Google’s Matt Cutts announced that Google is working on a search ranking penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” or “overly SEO’ed.”

Matt announced this during a panel Search Engine Land’s Editor-In-Chief, Danny Sullivan and Microsoft’s Senior Product Marketing Manager of Bing at SXSW named Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!. The audio for the session has been published where I learned that Google has been working on a new penalty that targets site’s that overly optimize for search engines for the past few months.

Matt Cutts said the new over optimization penalty will be introduced into the search results in the upcoming month or next few weeks. The purpose is to “level the playing field,” Cutts said. To give sites that have great content a better shot at ranking above sites that have content that is not as great but do a better job with SEO.

Here is the transcription:

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.

In 2009, Matt did a video on over optimization penalties saying there was no such thing. Here is that video:

This is the latest penalty related algorithm Google is working on since releasing the Pages With Too Many Ads “Above The Fold” Now Penalized By Google’s “Page Layout” Algorithm.

We reached out to Google about the new over optimization penalty but Google told us they have nothing to say at this present time. Maybe we’ll hear more when Cutts speaks during the “You&A With Matt” session at our upcoming SMX Advanced show in Seattle this June.

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By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

24 thoughts on “Too Much SEO? Google’s Working On An “Over-Optimization” Penalty For That”
  1. I’m not sure how to feel about this.. Our business got wiped out by players in our niche who had HUGE SEO budgets to play with.

    On the other hand, my new site is doing great thanks to a lot of the SEO principals we instilled in it from the start. To see some schmuck come and overtake us because of this change would be beyond frustrating.

    It’s all about G finding a happy medium I guess.

    1. I’m sitting on the fence right there next to you Trent. I’ve seen first hand how highly optimized sites can dominate a niche and force out some of the little guys, or those less astute at seo. I’ve also seen how some of the changes Google makes can all but ruin sites that aren’t particularly engaging in “bad seo” but are caught in the crossfire.

  2. En definitiva google no quiere demaciada optimización seo.
    Los negocios en internet conllevan mucho riesgo. Google paga muy poco en adsense, y nos controla, jaja, que bonito.

  3. […] reading here: Too Much SEO? Google's Working On An “Over-Optimization … This entry was posted in Seo, Seo Iso and tagged a-search-ranking, cutts, danny, during, […]

  4. […] View original post here: Too Much SEO? Google's Working On An “Over-Optimization … […]

  5. Read this on searchengineland last week – it is a strange one. Do you leave your site full of keywords – and risk this new penalty. Or start removing keywords – and risk losing position anyway (changing meta keywords seems to really drop your site quick)

    They risk removing good content sites because of crappy seo techniques. It would e better if they just removed duplicates – if they see “glasses” — just count it once, don’t penalise for too much use – just count it once.

    Another google piss take that’s happening soon is penalising for having too many ads above the page fold. This sucks! Adsense team have been telling us to put ads at top for better ctr – now search team is going to drop us for following another google teams advice.

    Oh mighty google — use one of your free services – such as google mail or chat — and talk to each other you crazy bastards! 🙂

  6. […] Over-optimizing your site?  Google’s coming for ya! -ShoeMoney […]

  7. Fuck Google. We’ve all gotta say it. There’s Matt, for YEARS giving us tips on optimizing our sites for Google, telling us now that if you’ve been following instructions, if you care about your business and want to make it successful online, if you’re following all their goddamned rules, you’re going to get jacked for it.

    Fuck these guys. I’m done doing anything for these jackasses. I’ve done SEO for 12 years. Why? To help my sites rank better amidst the SLOP that’s out there. My sites have unique content, good content. I don’t have any shit sites out there… I’ll likely get a good hammering because I’m too good.

    Fuck that.

    I’m going to guess that Google pisses EVERYONE off within the next year. It’s inevitable. They have their collective heads all up each others’ ass, and it’s intolerable anymore.

  8. This will be very unfortunate for link builders but really great for those websites which are rich in content. Don’t get me wrong, link building does require a lot of work so I feel that there shouldn’t be a penalty for those who actually take the time out to optimize their sites.

  9. […] here: Too Much SEO? Google's Working On An “Over-Optimization … Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged friends, guides, istockphoto, legal, marketing, microsoft, […]

  10. It’s always been about quality – now the algorithm will let the people who have worked the hardest on quality, engaging content, and non-farmed quality links will rise to the top. I expect many of the top dogs who have had it so easy for years to be displaced by those who have put in work!

  11. […] Too Much SEO? Google's Working On An “Over-Optimization … Filed under: SEO Tips, chief, cutts, engine, manager, microsoft, pages, search, search-engine, seo […]

  12. So does this mean wikipedia is going to get hammer? I hope so. Their pages are full of keywords stuffing. For example, look at the keyword “google voice”. Used over 100 times on the page, greater than 5%.

  13. […] Too Much SEO? Google’s Working On An “Over-Optimization” Penalty For That ( […]

  14. I always thought it was better to have a natural approach with SEO, and not overdo it. This is proving it…

    Like it or not, this is the future and seems where it will be going. Content creation for affiliate marketing sites can be as fun as SEO optimization anyway! 🙂

  15. I just watched a video on “on over optimization penalties ” by Matt Cutts giving a brief answer to the question Is over optimization bad for a website. What matters most is keyword stuffing.

  16. I’m still not very familiar with SEO but do not stop to learn to get on the front lines.

  17. I am one of the many who saw his affiliate websites disappear from the Google pages after working hard and spending money to get rankings for my pages. What we need most of all is a real competitor to Google to stop its dictatorial attitude!

  18. Finally they are rewarding those who work harder than those who manipulate things. No More Money Sharks, No More Beggars! Hard Quality Workers Only!

  19. Ya know, I’m not too king about google in the first place..But their are many sites out there that just over does it ,when it comes to key words..It makes it really hard for”the little guys” maybe something good will come out of it all….

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