A couple of weeks ago at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, Google’s Matt Cutts revealed that Google is working on a search ranking penalty for websites that are “over-optimized”. With Google’s update they intend to create a level playing field when it comes to search results, to give the websites with better content a chance to rank over websites that are better optimized.

Here is exactly what Cutts said:

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.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SEO?

Google’s pending release of its update to its GoogleBot is great news for the little guy. GoogleBot’s update means the little guy who produces quality organic content and doesn’t produce SEO driven content for the sake of effecting search rankings will be rewarded. For those who are in the latter boat, it means that methodology will have to change. We have been saying for some time now that quality organic content is key to search engine success. Readers want content to help them; Google is going to reward content creators who do that. Inbound marketing is today’s SEO. The combination of all marketing efforts will drive traffic to your website, not over-optimizing your website.

What are your thoughts on Google leveling the field? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. As always, please feel free to share this article with friends.

Google SXSW 2007image credit: d.j.k on flickr

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    […] were made aware of the “Over-optimization” penalty when Google’s Matt Cutts spoke at SXSW back in March. At the time we were not sure if this new update to Google’s […]

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