Google search tips for 2013: 8 SEO trends for the year (video)

29/05/2013

With Google’s latest Penguin search algorithm unleashed last week, what are the latest SEO trends for marketers looking to get ahead in the rankings? We list 8 new search factors to take into account, taken from the latest video from Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google.

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The video outlines a number search changes likely to take effect in 2013. here are the 8 highlights:

1. Penguin 2.0 gets tough on webspam

Launched last week, the latest version of Penguin targets more 'black hat' web spam. Penguin 2.0 will be much more comprehensive than Penguin 1.0 and it will go deeper and have a larger impact than the original.

2. Advertorials- clamping down on paid links

Google is planning to be a lot stronger on clamping down on paid links (disguised as “advertorials”) that violate its guidelines- and advertising. In the video, Cutts makes it clear that advertorials are fine as long as they are not abused to boost their PageRank and linking. Cutts suggests that anyone featuring advertorials on their sites should clearly mark them as paid advertising.

3. Making link buying less effective

Selling links (or entire advertorial pages with embedded links) that pass PageRank violates Google’s quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations. In the video, Cutts said Google is working on making link buying less effective via detailed link analysis. In order to stay within Google's quality guidelines, paid links should be disclosed through a rel="nofollow" or other techniques such as doing a redirect through a page which is robots.txt'ed out.

4. Ranking up ‘authority sites’

A lot of experts in SEO believe that the authority of a website in Google is often the most important factor in search engine rankings, and in the video Cutts confirmed more is being done in this area. If Google's algorithms believe an author (or a site) is an authority in a particular area, its algorithm will ensure those sites rank a little bit higher than other sites. In the video, Cutts said: “We are doing a doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space. It could be medical, it could be travel, whatever. And trying to makes sure that those rank a little more highly, if you are some sort of authority or a site that according to the algorithms we think might be a little bit more appropriate for users.”

5. Less ‘cluster results’ from the same site

Cutts said that Google is launching “soon” a new change that will make it less likely to see results from the same domain name, if you already have been shown that domain name in previous results three or four times before. He explained that once you’ve seen a cluster of about four results from a specific domain name, the subsequent pages are going to be less likely to show you results from that domain name. Cutts mentioned this as being something that came specifically from user feedback.

6. More Information for Webmasters

Cutts said they want to be able to keep giving webmasters more specific and detailed information via webmaster tools. He mentions specifically example URLs to help webmasters diagnose problems on their site. He believes that the changes will really make a difference with the quality of the search results, as well as impact the amount of spam that is showing up.

7. Hacked site detection

Google is planning to launch a next generation of hack detection, as well as a better way of notifying webmasters that are victims of hacking. Under the new scheme, Google would be able to point webmasters to more specific information, such as whether they are dealing with malware or a hacked site, and to clean it up.

8. New spam report for complaints

Cutts also tweeted last week about the Penguin Spam Report, asking web users to notify the search engine if they come across pages that shouldn’t rank as high as they do in SERPs. The form, which can be accessed here, requests the URLs of spam sites, the URLs of search results that showed the links and additional information that may pertain to the issue.

Watch the video in full below:

Read the official Google Penguin 2.0 launch announcement here

For more tips, view this infographic from Brafton, entitled ‘How to avoid a fight with a Penguin’, below:

Brafton's Infographic: How To Avoid A Fight With Penguin

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