Google’s Matt Cutts recently announced that the search engine giant is working on a new search ranking penalty for websites that are “over-optimized” or “overly-SEO’ed,” in order to “level the playing field”.
In an informational panel session at an SEO conference earlier this month, Matt said: “And the idea is basically to try and level the playing ground a little bit. So all those people who have sort of been doing, for lack of a better word, “over-optimization” or “overly” doing their SEO, compared to the people who are just making great content and trying to make a fantastic site, we want to sort of make that playing field a little bit more level. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”
This is pretty big news in the SEO world where a lot of discussion has ensued. Many believe that this update will mainly affect sites that are employing what are known as “black hat techniques” such as keyword stuffing, or link farming, but we will have to wait and see. To read more about this announcement, check out these two articles on SearchEngineLand and SERoundtable.
In a similar vein, clear evidence of Google’s attempt to knock out those trying to manipulate search results came out also this month when Google reportedly toppled one of the larger blog/link networks, BuildMyRank.com, causing it to shut its doors immediately and refund all its customers. This is far from the first time Google has shut down link and blog networks that are using questionable tactics to gain rank, proving that in the end, it is best to play by Google’s rules.
Most optometry practices will likely not be affected by these actions, but it is good to know that Google is not rewarding sites that are compromising quality of content to get ahead.