Image via CrunchBaseGoogle has announced that a major algorithm change launched last night. According to Matt Cutts, the change is designed to eliminate web spam and is expected to impact 2.3% of english language searches. As the De Facto police of the web, they target and protect all of us from black hat web spam. According to Matt Cutts, it will go "deeper" than Penguin 1.0.
The update will also look at link quality and eliminate the ability of advertorial or purchased links to flow page rank. There also needs to be clear disclosure when a link is paid.
What You Should Do
Don't panic if you see changes in traffic. The holiday weekend, related travel, and weather conditions will all impact how many people are surfing the web. These types of changes also take several days to roll out, so any impact may self correct in a few days. If you still see declines in about two weeks, and you are a white hat web developer that puts out quality original content, then it's time to at least understand how the changes impacted the site.
Matt Cutts Image via CrunchBase
Google is nothing more than a well oiled machine that operates by a set of rules. If something impacts your site, it doesn't mean that Google doesn't like you. It just means that there is somthing in the way you set up your web content, or outside promotion strategy that Google doesn't like. Check sites like SEO Rountable, or the Sitesell forum (Sitesell participants only) to see helpful discussion and a run down of what is causing any declines.
The Sitesell community (Sitesell is a web hosting community and CMS) does a particularly good job of analyzing the body of sites that decline. Since the community is dedicated to white hat practices, it is always a good sources of information.
As for myself, I'll be working with the team at MMB Marketing Demand Systems to understand how we should be adapting and optimizing our website develpment and organic search system to the new set of rules. Once that is done, we'll apply these findings to clients that we assist with on-site and off-site SEO, paid media and SEM initiatives.
Here's more from Matt Cutts on the planned Google changes:
If you see any sites that are spam and that should be reviewed by Google, they have provided this form.