to roll out a new generation of hacked site detection in next few months. Google also plans on working to communicate better to webmasters to clear up the confusion between hacked sites and sites that serve up malware. Matt explains how it would be nice to have a one-stop shop where once someone realizes they’ve been hacked, they can go to webmaster tools to get the information they need to clean up the hacked site.
Google is getting better at detecting when someone is an authority in a particular space (travel, medical, whatever). If you are an authority, you may notice a ranking boost in the next few months, as Google hopes that related queries will return your site above less authoritative web sites.
Matt Cutts said that many of the sites impacted by the Google Panda update are borderline cases. Relief may be on the way for some of these sites, as Google is looking to find additional signals that suggest that a site is in fact high quality.
We should expect to see less clusters of the same domain coming up on the first page of Google’s SERP. The search engine is working to make it so that once you see a cluster of results from the same site, you are less likely to see more results from site as you go on.
Better webmaster communication
Google is working to improve their communication with webmasters. This means providing more detailed information and more example URL so webmasters can better diagnose problems on their site.
Matt starts off the video with a reminder that Google has been preaching for a long time- make a great site that users will love, bookmark and tell their friends about. Moral of the story- work hard to make users happy. He stresses that if you are focused on high quality content, you don’t have much to worry about. But if you’re dabbling in the black hat arts, you might have a more eventful summe.