Matt Cutts, the head of webspam at Google, has officially let the penguin out of the bag. Google will be rolling out Penguin 2.0 in just a few weeks. Now, many of you might be thinking, “Ummm shouldn’t this be Penguin version 3 .. 4 .. 50 or something like that?” I have to point out, this is not a Penguin “update” and don’t confuse this with yet another Panda update. We’re talking about the official second generation Penguin.
In this video, Matt Cutts responds to the question “What should we expect in the next few months in terms of SEO for Google?”
One of the issues that Google is addressing is the use of advertorials. Matt clearly states that there is nothing wrong with advertorials and native advertising. However, it is Google’s belief that these pages should not violate quality guidelines and that they should not pass page rank. Penguin 2.0 will be more strict when it comes to removing the ability for these pages to pass rank. Matt notes that these forms of advertising should clearly disclose to viewers that they are, in fact, a paid advertisement and not organic content.
Link Value & Devalue of Upstream Spam Links
Matt points out that they are in the early stages but working on more sophisticated ways to analyze links to determine their value. We can also expect to see focus put on ways to go upstream and devaluing many link spamming tactics.
Google is also planning to roll out a more comprehensive hacked site detection that communicates better with webmasters through Google Webmaster Tools. This will allow webmasters to quickly gain additional information about the issue and start the clean up process.
While Matt still does not make what I would call an “official” statement regarding author rank, he does comment that Google is getting better at recognizing when somebody is an authority on a given subject and that those individuals will be given an extra push in the SERPs.
Later this summer we can also expect a Panda update that softens the blow taken by websites who sit in the gray areas. This will help websites that show signs of quality but were negatively affected by previous rollouts.
Google will also be looking into rolling out an update that counters the saturation of single sites in the SERPs. A cluster is when you perform a Google search and a grouping of results from a single website dominates the results. Matt mentions that once a cluster is discovered it will be unlikely to discover additional clusters from that website as you move deeper into the search result pages.
By the end of the summer we should see less results for webmasters who practice black-hat and spammy practices and better results for those of us in the SEO profession who are producing great quality content and using the appropriate ethical tactics.