There is no doubt that Google totally changed the search engine optimisation (SEO) world when it launched the Penguin update in April 2012. Plenty of people had been affected by the earlier Google Panda algorithm update but that was nothing compared to what happened with Penguin.
The book, SEO 2013 & Beyond by Dr Andy Williams is the first thing I've read (and I've seen plenty of blog posts about Penguin and how to recover from it) that makes sense of what Google did with this fundamental change.
All of a sudden, all the things that you used to do to get ranked high up in the search engine no longer had the positive effect you wanted. In fact, if you overdid your SEO (onpage or offpage with link-building), you found yourself penalised.
SEO 2013 & Beyond by Dr Andy Williams
Business Book Review - 4 Stars
If you've suffered from the Penguin update or you want to rank high in the search engines by using SEO in future, I believe you need to read this book.
I'm not convinced that Google has got it right yet. On my Online Profits blog, I wrote an article How Bad Is Google Search After The Penguin Update? on October 30 2012 because I was sick on getting so many irrelevant search results coming up when I typed in a keyword phrase.
We know there is going to be an updated Penguin change in 2013 as Google learn from its earlier mistakes.
Andy Williams argues that the way Google works has totally changed as it has moved away from the idea of specific keywords to latent semantic indexing. This is much more of a natural way of writing because it recognises that we humans use many different words for the same meaning and we are likely to switch as we talk.
Google has had patents for this for many years but simple searches before Penguin always showed that it didn't really apply. You could check this for yourself by seeing the very different results you got from searching for a singular and plural version of a keyword.
SEO2013 & beyond is built around 4 Pillars of Post Penguin SEO:
- Quality content
- Site organisation
- What's in it for the visitor
These make sense.
Quality content is now based on these language semantics - think car, cars, motor car, automobile, Ford, General Motors, Fiat, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW etc. All those words belong in a language pool that says car.
A quality article shouldn't be penalised because it doesn't keep repeating a particular car related keyword phrase. In fact after Penguin, it is rewarded for using a much more naturally varied language.
If you have any interest in SEO, search engine optimisation (or the American version search engine optimization), getting to page one of Google or to the top of the search engines, I believe you need to read SEO 2013 & Beyond.
Dr Andy Williams hasn't written an overly technical book. In fact I read it very quickly because it is so reader friendly and interesting.
I give the book a 4 Star rating which means that it is a recommended read.
Why didn't it get more?
First it is short. Only 91 pages.
Second, no one can be sure of how the Google algorithm works in great detail or how it will develop in future. I still believe that as of April 3rd 2013, Google still hasn't got it right if its main aim is to really deliver the best pages for a search.
Third, the message about the future of SEO is bleak. Before Penguin, you could follow some simple rules and less competitive phrases, you could be confident that you would rank well and quickly. After Penguin, Google rankings no longer conform to a simple checklist so you will hardly ever know when you're getting close to doing enough and in danger of doing too much.
The book also subtly promotes his own software tool, Web Content Studio (affiliate link) to help you through the language semantics. I bought it without realising it was his, not that I don't think it is a helpful product.
Have You Read SEO 2013 & Beyond?
What do you think? Many of the reviews on Amazon are very positive although there are some critical reviews as well.