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New Google Penguin 2.1 Update Throws SEOs Into a Tizzy

Well, another season, another algo update from the big Goog. Expressly designed to affect up to 1% of total searches, the new Penguin update, dubbed 2.1 has gotten SEO experts from coast to coast roaring with outrage. Let’s start off with Matt Cutts’ statement on his Twitter account where he definitely states that the new update will only affect 1% of searches. This is wholey and universaly untrue. It’s affected most searches. I don’t know the true percentage but it’s pretty darned high. It’s affecting SEO’d sites, Web 2.0 driven sites, legitimate authoratitive sites, old sites, new sites…any and all sites. It’s a horendous cluster F that in all my years of SEOing I have ever seen.

But…here’s the rub. For in this supposed sleep of SEO’s death, what dreams may come…

Those dreams include the realization that SEO’s just need to chill out. It’s all but a dream. No need to shuffle off the mortal coil! (OK, my drama training in action here…I played Hamlet on the highschool stage). The new algo is likely just a fascade of sorts.

Welcome to Google’s “Rank Transition Modifying” tactic that was patented sometime in 2012. There’s a patent out there (I don’t care to search for it for this article) that explains and outlines the patent filed by Google for something that can be labeled Rank Transition Modifying, which to the layman essentially is just a fancy way of saying that Google can, whenever it wants, launch a major “shift” in its algorythm that is designed to ferret out SEO’s like me by implementing massive penalities to suspect and non-suspect sites in an attempt to find black hat supported sites, flag them and eliminate them from its indexes.

How Can We Guard Against Google’s “Transition Modifying Mean” Tactic?

DON’T PANIC! All signs point to Google testing the waters with changes designed to alarm, alert and pull SEOs into a panic. This new update is a ploy designed to make webmasters and SEO rethink their tactics and methods and make likely irrational changes to get their rankings back in a desperate way. Just chill out. Don’t disavow links. Don’t stop building links. Don’t re-optimize your site content, structure, meta tags, etc. Don’t add or delete a bunch of content. Don’t edit your current content. Just wait for the dust to settle. I am seeing massive negative and slightly gains in rankings on many of my sites. I’m seeing fluctuations all over the board…massive fluctuations. That’s not typical really of a true Google update. It is and it isn’t. It really isn’t becuase the changes are just plain stupid. Authoratitive sites disappearing, Wikis, Brand Name sites gone…sites showing up in the top 10 that make sense and have nothing to do with the searches being made. That’s a clear sign that this is just a ploy from Google…a pre update designed ferret out those who try to “fix” their sites.

Is this new Update called HummingBird?

google hummingbird update

No. This new Penguin update is new to October. HummingBird is completely different and actually came out about a month ago. Hummingbird is an update to the core of the engine that Google uses for all searches. It’s a change…a big change that hasn’t seen its equal in a number of years. HummingBird is a massive shift in how Google as a search engine works.

It works in two distinct ways. HummingBird takes a user’s query and pushes it through a specialized synonym engine and modifying module and then takes the modified results to conduct the search. It is designed to favorably weight sites with content which are question-oriented in nature. Let me say that again…searches are now more favorably weighted by if it asks or answers questions. Website titles, tags, content and sub-headings now have more weight to Google in search queries.

That’s HummingBird and it’s totally live now. Google will only continue to give more prescident to it. Work your sites accordingly. Wait a bit on the Penguin 2.1 update. A couple of weeks should suffice. Your sites, hopefully, will rebound and continue to climb. Good luck!

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Steffan Haeberle, Las Vegas SEO Expert
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