There has been little to talk about in the past couple of weeks as far as SEO and search marketing are concerned. Many people in the SEO world feel a change coming soon, but that may only be residual from past experience (both Panda and Penguin were rolled out in the early stages of 2011, 2012 respectively).
The Dormant Penguin
Since its beginning, the Panda algorithm change has been frequently updated and refined. In contrast, the Penguin algorithm change, which was rolled out in early 2012, has only had 3 updates, the latest of which was over 6 months ago.
Some people in the SEO world believe that there are regular Penguin updates and that we are simply privy to them. However the overall consensus is that Google simply got it mostly right the first time.
GoogleBot Activity Increases
Over the past week many webmasters have noticed some irregularities in the SERPs and increased activity with the GoogleBots. Historically speaking, this type of chatter often signals a new Panda update, which many suspect, will be coming soon.
Link Removal Requests
As Google sends out more “suspicious link” notifications, the requests for link removals have exponentially increased for many websites. One of the newest money-making trends on the Internet is to charge people to remove unwanted links.
Some fear that obsolete websites that have been removed from the Google index will be able to make money from creating erroneous links.
Google Drops Interflora
Interflora is an online floral arrangement ordering system based out of Australia and this week Google penalized the internet giant’s rankings. The ranking loss is speculated to have come from the advertorials given to the website from third party sources.
Google has become increasingly more stringent with its definition of unnatural links. The penalty for the advertorials given to Interflora may signal a larger shift.
Webmasters have always believed that there is a difference between buying links and having a working relationship with a website (that involves money exchange) and having that website place a link to your business. This drastic penalty brings that idea into question.