- March 12, 2013
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The SEO industry has been on virtual pins and needles since last week, in frightful anticipation of a significant round of search algorithm updates.
At SMX West, Cutts indicated that the Penguin algorithm update would be significant and likely focus on 1) penalizing link networks, and 2) go after “low-quality” merchants.
Those likely in digital harm’s greatest way are those that continue to use link networks. If the recent penalty of SAPE links – a provider of a popular paid links platform for advertisers/merchants and publishers- is any indication, the update could be as epic as last year’s initial April Penguin release and subsequent updates in May and October. Google has been on the offensive of late in this regard, penalizing a UK newspaper for selling links.
Cutts also indicated that sometime in 2013, Google would be focusing on the presence of low-quality merchants, and what (if anything) can be done about it. Part of this may be related to the penalty of Interflora in late February, but many others have suggested that Google is pushing merchants towards use of its Product Listing Ads by way of reducing their natural/organic search position.