Certainly by now everyone is aware that Google has implemented a rather dramatic update to their algorithm. They’re calling it the “Webspam Update” and it’s had quite an impact on search results today. Word has it that this update is affecting about 3% of all searches done on Google, but if you believe what you read in the forums & blogs, it’s much higher than that.
So, what’s really happening? It’s tough to say because there is really crappy stuff ranking #1 for some highly coveted keywords right now. Just do a Google search for “make money online” and you’ll see what I mean. Click the first listing and you’re whisked away this bevy of useful information:
Zero content, PR3 AND a #1 ranking…nice work, Google! Yeah right.
All kidding aside, there are plenty more examples where that came from.
So, what should you do?
If your site was affected, wrongly or rightly, I’d begin by cleaning up what you can on your pages. Axe the duplicate content, over-use of internal anchor text & keyword stuffing (both in copy and in tags). It’s also probably a really good time to review your outbound links and remove (or nofollow) any links to sites that might be questionable. And take a good look at your inbound links and try to manage your inbound anchor-text diversity as much as you can. (This isn’t always easy..especially with older links…but if you have the option to diversify your anchors, do so.)
What you should NOT do is knee-jerk and strip away all of the genuine work you’ve put into your sites until we know more. SEO’s tend to get panicky when things like this happen and end up undoing things that shouldn’t have been undone. And if you think this is only happening to you, spend some time reading about all the people who are freaking out due to this horrible update on WMT Blog and WebmasterWorld.