Comment on Fresh Content SEO by SEO Dave.
The Google Penguin updates are generally targeted at off-site SEO, so your backlinks. Penguin is looking for paid links, links from low quality private blog networks, links that are generated to game Google etc…
Stallion Responsive has little direct impact on off-site SEO (doesn’t generate backlinks), about the only major impact will be the anchor text of scraped links and if a webmaster manually adds a link and uses one of your Stallion keyphrases as the anchor text. If your content is scraped the links back will have more varied anchor text, that’s a good thing, so if you get a lot of content scraped might help protect your site from low quality backlinks.
So Stallion has minimal impact on what the Penguin algorithm is looking for.
Google Panda updates are generally looking for low quality content, if you use low quality content Stallion can help improve it a lot, but low quality content is still low quality, only so much a theme can do to improve content.
If your site is high quality content you shouldn’t have any issues. What Google tends to do with each Panda update is target more of what Google considers low quality types of content, so it will look at something like lyrics sites, or affiliate sites and downgrade them so higher quality sites (ones that have taken more effort to create) rise to the top. That’s the theory anyway.
If you have low quality content the Stallion keyphrases can help, it’s not going to change low quality content to high quality, but can make it less obvious it’s low quality, this could be particularly useful using affiliate content or content others use and you are trying to add value to the content. If you build a thin affiliate site and don’t add any value, Google wants to downgrade it. Same thin content with added value (comparison site, reviews, users comments…) Google will try to take the added value into account (remember this is all automated). Using the Stallion keyphrases will add uniqueness to the thin content, it’s not enough on it’s own, but with added value it will make it less likely you’ll be Panda hit.
On your nofollow question Stallion will convert your nofollow affiliate links to cloaked links automatically if you turn the cloaked link feature on under the SEO advanced options page. If you have a lot of affiliate links could help reduce a footprint that suggests you have low quality content. Consider Google rankings are automated, you might not be doing anything wrong, but something you do could look like you are doing something wrong like a fair number of affiliate links.
Note: nothing wrong with affiliate links, it’s the associated content (if thin/duplicate) that can be the issue. If I add an affiliate link to this comment there’s nothing low quality about this content, it’s high quality unique content with an affiliate link: that’s not an issue to Google. If you have thin affiliate duplicate content (content supplied by Amazon for example which thousands of websites use) and have affiliate link to Amazon (just like thousands of other websites), pretty obvious it’s an Amazon affiliate site and Google doesn’t like them. Though affiliate links per se aren’t an issue, it could be something Google looks for to suggest low quality, so cloaking them makes sense. Since nofollow links delete link benefit getting rid of nofollow links (as mentioned above Stallion can achieve this automatically) makes a lot of sense for all sites.
Google Hummingbird was a major algorithm change, some have described Hummingbird as getting a new engine for a car with new ways to achieve better performance (I’m not into cars, so not the best analogy for me :-)). Google basically rebuilt their search algorithm last years, doesn’t mean it’s completely new, they will have kept what worked from the old algorithm framework, but some things are done differently. One interesting feature of Hummingbird is Google’s move to understand natural language searches better.
I suppose you could call it a move towards changing Google into an ask a question engine rather than a keywords search engine. The concept of search is if you want to find something that you might ask a real person “I’d like to learn SEO please” with a search engine you’d type “Learn SEO Marketing” or “SEO Marketing Learn”. Google is trying to incorporate more natural language searches, so users can type “I’d like to learn SEO Marketing please” and Google won’t specifically look for the exact phrase, but the main elements of the phrase “Learn SEO Marketing”, so like a human Google is trying to concentrate on the important parts of the question (“I’d like to” and “please” aren’t important). It’s early days (not going to be a major SEO factor yet), but looks like that’s where Google is heading.
The Stallion keyphrases could help with this, if you vary them with what users might search for it will indicate to Google your page is related to more possible SERPs.
Remember all these algorithm updates aren’t stand alone, they all interact, so it’s one algorithm with small updates that Google/SEO’s give names like Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon…
There’s no easy way to check if a particular update has had a negative impact on a site. NEVER make rash changes during an update, while the Google update is ongoing rankings can be all over the place. For this site some of my SERPs were down for a day or so, not going to react yet (might be OK already). I’ll wait a few weeks for the update to be complete and to see if Google rolls it back: Google makes a habit of rolling out updates that are too hard, so they roll them back a bit. If you get hit with a harsh update that’s rolled back a couple of weeks later the last thing you need is making panic changes between the update and the roll back.