Last week, Matt Cutts, head of Google's anti-spam team, announced that Google is working on a penalty for over-optimized websites. What does this announcement mean to your website and how should you react to this announcement?
Here's what Matt Cutts said in detail:
"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."
Does this mean that you shouldn't optimize your web pages anymore?
This announcement is aimed at people who are trying to push the limits too far. Of course, it is perfectly okay to add your keywords on your web page and it is also perfectly okay to exchange links with other websites.
Actually, all of these methods can have a very positive influence on the Google rankings of your website. The problem starts when these elements are overused. This usually happens when you use fully automated tools and services to promote your website.
For example, it is likely that the following SEO methods will get your website in trouble:
- automated link exchange networks that add your link to hundreds on other websites
- tools that automatically create fake forum accounts and comments with a link to your site
- tools that automatically create keyword rich web pages for you on your website
- participating in paid link schemes
Fully automated solutions always mean spam when it comes to SEO
Google wants to show high quality web pages in the search results. Web pages that have been created automatically cannot have the same quality as a web page that has been created by a human editor.
Fully automated solutions lead to low quality links and content that is not helpful to the average web surfers. Businesses that "optimized" their websites with these methods are the ones who will be hit by the new ranking filter.
If you see the words "fully automated" and "hundreds" or "thousands" in one sentence that you can be sure that the advertised product or service is spamming and your website will get in trouble if you promote it with these methods.
Don't panic and create a symbiotic relationship with search engines
If you haven't used the spam methods described above to promote your website, then your Google rankings won't be in trouble.
Optimizing your web pages remains very important because you have to show Google and other search engines that your website is relevant to a particular keyword and that your website has a high quality.
The key is to focus on the user. If you optimize your web pages with the tools in IBP, you will create web pages that are beneficial to your business, web searchers and search engines.
Secure your Google rankings by using white-hat SEO tools
If you want to be on the safe side, optimize your website with the tools in IBP:
- IBP only uses so-called white-hat SEO methods that play by the rules.
- IBP does not use any shady techniques that can get your website in trouble.
- The Top 10 Optimizer in IBP will warn you if your web pages are over-optimized.
- The tools in IBP lead to lasting results.
Optimizing your web pages is important but you have to make sure that you play by the rules. If you do it correctly, search engine optimization leads to lasting high rankings, more customers and more sales.
If you're pushing the limits too far, your website will get in trouble sooner or later. If you want to get lasting results, only use white-hat SEO methods.