In the latest attempt to combat spammy sites and black hat SEO tactics, Google has rolled out the 2.0 version of the Penguin algorithm. It went fully live yesterday, May 22nd, 2013.
The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.
I’ve heard several bloggers claiming to have been hit already, and even getting letters from Google telling them to remove links or make them nofollow. Google explains what a nofollow link is this way:
nofollowwas used on individual links, preventing robots from following individual links on a page required a great deal of effort (for example, redirecting the link to a URL blocked in robots.txt). That’s why the
nofollowattribute value of the
relattribute was created. This gives webmasters more granular control: instead of telling search engines and bots not to follow any links on the page, it lets you easily instruct robots not to crawl a specific link. For example:<a href="signin.php" rel="nofollow">sign in</a>
If you’re on WordPress, here’s a great list of plugins, including someyou can use to automatically nofollow all links, but you can use the code above anywhere you use HTML.
Did you get slammed by this latest update?