Google’s 10 Day Panda Update
You might remember Matt Cutts announcing that algorithm updates are to be made over a series of days in order to ‘lessen the impact … on webmasters’ from this year onwards. The online community greeted this news with a mixed response. Some webmasters were glad that they wouldn’t have to deal with sudden changes, while others pointed out that it would be difficult to distinguish the algorithm updates from ‘natural’ search engine changes. Such claims can be assessed in the light of a 10 day rolling Panda update which was made earlier this month.
There was a quite noticeable increase in the rankings of high profile informational websites such as Wikipedia. Such changes may be considered as part of Google’s continued efforts to reward the generation of high quality content. Webmasters who’d claimed Google authorship and interacted via Google + were also rewarded with increased prominence in the listings. It is quite possible that there were other effects which are still to be reported.
Amendments Made To The Google Link Schemes Document
Google have attempted to draw a clear distinction between ethical and unethical link building techniques in recent times. They’ve penalised well known websites for the inclusion of do-follow links in paid advertorials. They’ve also focussed on links when making updates to the penguin algorithm. And just recently Google decided that it was time to make some changes to the wording of the all important link scheme guidelines.
The community of webmasters have been reminded that Google are against the large scale production of guest blogs featuring keyword rich anchor text. Google have also urged web site owners against the temptation of including do-follow links in paid advertisements and articles. Finally they have issued a warning regarding the use of links in press releases distributed online. Webmasters who are particularly worried about these updates might want to make use of Google’s link disavow tool.
Google Recieves Requests For The Penalisation Of Pirate Sites
Google are growing increasingly used to handling demands for the removal of pirate sites from their listings. The number of specific demands has gone up from around 50 million in 2012 to over 100 since the start of 2013. The BBC has reported that a large proportion of requests are made on behalf of pornography producers. However, there is also a great deal of anger regarding the sharing of copyright music on websites such as torrenthound.com and bittorent.com.
A leading technology expert said, ‘As soon as you take down one page another pops up in its place … It’s like playing Whac-A-Mole.’ This statement was supported by a representative of Torrentfreak.com who pointed out that ‘If people want to pirate they can always find a way to do so.’ However, there is a chance that the situation may change as major companies place more pressure on the search engines and legal authorities.