Mountain View, California—Google Penguin 2.0 may have been to blame for a decrease in traffic recently, but it wasn’t the culprit. Matt Cutts, the Chief Webspam Engineer at the world’s largest search engine has confirmed the next big algorithmic update, Google Penguin 2.0, will be released within the next few weeks.
Cutts alluded to the new edition of the algorithmic signal in March earlier this year, which has led to a lot of speculation about its size and scope. He also stated that this refresh would have a large impact and be the subject of much talk after its release.
Google Penguin, Panda and EMD
Google Penguin made its debut on April 24, 2012, but the search engine did not make a public announcement about its release until April 26th. It targeted duplicate content, link schemes (such as link wheels), cloaked sites, keyword stuffing, and sites having low quality inbound links.
It’s undergone two refreshes and the most significant is yet to come, “Nope, no new Penguin update this week…we do expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 (next generation of Penguin) sometime in the next few weeks though,” Cutts wrote on Twitter.
Two other algorithmic changes have had significant, sizable impact on hundreds of sites: Google Panda, and the EMD update, or Exact Match Domain. The former, named after software engineer Navneet Panda, was released in February of 2011, and targeted low-quality and thin websites. The latter took away the advantage of having a keyword domain, giving branded sites even footing.
Preparing for Google Penguin 2.0
Based on earlier versions of Google Penguin, webmasters should be vetting their backlinks to determine if they come from “bad neighbors”. Sites previously hit hardest include those containing manipulative link profiles and those with too much exact matching anchor text.
Links from sites with lots of social shares are considered to be the best of inbound link sources, but only those with high quality content. Google has increasingly applied a stricter standard to sites participating in unnatural link building, according to a study conducted by the Internet marketing agency Portent.
The last update of Google Penguin came in October of 2012, Panda was refreshed in March of this year. There have been no new roll outs of the EMD update since its debut in September of 2012. Recently, the search engine replaced its previews with a drop down menu. It also implemented a new feature into its blogging platform, integrating Google+ comments.