Google to penalize overly SEO-ed websites
Contrary to what Google Engineer Matt Cutts said in 2009, websites proven of using over search engine optimization techniques will now be penalized. Overuse of SEO pertains to excessive use of keywords and maze-like hyperlinks.
The announcement was made early March in a panel discussion at South-by-South West in Austin.
Cutts, also head of Google webspam department, said, “…we are trying to level the playing field a bit for all those people doing, for lack of better words, ‘overly SEOing’ versus those making great content and great sites.” He added, “We are trying to make Googlebots smarter.”
In a file video taken in June 2009 by Search Engine Land, Cutts said “There is nothing in Google that we have like an over optimization penalty for,” adding that such activity is a “euphemism for spamming.”
The announcement was followed by series of reactions. One is the speculation that the penalty is only part of a major change in Google.
Wall Street Journal reported on its website that Google is also planning to change its search mechanism by integrating semantic search technology. Under this program, Google would be able to answer more directly a user’s query without necessarily directing him to a list of websites that are possibly containing the answers.
WSJ reports, “The changes to search are among the biggest in the company’s history and could affect millions of websites that rely on Google’s current page ranking results.”
Although there was no mention of the actual punishments that may be made by Google in an unknown time, website owners should make sure there is a right balance between quality content and optimization techniques, said iConcept SEO founder Marlon Owen Cruz.
“SEO provides no instant results. Website owners should still focus on providing its users or visitors relevant contents,” Cruz said, adding “the desire for instant results may be the reason of Google in pushing for this reported penalty.”
Google penalized itself
Early this year, it was reported that Google penalized Google Chrome for violating its quality guidelines.
Chrome was prevented from ranking on the first page for terms “Chrome,” “Chrome browser,” or “Internet browser” for 60 days after it outsourced to two top marketing agencies its promotion of Chrome browser using video content.
The reason: marketing campaign through paying bloggers to promote the product. Google said it “never agreed to anything more than online ads.”