SEO has always been the subject of many heated debates. A few years ago, when the term of search engine optimization first appeared, people would talk about meta-tags, link-building techniques and keyword research. While these practices are still applicable nowadays, they have lost their power. In the past, a few good links could make the difference between a decent site, and an anonymous site, but as the years passed, things changed. Google software developers understood that more and more webmasters are trying to take advantage of the loopholes in the search engines, and are trying to manipulate them.
The content protector Panda, and the spam-fighting Penguin were unleashed upon the unethical SEO practitioners (also referred to as black-hats). It was the latest major Penguin update (on 22 May 2013) that finally managed to clear the waters. A few days ago we were talking about the supposed death of SEO., which is nothing but a joke. SEO will never be dead, it has simply evolved. But what about Penguin 2.0? Well, according to Matt Cutts, this was a huge update for Google, and it seems to have impacted a lot of sites. It may not have been the apocalypse that most webmasters predicted, but the effects are clear.
1. What Has Changed Since Penguin 2.0?
The initial impact of Penguin 2.0 was not as devastating as people predicted. As a matter of fact, Google has probably decided to unleash a ticking time-bomb. The truth is that most ethically-built sites did not suffer at all from the implementation of this algorithm. This is probably because most webmasters have finally understood that the only way to own a good site, for a long time, without fear of penalties, is by playing by the rules. On the other hand, obscure sites which relied on bizarre SEO strategies were severely punished. If you are one of them, fret not, Penguin will hit you sooner or later. The ultimate goal of this vicious algorithm is to eliminate spam in all forms. Furthermore, it now analyzes pages In depth. In the past, Penguin would focus only on the landing page, but it seems that now, all pages are being indexed. Good news for some, bad news for others.
Panda on the other hand has received over 25 updates over the years, and it is now as efficient as the Penguin, with the only exception that it is focused on content. What does this all mean for writers and online entrepreneurs? Google is making it increasingly more difficult to rank on their search engine. They may say that they support the creation of awesome content, but actually they don’t. They may say that the only thing that concerns them is the average user, but it is not. All they seem to care about is shutting the doors on every SEO technique available, and confining us to a small space that they control.
2. Can You Thrive Ater Penguin 2.0?
The conclusion is obvious: Google has stepped up its game, and this means you have a choice. You can adapt to the changes, or you can simply give up. You will have to come up with a different strategy if you truly want to make it online, because outdated SEO strategies will simply not do. In addition to adding appropriate tags, link-building and other familiar tactics, you will also have to work on growing your online presence with the help of social media platforms.
There is a social network that you should definitely be more interested in, and that is of course Google Plus. Why? Because it is Google’s adolescent social media platform where you can share your articles, connect with like-minded people and create some sort of portfolio. Nevertheless, not everything is fine and dandy. The platform managed to grow incredibly, especially in the past few months due to the constant pressures that come from Google. Nowadays they force writers to claim authorship. “Force” may sound like a harsh word, but there is no better one for this case. Google wants us to claim authorship for two simple reasons:
- It supposedly wants to rank content according to the author rank of the creator. This will enable the search engine to create more relevant replies to different queries. This is great news because it will enable established authors to grow their online presence and meet other talented writers.
- It wants to fish out digital agencies, and people who offer guest-post services, and eliminate them. This can be easily seen if you take a look around. Google wants to know what you are writing, for whom, and on one niche, so if you really are a guest author, the only way that things will start going your way is if you stick to one, maximum 2 niches (or else you risk being penalized for spam etc..)
In conclusion, Google wants to manipulate internet marketers with the help of Google Authorship, it wants to control the results and get rid of spam/low-quality content. Nevertheless, these are still hypotheses, because nothing has been proved yet (after a few studies conducted on different articles with, and without authorship).