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Official Google statement: 39 changes in May (with actionable items)

Posted on: Monday, June 18th, 2012 at 7:55 am

Google has published a blog post about the changes they made in May 2012. Some of these changes are relevant to your Google rankings and you should react to them.

Here are the most important changes that Google made in May:

1. Changes that affect backlinks

In addition to the Penguin update, Google added algorithms that detect fake backlinks and other spam elements:

“Better application of inorganic backlinks signals. [launch codename 'improv-fix', project codename 'Page Quality'] We have algorithms in place designed to detect a variety of link schemes, a common spam technique. This change ensures we’re using those signals appropriately in the rest of our ranking.”

To do: remove all spam elements from your web pages and only use safe SEO methods to promote your website.

2. Changes to the Penguin update

Google’s April Penguin update penalized websites that participated in fully automated linking schemes and other spam systems. In May, Google released an update:

“Improvements to Penguin. [launch codename 'twref2', project codename 'Page Quality'] This month we rolled out a couple minor tweaks to improve signals and refresh the data used by the penguin algorithm.”

To do: if you don’t want to risk your rankings, do not participate in automated link schemes that automatically create forums accounts, blog comments, etc. If you want to get lasting results, try to get high quality backlinks that help you to get higher rankings.

3. Changes that affect your web page titles on Google’s result pages

Google has released three updates that change the way Google displays the titles of your web pages on the search result pages:

“Trigger alt title when HTML title is truncated. [launch codename 'tomwaits', project codename 'Snippets'] We have algorithms designed to present the best possible result titles. This change will show a more succinct title for results where the current title is so long that it gets truncated. We’ll only do this when the new, shorter title is just as accurate as the old one.”

“Efficiency improvements in alternative title generation. [launch codename 'TopOfTheRock', project codename 'Snippets'] With this change we’ve improved the efficiency of title generation systems, leading to significant savings in cpu usage and a more focused set of titles actually shown in search results.”

“Better demotion of boilerplate anchors in alternate title generation. [launch codename 'otisredding', project codename 'Snippets'] When presenting titles in search results, we want to avoid boilerplate copy that doesn’t describe the page accurately, such as ‘Go Back.’ This change helps improve titles by avoiding these less useful bits of text.”

To do: make sure that your web page titles are short, convincing and to the point so that Google’s doesn’t have to rewrite them.


Google regularly updates the algorithm. These changes only have a negative impact on people who use spammy SEO methods to promote their websites. If you use safe SEO methods, your website will get high rankings that last. The reason for that is that safe SEO methods are beneficial to Google, web searchers and your business.


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