Google’s Matt Cutts announced that Google is working on a search ranking penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” or “overly SEO’ed.”
Matt announced this during a panel Search Engine Land’s Editor-In-Chief, Danny Sullivan and Microsoft’s Senior Product Marketing Manager of Bing at SXSW named Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!. The audio for the session has been published where I learned that Google has been working on a new penalty that targets site’s that overly optimize for search engines for the past few months.
Matt Cutts said the new over optimization penalty will be introduced into the search results in the upcoming month or next few weeks. The purpose is to “level the playing field,” Cutts said. To give sites that have great content a better shot at ranking above sites that have content that is not as great but do a better job with SEO.
Here is the audio clip, you can find Matt saying this about 1/3rd the way in. I have tried to transcribe it below but note, it is not 100% word for word.
Here is the transcription:
“What about the people optimizing really hard and doing a lot of SEO. We don’t normally pre-announce changes but there is something we are working in the last few months and hope to release it in the next months or few weeks. We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and great site. 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.”
In 2009, Matt did a video on over optimization penalties saying there was no such thing. Here is that video:
This is the latest penalty related algorithm Google is working on since releasing the Pages With Too Many Ads “Above The Fold” Now Penalized By Google’s “Page Layout” Algorithm.
We reached out to Google about the new over optimization penalty but Google told us they have nothing to say at this present time.
Mar 16, 2012 at 12:12pm ET by Barry Schwartz