What’s Coming from Google
Google’s Matt Cutts made a video for Webmasters, talking about forthcoming changes from Google. Of course, it’s less than totally specific, as usual. Here I provide a summary of it and an assessment of what it means to Webmasters.
Google’s Direction, According to Matt
He points out what Google is working on tends to change–but their goal is that what Webmasters are working on to do well with Google should not be changing. You should be striving to have a great site with interesting content that visitors like and want to share,and want to come back to. Google’s goal is to give such sites high position in search, to support you if that’s what you are trying to do.
Matt says that an update to the Penguin changes is coming that will make Google better at detecting various times of web-spamming techniques. They are particularly concerned with link quality. Matt points out that if you pay to be mentioned on a site, then that site should not flow pagerank to you. They are concerned that there be a clear demarcation between what’s paid for and what’s an editorial comment. What’s coming is more sophisticated analysis of links to separate what are “genuine” links from spam links.
There is also an effort at Google to do a better job of identifying high-quality sites by developing their ability to detect real authority in sites. This should help small to medium-scale sites that have good authority on a subject.
Panda has penalized a number of sites that Google’s algorithms categorized as poor quality, including some that their Webmasters did not think were poor quality. Matt says that they are rolling out additional signals of quality that they can use to avoid penalizing some of these sites. In addition, they are sensitive to complaints that in a page after the first, if you’ve seen a domain on the first page, you can see that domain show up again and again on later pages. They are working to not show the same domain again and again on subsequent pages. In another video Matt points out a complaint from a blind Web searcher about being presented many results from a single domain, that brings home the importance of this issue.
The Bottom Line
You’ve heard this message from me before. It’s even more valid now. Provide good quality, interesting content on your site. Understand how Google likes to find cues to content and to quality, and give them what they want, as you would deal with any business partner. Then they will give you what you want from them. If you try to trick them you may get away with it for a while–but their resources, compared to yours, are unlimited and this is their main concern. Do you think you can beat them? It’s not a fair fight, if you make it into a fight.