Is the penguin update a penalty or not? Are there ways that can prevent Negative SEO? And what’s more we are going to expect on search? And there are a lot more of questions being asked with Matt Cutts as the head of Google web spam team by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land’s editor-in-chief in the recently successful SMX Ad Con in Seattle and this interview was live blogged by Matt McGee, one of the authors also in Search Engine Land. Those questions has actually attracted me since even as a link building expert, Penguin was not yet clear and also asking if there are ways that negative search engine optimization can be prevented.
To make things clear to us, let us start with the question if Penguin is a penalty? And according to Matt “penalty” is defined as manual action against a site or they actually not using this word but just referring it as “manual action”, while Penguin is just another indication or changes in the algorithm which targets sites having low-value content. Therefore same like Panda it’s another algorithm update. Since they have noticed that there is still a lot of web spam even after Panda, so that is why they have come up with this one to deal with low-value sites.
And the next one being asked was the controversial negative SEO where in Matt Cutts said that this is asked by so many people to them in the past wherein according to him just basing on their guidelines it is truly impossible to do it but the fact is that it had already happened. With that case, they solve it through having some changes on their guidelines. And they are planning soon to have a tool where in website owners can disavow links.
Matt Cutts has also pointed out that they are strengthening their campaign with certain link spam techniques like buying of links which manipulates rankings and it is only a waste of money. Sullivan also asked if it’s practical to inform those who were hit by the update. And for that Cutts had answered that when a new algorithm rolled out it can involve millions of sites and therefore there is no need to send out messages but when there is a manual action to the site this is the proper time that they are going to send a message. And he also cleared up that the 700,000 sent out messages or warnings were majority sent to those who were obvious in black hat and commonly if you haven’t acted as soon as possible there are chances that rankings will drop. And recently he also mentioned that they are working on development of their tools that can spot link buying because Google is firm to fight this matter and also with its war on spam in order that fairness will be applied on the competition.
You will also get interested on this one where Matt said that in Webspam , Google analytics is not applicable or its doesn’t affect website rankings, therefore when he asked about bounce rate relation to rankings, he said that it does not affect. And you can read more about his answer on Search Engine Land.
Those straightforward answers of Matt Cutts only show the importance of transparency in the world of search. And as technology is evolving there are more updates to watch out for and that is why it is essential to maintain fairness and have a healthy competition.