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Google Penguin update expected in the coming weeks

The latest update to Google’s Penguin algorithm is expected to be fully unveiled in the next few weeks, according to the company’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts.

Cutts used his Twitter account to tell followers about the imminent arrival, saying:

“Nope, no new Penguin update this week. We do expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 sometime in the next few weeks, though.”

Speculation over the update began in March, when Cutts spoke at the SMX West expo. He suggested at the time that the latest change would be massively significant, and actually said it may be one of the biggest changes Google makes this year.

While Cutts hasn’t expanded on his announcement with any details of changes, experts are expecting Penguin 2.0 to further condemn the bad tactics used by some SEO companies to boost the ranking of a site – something known as ‘black hat’ SEO.

The original incarnation of Penguin was first released in April last year. It shone a bright spotlight on the firms Google realised weren’t adhering to its quality guidelines. The algorithm worked to minimise the benefit of dishonest tactics, such as keyword stuffing and spammy links. The sites which used such strategies were hit hard.

Instead, websites were encouraged to earn the attention of internet users by offering genuine, original content – something which has been aided by the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. This idea was reflected in Google’s updated Webmaster Guidelines, which read:

“Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site.”

The new Penguin update is likely to further the importance of such advice – making it something to monitor for any business that has an online presence.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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