The head of the Web Spam team at Google, Matt Cutts, has recently asked (and answered) the question: What should we expect in the next few months in terms of SEO for Google?
Make A Great Site That People Are Excited To Share
In Matt’s advice on what the web master should do to keep a site ranking in search engines, there is a consistent piece of advice: Make a great site that users love that they will want to tell their friends about.
More than telling their friends and spreading the word without incentive, your site should compell web site visitors to bookmark it, come back to it over and over, subscribe to it, and so on.
He makes it clear that if the above is your goal with the web site, that Google is aligned with that goal as well. Their take is that if you are working hard to please the users, they will work hard to make certain your quality content shows up in the search engine for users to find, visit and consume.
Naturally, people always seem to want to know what is the “next thing” to expect in terms of SEO so they could stay ahead of the game or outdo their competition
My personal take is to always keep the above “goal” in mind and you are golden, but of course there are a few extra bits of knowledge that it doesn’t hurt to possess.
The Penguin Gets Stronger
Timelines, plans, procedures, etc. can and do change, so Google doesn’t often talk about the “future” in terms of SEO, but Matt did have this to say:
Penguin 2.0 seems just about ready to launch. The penguin is dedicated to finding and eliminating blackhat web spam. Version 2.0 is expected to be more comprehesive than its predecessor and have a much deeper impact.
Stop Passing Page Rank From Paid Ads
Advetorials are being targeted. This involves paid avertising that is flowing page rank. Proper use of “nofollow” should be in place for advertisements as page rank is not something that should be bought or sold. Google intends to be a little stronger on their enforcement in this area moving forward.
Link value may take a different turn. While Matt was vague on the topic, there is something in the works that takes an even closer look at the value of a link and should affect rankings more appropriately.
Add And Verify Your Site In Google Webmaster Tools To Get Hacked Site Notifications
Hacked sites will be given more “support” by Google. They have worked on ways that they hope will allow them to detect a site that has been hacked much better. More than that, the communication to web masters about a site that has suffered a hack will be improved. They intend to provide much more info on how to rectify a malware or hacked site situation.
Authority sites should be more easily detected moving forward and will get more love in the search engine results pages as a result.
The Panda Gets Smarter And Perhaps Softer
Panda may have been a little rough on some sites so it looks like they may be able to look a little closer and see if there is more white in the shades of grey.
Summer SEO In Conclusion
Overall they expect general queries to have cleaner results, and there should be more of a significant cleansing of the normally spammy results such as “payday loans” and pornographic-type searches.