Website owners have lived in fear of the Google algorithmic updates since they began and with continuing improvements being added to the way that Google believe they should rank a website, indications from head of Google Web Spam team, Matt Cutts, revealed that another roll of updates are upon us.
Speaking at SMX during a question and answer session, Cutts was placed under observation as questions from around the room created what could be a fearsome report of events for anyone that is looking to avoid the Google Panda and Penguin updates at all costs.
Asked a string of questions surrounding the way in which Google works, Cutts revealed answers that were sure to leave any blackhat strategist rethinking their plans, telling the room that the next release of the Google Panda update was due either "Friday or Monday" but we have seen over recent releases that it seems that Google love to give website owners a headache over a weekend and the updates tend to roll out on a Friday.
Turning the attention to the more anticipated update (for many anyway) Cutts was asked about when we can expect to see a new Penguin coming into play, however unable to offer us a timescale as to when the update will be rolled out, he simply pointed out that Google are "working on a new generation of Penguin", words that seem to indicate that Google are planning for this update to take hold of more sites then any of the previous updates have thus far.
Although much of the buzz that comes away from the Q&A seems to be geared towards the updates and when they may come, there were some other interesting points that were raised, including Bing's Duane Forrester revealing how he believes that website owners should structure their site.
Forrester revealed that he believed that content was king, saying that content would be his number one focus, followed by social with user experience, link building and then SEO falling into the line-up respectively.
Although Forrester did say that would be how he would prioritise the building of a site, he was quick to point out that he did not believe that the algorithm shared that exact view, simply saying that this isn't how the ranking algorithm works.
With the inclusion of social elements being made within how Forrester would look at building out a site, it seems that there could be something under development at the moment that would see Google looking to make use of social metrics a little more, but when asked directly whether Google + metrics would help a site to better their rankings, Cutts simply said that he "honestly" didn't know.
It looks like the fight against spam that Google have continued to develop seems to be set to come to a head at some point in the future and comments that were made at SMX clearly show that Google are gearing up for the war ahead, so interesting times ahead for many.
If you want to follow more of the questions there were asked during Matt and Duane's session at SMX, check out the run down that we found on SERoundtable.com.