Search engine goliath Google has triggered another assault on web spam sites by rolling out the latest Google Penguin 4 algorithm update.
Google Penguin 4 is the underlying technology that filters spam web sites from Google’s search engine results.
Google says the aim is to reward good web sites with higher rankings, while downgrading spammers and low content sites.
Along the way, Google’s chief engineer Matthew Cutts confirms search engine optimisation (SEO) has a role to play in improving web sites.
“SEO is positive and constructive,” he said. “Effective search engine optimization can make a site more crawlable and make individual pages more accessible and easier to find. Search engine optimization includes things as simple as keyword research to ensure that the right words are on the page, not just industry jargon that normal people will never type.
However, Google warns that although good SEO can make a better for users and search engines, ‘black hat’ SEO – which harnesses techniques to raise a web site profile by exploiting loopholes or short cuts to raise a web site’s profile – is definitely taboo for Google Penguin.
“We see all sorts of webspam techniques every day, from keyword stuffing to link schemes that attempt to propel sites higher in rankings,” says Cutts.
“We want the “good guys” making great sites for users, not just algorithms, to see their effort rewarded. To that end we’ve launched Panda changes that successfully returned higher-quality sites in search results. And earlier this year we launched a page layout algorithm that reduces rankings for sites that don’t make much content available ‘above the fold’.
“Google is launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines.
“We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. Our advice for webmasters is to focus on high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”