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Penguin 2.0: What to Expect With Google's Latest Search Update

Google Penguin 2.0Matt Cutts who is the head of Google's Web Spam Team confirmed on his Twitter account that Google's latest version of the Penguin update will be released within the next few weeks.

Penguin 2.0 will continue to devalue link spam and weed out sites that try to match Google's search algorithms with the help of SEO strategies like on and off pages. While the first rollout had an impact on only a handful of search engines, Penguin 2.0 will surely affect a larger audience.

Here are three things we can expect from Google's latest search update.

Smarter Link Spam Detection

The latest Penguin update is significantly more sophisticated than Penguin's first rollout, and it has a better understanding of the context of link spam.

It will be able to trace links between pages that do nothing but rank the page higher in search results since Google has assembled a huge amount of data from the link removal requests submitted by the Google disavow tool.

Depicting the Types of Links

Penguin 2.0 will be able to identify link spam by gauging a number of parameters including links from websites that are built exclusively for SEO, links that use overly-optimized anchor text, links from adult sites and links of sites that are irrelevant to the content of a concerned page.

Relevancy is Key

Penguin 2.0 will also encourage webmasters to acquire backlinks from reputed websites which is a good thing because a single high quality and relevant link from a reputed website is better than a hundred low quality and irrelevant links. Webmasters will thus feel the need to generate quality content so that they can share backlinks with other websites offering quality content.

Each of Google's updates has helped improve the quality of content on the internet and reduce spam as well as information that are either low quality or incorrect. While webmasters might be threatened by Penguin 2.0, the point is it will help users find quality services and information.

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Tips for Using Google's Disavow Tool

It is about three weeks since Google's Penguin 2.0 went live. Unlike the 1.0 version that was released last year, the Penguin 2.0 looks at more than just the homepage for over-optimized backlinks.

If your website has a backlink portfolio that heavily uses exact phrase match anchor text (of your target keywords,) you may have noticed that you have lost your search engine ranking as a result of Penguin 2.0.

 

In the event you have been victim of Penguin 2.0 and you need to recover, your best recovery strategy is to use Google's Disavow tool. Below we share some tips for using the Disavow tool and to help you recover your keyword search rankings.

Disavow Tool Tip 1: Link Audit

Start by conducting a link audit. You do not have to use third party backlink tools since Google Webmaster Tools (also known as WMT) will handle the task efficiently. Mary Haynes, a leading authority in SEO, has stated that she only uses WMT links to get manual penalties removed and they work well. Go to Google Webmaster Tools and select your site. Select traffic, then links to your site, go to more and click on 'download latest links' button. Export to Google Docs or CSV.

The Disavow tool will analyze this data to determine the links that you need to Disavow and keep them in a separate file. Get rid of the links that do not conform to Google's guidelines by deleting them from this file. Make sure you have documentation of the whole process. Log into Google Webmaster Tools, go to the Disavow Tool and choose your domain. When you click on Disavow Links, you will be requested for a file containing the links you wish Disavowed. Upload the file you made (of the files you want removed) and you will be done.

Disavow Tool Tip 2: File Format

In most cases, people fail using the Disavow tool effectively because they did not use the right format for Disavow files they upload. The correct format for uploading a file is the text format (*.txt). When you upload your files in any other format such as *.doc or any spreadsheet file format, the system will reject the file meaning your reconsideration request will not be successful.

Disavow Tool Tip 3: Domain Command

To list sites that you have gotten a lot of bad links from, use the 'Domain:" command. Examples of sites that give a lot of bad links are spammy forums. Avoid trying to list and identify multiple URLs from the same domain. Such a move is ineffective as you are likely to miss out on many links. Remember to use the 'Domain:' command correctly. It should be followed by the domain name, e.g. Domain: badlinks.com.

Disavow Tool Tip 4: Separating Files

Avoid describing what is going on in the Disavow links text file. Instead, you should use the reconsideration request report for such a description. Remember to keep both these files separate. If you put in any context in the Disavow links text file, the system may reject it causing your reconsideration request to fail.

To learn more tips and insights about Google's Disavow tool, check out this great Moz.com post written by Cyrus Shepard. If you're planning to use the Disavow tool, we wish you the best of luck!

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A Review of Matt Cutts Keynote Speech at PubCon 2013

Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team, has been in the headlines lately in regards to the latest Penguin 2.1 update. It was at Las Vegas' PubCon 2013 that Cutts brought us all up-to-date on Google's plans for further development.

There are some fresh changes and updates that Matt Cutts proudly unveiled. Among the most important were the use of Knowledge Graph, Voice Search, Conversational Search, Google Now and Deep Learning.

Google is developing its knowledge on not just what we search but how we search. For example, Deep Learning concentrates on the relationships between words and tackles conversational questions used when searching.

Matt Cutts also spoke about the core quality changes to Hummingbird, Panda Softening, Detecting Boosting Authorities and Smartphone Ranking. Hummingbird will develop to concentrate on the content of a search request whilst Panda Softening will continue to be developed to bring some sites and content back.

Detecting/Boosting Authorities will be of interest to webmasters as this will recognise sites that have deep and specialised knowledge in other words become authorities within their fields. One disappointing feature of Smartphone ranking is that it still doesn't have flash but no mention from Matt regarding if this would change in the future. Whilst there has been quite a bit of discussion on the web regarding the effects Penguin 2.1 have had for webmasters it does look as though there will be further updates to Penguin to come.Whilst the aren't functioning that greatly right now, Query Algorithms will be targeting porn and payday loans sites to achieve better results. 

Advertorials and Native Advertising also came under the spotlight with Google cracking down on those selling adverts that blend with content and 'dofollow' links. Whilst they may have their work cut out Google's monitoring of Spam Networks is progressing and they will be going through a list of spam networks listed that they will be investigating.

In the way that Google communicates with webmasters, Matt Cutts is pleased that Google continues to increase communication with helpful videos to show webmasters examples and methods to prevent malware and hacking and setting out best practice guidelines.

Google's main aim has always been to provide information for the globe and they will continue to give answers to specific queries. They are not going to ignore the growing mobile searchers either and encourage those that haven't already, to develop their websites for mobile users.

It certainly seems that Matt Cutts and the team at Google will continue to move things forward and with many developments on their way there should be a more content relevant search facility for all users.

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How to Leverage PRWeb.com Press Releases for SEO & Inbound Marketing

PRWeb Press Release for SEOThe question still remains: Do press releases still work for SEO?

Late last year, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, announced that using press releases to improve a website’s Google search rankings do not work anymore.

However, there are some companies that are still generating SEO value from press releases, particularly PRWeb.com press releases. We've done a little research and exploration, and it's true. With the help of PRweb.com, press releases can still have value for SEO and inbound marketing.

Authoritative, Keyword-Relevant PRWeb Press Release are Still a Win for SEO

PRweb.com press releases are solid tools for many online marketing initiatives. Despite the changes in search engine algorithms and decline of search engine rankings of most websites in the past few months (which were caused by Google Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird,) using PRweb.com press releases still work for SEO.

PRweb.com is a high authority website with a PageRank of 7. It is still considered as a high quality and newsworthy press release site by both search engines and Internet users. This means that a keyword-relevant press release itself has the potential to rank highly in Google.

Considering PRweb’s high PageRank, links that stem from a great press release can still provide some degree of “link juice” to a website. Although Cutt's claims this is not the case, it's pretty apparent for some websites.

For example, ecommerce SEO firm, Click Centric SEO, has realized success with The Neon South, an custom tank top ecommerce store that recently announced a new product offering of pocket tank tops. The ecommerce SEO company consulted The Neon South on how to properly optimize the press release, and as a result, the PRWeb.com press release ranks near the top of Google for "pocket tank tops." Additionally, the website TheNeonSouth.com ranks on page one for pocket tank tops

Benefits Beyond SEO

Aside from improving your webpages’ search engine ranks and increasing your website’s link juice, submitting press releases to PRweb.com can give you other benefits. It is a well-known fact that press releases have big tendencies to go viral and this alone can help you get more visitors to your website and that eventually gets converted into leads.

Making your press releases go viral can help create a “buzz” about your company which often leads to more recommendations to your site and even more links from other relevant websites. To take advantage of this, all you have to do is write a catchy press release that people will consider to be worth sharing and submit it to PRweb.com. To help ensure that your press releases go viral, you can always subscribe to PRweb’s Advanced option since it provides more premium options that are necessary for your SEO campaigns.

Whether or not you get high search engine ranks, PRweb.com can still help you get more visitors to your site through referral links. People still read press releases and they prefer reading press releases that are posted on high authority websites like PRweb.com. Once people read your press releases on PRweb.com and click on the link you have included in each of your press release, you will get an instant visitor.

Since PRweb.com gets a lot of readers, you will surely get your products and services exposed to these readers and get the chance to convert them into customers and earn more money. PRweb.com has the capability to distribute your press releases into a large network of influential news sites.

Suggestions for Using PRWeb.com Press Release Packages

As a conclusion, press releases still work. You can get the most out of press releases by submitting them to PRweb.com, a high authority press release site that gets a lot of visitors. Including your links in press releases you submit to PRweb can help you acquire more link juice which can help you in your SEO campaigns.

To get the best SEO result, it is recommended to avail of the “Advanced” option offered by PRweb for more options and functions. If you are trying to find ways to get more visitors and earn more profit then using PRweb.com press releases is a good way to go about it.

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Google Ranking Factors: Will Links Diminish in Value?

It is normal that any individual signal to lose over time its value in the search engine algorithm, as more variables are added into the mix. This is also the situation for links, which have been losing value for about five years now, due to the increasing manual and algorithmic penalties and adding in of other metrics.

Some of the Google queries have paid vertical adds, some are localized, some have lots of usage data, some are using Google’s new knowledge graph, some are mobile centric. All these variations of queries impact different areas of SEO, to different degrees. SEO might still be profitable for another five years or a decade, for small businesses.

There are other search engines, such as Russian search engine Yandex, that work without links. Google can also use some vertical bases metrics to replace links, such as Google+ activity, search history, location, YouTube usage data, and others means.

Crackdown on Low-quality Links

Low-quality links are slowly replacing links-in-general in the Google search algorithm. There are already in place policies for massive manual and algorithmic penalties that have the effect of having the links not count for some websites. The Google’s Webspam policy filters out the link value through spam filtration systems or algorithms like Penguin, that remove low-quality links or spam.

Matt Cutts, the Google’s head of search spam, declared that, over time, backlinks will lose their value but they still have many years left in the Google ranking algorithm. See video here.

Google is focusing now especially on finding ways to evaluate whether or not a web page meets an expert user’s expectations. This is currently performed by evaluating the page’s links, the quality of the content provided, and the overall reputation of the website and pages.

Google made progress in understanding the natural language, which you can notice in their conversational search. In the near future Google will improve its understanding the queries made by expert users and will be able to provide better answers to those queries.

In order to achieve that, Google tries to evaluate whether or not the content on a page is written by an expert in a certain niche. Google is also working to boost the rankings of expert authors. Until new progress is to be made in improving Google’s search algorithm, they are using natural languages on a page by page basis in order to determine if the author is an expert on the subject query.

The conclusion is that it might be wise for webmasters and online business owners to focus their efforts in creating quality content and building just a few links that really matters rather than building all kind of links in great numbers.

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