What is the latest news on the Penguin update?  Google Penguin continues to make changes, and those changes create shockwaves in the SEO and online marketing industry.  While the first rounds of Penguin were drastic (many well known article directories and blog spaces fell in a huge way) we continue to feel the effects of new or minor updates.

Why just consider some of the latest news concerning the algorithm “jolts” coming from Google’s staff.  The company announced that they are now going to start taking into account the number of valid copyright removal notices it finds for a given site.  This is no doubt in response to Penguin/Panda criticism that suggested scraper (plagiarist) websites were getting more traffic than original content sites.  Google stated that this new update will help users find legitimate sources of content more easily, since pirate sites will be penalized and their links will be pushed down lower in the rankings.

Google now offers its copyright owners the capacity to report potential copyright infringement.  An estimated 4.3 million URLs have been reported to Google.  So it’s safe to say that Google’s new algorithm updates are a sign of definite progress.  It’s not really fair for small press and publishing sites to be penalized just because a more popular website is stealing content.  Maybe things aren’t perfect at the moment (and there are plenty who criticize Penguin’s performance) but with 2012 and 2013 updates coming, we are sure to see some vast improvements in the way websites are penalized and rewarded.

It should be noted that Google also has an option for “counter notices”, just in case there is an error reported in evaluating and indexing copyright violation URLs.  Now mind you, Google does not have the authority to delete copyright infringing sites; only users and ISPs can arrange for this.  However, it can remove questioned URLs from its search results upon receiving a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner.

What does this mean for you, the small or medium sized business trying to improve your search rankings?  Obviously, the days of copying and pasting content just as a means to cheaply fill space are over.  The days of recycling cheap content are also over, as content mills and even article directories (with no editorial process) are also showing signs of waning.

It’s time for you to invest in the content quality of your site.  You can start writing for your own blog or start building links on your own or you can contact an SEO firm to help you with this campaign.  Either way, the latest news on Google Penguin is actually a bit encouraging.  Maybe 2012 will be the year you escape from low SERP prison!