Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Search Spam, recently said at the ongoing South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, that Google is currently working on a new search algorithm to devalue the overly optimized sites that lack content. On the other hand, this is an attempt to reward websites that deliver high-quality content to their visitors.
Matt made this announcement at SXSW during the session named “Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!”. This would definitely be big news for SEO and content marketing. Duane Forrester, Microsoft’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, also participated in the session.
Google is hoping to “level the playing field” with the latest ‘over-optimization’ penalty by reducing the rankings of sites that are overly SEO’ed. Hence, credit will be given to the websites that focus more on strong content. Through this, Google is trying to deliver the best websites to its users.
Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land transcribed Matt’s message as follows:
“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 world, 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.”
Ultimately, Google is trying to weed out websites that implement the tricks of search engine optimization. Hence, the websites that practice keyword stuffing or other practices with low-quality content will see a drop in their ranking.
Some of the speculations of over-optimization are:
It is the process of using the same word over and over, mingled with other words in a sentence. The content written must sound like it is for the readers rather than for the search engine.
It is a technique where a piece of content is taken from a website and run through a software. The software generates an article by re-writing the old one just by replacing the words with synonyms.
Poorly written copy is another speculation.
Matt Cutts said that the optimization penalty will be implemented in Google search in the month to come or in a few weeks.
The session’s audio clip is here