Preparing For Google's Over SEO Algorithm

Apr 18, 2012 • 8:56 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Over SEO ChecklistJust about a month ago, Google's head of web spam, Matt Cutts announced Google is going to release a new algorithm to target overly SEO'ed sites to "level the playing field" for the rest of the web.

Now that there are strong indications, all speculative and rumored, but strong nevertheless, that Google is rolling out the algorithm update or at least testing it, how can you prepare for it? The number of complaints in the forums was scary to say the least, almost at Panda levels. So there is no doubt that when this does officially launch, SEOs and webmasters will be seriously impacted - at least many will.

Webmasters and SEOs are trying to document in SEO style a checklist of items that Google might consider to be "over SEO." A WebmasterWorld thread has some considerations and John Britsios spent the time going through some of the threads we linked to yesterday and complied a list in the comments area of our post.

John outlined these items:

  • High keyword densities
  • Anchor texts that are too similar
  • Less or near duplicated content
  • Inorganic and/or unnatural /paid inbound links
The WebmasterWorld thread is just getting started but some great ideas are being shared now. They include:

  • Keyword/phrase over usage
  • Too many redirects
  • Same/similar anchor in back links
  • Same Niche same server
  • Doorway/thin affiliate
  • Link schemes/cheap backlink packages
So join the discussion, let's try to provide helpful tips to webmasters and SEOs who may be impacted by this when it is officially rolled out. Try to be proactive versus reactive here.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to ShutterStock for colorful checklist

Previous story: 7% Of Searches Are Misspelled: Google AdWords To Change Match Type Settings


Ron Coachman

04/18/2012 03:10 pm

Lets hope Matt Cutts isn't reading this, because those ideas from John and webmaster world seem to easy enough to program into an algorithm. Quickly edit this article!


04/18/2012 03:43 pm

When you sell technical products, like firewalls for example, there is a LOT of information about the technical specifications of them which has to be exactly the same as the manufacturer's site.  Hopefully that gets taken into account.

Bill Hartzer

04/18/2012 04:03 pm

Yawn.  Seems to me that it's the same old stuff that we've known about for YEARS now. I'm not seeing anything new listed.

Jenny Halasz

04/18/2012 04:28 pm

I guess I don't see what all the fuss is about. If you've been creating great content and achieving links naturally, you'll be fine in the new algo - in fact, better because your spam competition will be limited. So what's everyone so upset about? Aren't they all white-hat, ethical SEOs? ;-)

Rob Woods

04/18/2012 04:34 pm

I have a feeling that some of this is going to come back to blog comment/forum/signature spam as that's the mostly commonly manipulated by thin affiliate and lead gen sites. While there will be a bunch of on page factors considered I think the above are a major factor in poor quality sites ranking. Ron, I'm assuming you are joking right? :) I'm pretty sure Matt and his team are smart enough to figure out which factors to test without this post...

Get Ranked

04/18/2012 07:09 pm


Paweł Rabinek

04/18/2012 07:32 pm

In fact, those things aren't new, and it shouldn't surprise anybody. If your websites have good and valuable content and proper SEO, you can sleep well! :)

Russell Jensen

04/18/2012 09:46 pm

Sounds like Panda 2.o really. Not a big surprise.


04/19/2012 05:09 am

One of the sites I am working on has got an msg in webmaster that the traffic has it something to do with over optimisation?

Jigar Pandya ™

04/19/2012 05:10 am

One more thing you missed out is Must Put keyword in your domain or Subdomain, Directory or in folder or in html, php, aspx etc file name.. Because you can see the change onto SERP that ranked domains which don't have any content but have the keyword in Domain or Sub-Domain or in file or folder name.


04/19/2012 11:55 am

About time they rolled this out, has been a long time coming... If everyone just played by the rules and stopped cutting corners in terms of creating dirty, spammy, artificial links/websites then everything would be fine. I have seen so many situations where a rubbish site has managed to trick the system and out rank a better site - bring it on I say!!!

sandeep kumar

04/19/2012 12:05 pm

 Only those people afraid with such announcements who is using un-ethical ways of getting high ranking (i.e. black hat SEo , paid link building etc). Those who is writing original content and believe on natural link building, they need not to worry. Google is smart enough to handle all there over smart people.

Website Developers

04/19/2012 12:37 pm

the best way to stay out of the algorithm update. Read the Google Webmaster help section carefully and following it. Hope this will work as it always works for me.

hamza ali

04/19/2012 12:43 pm

I don’t take about many points given above because I don’t do these kind of practice but 1 point disturbs me. Same niche / same server I work with a company which specialized in health niche. We create, maintain and do marketing of online pharmacies (more than 25). We specialized in this niche, we have doctors and pharmacist to assists on particular pharmacy and health related problem. But above point panelize us because all sites host on one dedicated server… that’s not fair because we do only legitimate things and Google never says that don’t host more than one site of particular niche on one hosting..      They should consider this scenario where many companies are specialist of micro niche  


04/19/2012 03:02 pm

the best thing to do to oust a rat is put out some cheese... go ahead and start reverse engineering your SEO strategy... nervous? If I were Google I'd make this announcement and watch to see who started making major changes to their sites and demote them for being faint of heart.


04/19/2012 06:36 pm

The "fuss" is about the potential collateral damage. Looking at past few major updates, the potential seems quite high. 

John Britsios

04/19/2012 08:57 pm

Bill, no one claimed that the quality guidelines above are new. What new is, Google now takes action against such violations and pretty aggressively. 

John Britsios

04/19/2012 09:02 pm

First I am not so sure that it is easy enough to program into those algorithms. Just for an example, lets take the inorganic/unatural links cases described here: Do you see any way to program into the algorithm for that?

John Britsios

04/19/2012 09:04 pm

Dave that is the job a the Panda bear. For example the tutorials about "how to make french toast":

John Britsios

04/19/2012 09:10 pm

Sandeep just to clarify, the search engine which can scare me is not born yet. Just to avoid any misunderstandings. And not only black hat SEO, or paid link builders could be the ones who might be afraid. The ones who are scared most are the snake oil of wannabe SEOs who are spoiling our industry since it exists.

John Britsios

04/19/2012 09:19 pm

Not every SEO is what you call white hat or ethical. And the worse thing t is, that our industry has plenty of wannabes who spoil the reputation of our niche.

John Britsios

04/19/2012 09:22 pm

I have to agree too Syed. I do not want to sound paranoid or spread fear here, but I feel like we are standing on the threshold of Armageddon.

John Britsios

04/19/2012 09:33 pm

Not necessarily Russel. 

Bedlinen Direct

06/13/2012 10:17 am

I wish google would be more precise with thier update info.

classified ads

09/10/2012 03:42 am

Several of my clients have bought out their competitors and we're redirected the old sites to my clients' sites; it's never been a problem. I have two I oversee now and it's still not a problem. This happens quite often in some of the niches where I am active.

blog comments powered by Disqus