Matt Cutts, Google’s distinguished search engineer, spoke to a crowd at SMX West about upcoming algorithm updates to Penguin and Panda. These two algos have impacted the world of search over the past two years, and Cutts noted that 2013 will see even greater changes.
In his presentation, Cutts indicated that a new version of Penguin will be one of the most talked about updates of the year. The last Penguin update came in October 2012 with the initial release of the algo in April 2012. What does a new Penguin update mean for marketers? It serves as a reminder of just how important white hat linking practices will be moving forward.
As for a new Panda update, Cutts says the next version should come either Friday, March 15, 2013, or Monday, March 18, 2013. He gave no indication as to the update’s significance. What does a new version of Panda mean for content professionals? Continue to publish high-quality web content for site visitors, not search engine crawlers.
Cutts also addressed some pressing questions about Panda and Penguin in a Q&A session last August at SES SF. He spoke about how Panda went after low-quality content, and how content marketers rushed to alter their published media to avoid drops in PageRank. However, Cutts also noted that people now understand what makes good content, the value of research and why both are essential to SEO.
Marketers must grow comfortable with the fact that algorithm updates have become standard in Google’s world. These changes are meant to get quality web content in front of internet users, and companies that put editorial best practices to use will see long-term benefits.