This past week, Matt Cutts from Google talked about an upcoming algorithm change that will “level the playing field” for websites that do not conduct a lot of SEO yet have good content, and punish websites that are “over-optimized.” When he talks about a website that is over-optimized, he is talking about SEO companies who abuse SEO techniques such as too many keywords on one page or if they exchange too many links in a link-building campaign.
This is a welcome change to us here at Oracast as we have expressed, for a very long time, that (unnatural) link building has become analogous to spam, and Google has been rewarding people who abuse link building for far too long. This announcement means that the party is over for companies who are abusing SEO techniques. Here is a brief excerpt of what Matt Cutts had to say:
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.
So that’s the sort of thing where we try to make the Google Bot smarter, we try to make our relevance more adaptive so that people don’t do SEO—we handle that—and then we also start to look at the people who sort of abuse it, whether they throw too many keywords on the page, or whatever they exchange way too many links, or whatever they are doing to sort of go beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area. So that is something where we continue to pay attention and we continue to work on it, and it is an active area where we’ve got several engineers on my team working on that right now…”
[And later after talking about the positives of SEO] “Absolutely there are some people who take it too far. What we’re mindful of is when someone says, “We’re White Hat. We continue to do the right thing, and we see the Black Hats who are over optimizing or going too far, and they seem to be doing too well.” So we’ve been working on changes to try to make sure that if you are a White Hat or if you’ve been doing very little SEO that you are going to not be affected by this change. But if you’ve been going way far beyond the pale, then that’s the sort of thing where your site might not rank as highly as it did before.
Matt has once again proven that our SEO process is white-hat, reliable, and will survive future Google algorithm changes because our goal is to make sure that your website is structured correctly, easily crawlable, and provides your target audience with optimized content and a great user experience. Going beyond the basics is becoming dangerous.