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SEO Updates: April 2013

Last month Google made it clear that they’d no longer be announcing algorithm updates and this month, they made good on that promise.

While there were no official algorithm updates there was still plenty of SEO news and, not surprisingly, a few rumors on various SEO forums.

Here’s a few of the SEO and Google highlights from April, 2013.

Matt Cutts Speaks

Just because Google wasn’t making any official announcement about updates doesn’t mean that words of wisdom weren’t still pouring out of Matt Cutts’ mouth.

Cutts posted up several instructional videos and even did an interview with Unfortunately, his responses to questions about Google’s maddeningly vague warning system weren’t much help.

While interviewer Danny Sullivan definitely had some good thoughts on the subject, all Cutts could muster up was something along the lines of, “Check the Google Webmasters Forum.”

Google’s SEO oracle was, however, a bit more helpful in a short video answering a question about whether or not a webmaster can link two of his own sites together. Cutts allowed that this would be all right, up to a point.

Though he didn’t delve in to specifics (surprise!) he did say that 50-80 linked sites might look like a network and suffer their fate accordingly.

Happy Birthday, Penguin!

Most SEOs were probably too busy pulling down old links to notice that Google’s Penguin update celebrated its one-year anniversary on April 24. The link-busting phenomenon spent the last twelve months re-writing the rules of link-building and driving webmasters to the brink of insanity.

Penguin’s been refreshed a few times during its short life, but we’ve yet to see that, “jolting and jarring,” update Matt Cutts promised last summer.

Google Affiliate Network to Shut Down

It seems as though Google has been engaged in a big of spring cleaning over the past few months. Last month they shuttered Google Reader, an rss tool and now they’ve shut down the Google Affiliate Network.

Officially the network is being shut down so that the company can, “focus on other projects.” There’s obviously more to the story, but that’s all Google is really giving up.

The closing is moving in slow motion and should be complete by the end of July. Advertisers who aren’t willing to wait around until the bitter end are already flocking to other networks.

Did you spot any suspected algorithm updates in April? Share your observations (and suspicions) in the comment section below.