Cutts: Google To Target Overly SEO'ed Sites Within Weeks

Mar 16, 2012 • 9:12 am | comments (128) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Overly SEOed Targeted by GoogleGoogle's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced as a side note during his panel at SXSW that Google is releasing an algorithm update specifically to target sites over doing their SEO.

Matt Cutts said this is Google's attempt to "level the playing field" between webmasters that build quality content versus webmasters who are just really aggressive SEOs.

I just heard this by listening to the audio recording from the panel he was on at SXSW a week or so ago.

He said, and I quote:

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.

I am amazed I didn't hear this earlier but I guess people missed it?

We did see a lot of complaints of ranking changes this week. But Google denied any updates of any sort. I doubt this is directly related or maybe Google is testing it?

Brace yourself SEOs - here comes something big!

Here is the audio again, it is about 1/3rd way in:

Forum discussion continued at Google+.

Image credit to ShutterStock for SEO hand.

Update: This is now named the Penguin Update.

Previous story: Google's Amit Singhal: Freebase Entities Grows From 12M To 200M


Greg Hartnett

03/16/2012 01:26 pm

Do you really think this will be "huge"?  Like Panda huge, or Florida huge?

Alex Genadinik

03/16/2012 01:33 pm

Soon all sites will be penalized :) 

Gareth Mailer

03/16/2012 01:36 pm

I've noticed a few weird goings on as of late, but that's nothing new, but we see things like these every week. To target "overly optimised" sites is just another thinly veiled public relations stunt - they've been talking about this for years. To me, it's blatantly obvious that Google must be able to recognise instances of spamming e.g. stuffing a page with hundreds of postcodes or keywords.  However, they haven't done anything with that information to date (or over the last few years), so I've no idea why they would start now. 

Jeevan Katwaru

03/16/2012 01:40 pm

RIP SEO - 1997 - 2012  =)

Greg Hartnett

03/16/2012 01:43 pm

What about sites that pursue a strategy of great content and "go well beyond what you normally expect"?  Do the two have to be mutually exclusive?

Jeanne Kardell

03/16/2012 01:48 pm

I agree with Greg, why do the two have to be mutually exclusive?  Can't you have great content and great SEO?

Tad Chef

03/16/2012 02:00 pm

OMG! Is SEO dead?

Brendan Cournoyer

03/16/2012 02:00 pm

 My thoughts exactly Jeanne


03/16/2012 02:12 pm

The rankings changes over the past few weeks may also have been tied to the devaluing of several popular public blogging networks

marc emmelmann

03/16/2012 02:15 pm

I am looking forward. Get rid of the spam. Or die trying.


03/16/2012 02:17 pm

 SEO will only be dead when Search Engines are dead.

Dave - Dijitul

03/16/2012 02:20 pm

Just gotta love Google!!

Ady Berry

03/16/2012 02:27 pm

It's not a PR stunt - I've seen overoptimised sites get hit recently by G  and then come back when they have been "de-optimised". Coincidence probably not.


03/16/2012 02:28 pm

It will be very good penalization for spamming industry. Eagerly waiting for this update.

Chris Beasley

03/16/2012 02:35 pm

The most likely scenario is that you would have diminishing returns for overly done SEO, rather than a penalty. Most likely diminishing returns on a logarithmic scale. I'm sure they already do such things, they're likely just turning it up. 


03/16/2012 02:35 pm

I just clicked and checked and it's Page rank 1 without content and being null - Google is a Page rank playground now.


03/16/2012 02:44 pm

There should be a limit or somthing for example as site has 10,000 links pointing to it that were gathered over a few years as to the site where 10,000 links over a couple months. Also maybe not crediting linkbacks when a site has 1000+ comments/links. Thanks for the email that sent me to this article by the way. Shared it on my forum.


03/16/2012 02:48 pm

As much as they say they are only tracking 'aggressive SEO', in the end, the bots are not going to know how to differentiate between genuinely good strategy, and shady back alley activity. I feel this will hurt the good SEO guys, and as a result....I may lose my Clients due to Google dropping them off rankings, and ultimately my job :(

James Syme

03/16/2012 02:52 pm

Love these updates, more work to do!


03/16/2012 02:59 pm

Well..initially it will harmful for all SEO industries doing work for many clients but it will be a very good update for all to go for quality and organic SEO techniques.....:)


03/16/2012 03:11 pm

A Panda the size of Florida, now that would be huge.


03/16/2012 03:21 pm

 In what way were they over optimised?

Steve Gerencser

03/16/2012 03:32 pm

And what do you do about a site that becomes 'popular' quickly? Maybe the site with 10k links over years just sucks and the new site rocks? How do you work that in to the counting system?

Theresa Wagar

03/16/2012 03:53 pm

Omg! Well Giogle us doing everything they can to keep me in business. Between there changes and FB chg, a webmaster's job us never done. Lol

Fresh Web SEO

03/16/2012 04:02 pm

Lol. That is the truth Theresa. All the changes all the time makes it pertinent to have an SEO expert on the team.

HI webmaster

03/16/2012 04:02 pm

One more excuse to penalize sites. SEOs do not advertise so Google HATES you. Google wants you to advertise the bid price increases on Adwords. Now you will go nuts wondering if it's Panda, too many ads, too much SEOs or what? When it's just the New Google trying to  make more money. They hacked Safari users, imagine what they do with the algo that's totally secret

Joe Youngblood

03/16/2012 04:06 pm

Panda v2

Ricardo Solon

03/16/2012 04:11 pm

SEO is not dead ..... but last two years was crazy ... I have the same feeling as Matt ... some people were overdoing it like buying a bunch of domains to create this fake kinks popularity or any black hat tactics... I cannot blame google to protect their real estate .... the game change but quality will resist and stay


03/16/2012 04:12 pm

PageRank and content are not directly interlinked.

Translate for You

03/16/2012 04:29 pm

Panda hurt many innocent businesses and promoted Google's favorite: big brands. This will be no different. Do no not trust Google or their "engineers" when they say something. They do what is best for their pocketbook, not the "user" or you.

Christopher Smith

03/16/2012 04:30 pm

I was in the session (I just wish I could've met Matt in person!), and I think there's some context of this quote that people are glossing over or missing. This isn't a new concept. They've been targeting over-optimizers since it's become a problem. It's just now that they're saying "yes, we are specifically targeting over-optimizers". Continue to listen after Dewayne's bit where he jokes about Matt saying Google hates SEO. Matt continues to re-affirm that proper and legitimate SEOs will be still be a valuable resource. Will this kill the SEO industry? Not in the least. The good ones will still get results, and the shady ones will continue to chase pipe dreams and buy WSOs (some of you will get this). Like Matt said (and has always said and will always say), if you put out good content that people find useful, you won't have a problem. Don't try shady tactics, and you won't get burned.


03/16/2012 04:37 pm

So how do we know that a site is aggressively SEO'd. If I send a lot of high quality links to my competitors will they now get hit in their rankings. What gives? I hope Google explains their definition of aggressive SEO. I’m not holding my breath.    

Jody Olaes

03/16/2012 04:39 pm

Google needs to be clear about what is considered "over-optimized" before they release an update such as this.  Once upon a time the Google guide gave you tips on how to optimize your websites for better rankings, now they penalize you for doing just that.

Joe Youngblood

03/16/2012 04:46 pm

I think you missed the better sound bite, and that is Duane saying he wanted to kick someones ass for them.

Yolk Recruitment

03/16/2012 04:55 pm

How do they define good content  and overly SEO'd sites?  Why punish a company for investing in SEO -  we've just started out SEO program and hope it's not a waste of time and resources.

Ryan Lima

03/16/2012 05:24 pm

OMG, I'm little bit worry about this, this will be a reverse SEO, what if some one blasting your site with your keyword? This might affect your ranking..  SEO is not dead, there is always a way to rank on.

Jeevan Katwaru

03/16/2012 05:31 pm

lets call this update the "shark update" -


03/16/2012 05:35 pm

HI webmaster, sorry, but your theory makes no sense as there will always be someone at no 1. They are not picking on you or anyone else. Google is doing the best they can to stop spam.It looks to me that google wants good partner sites to show their guest, but cheating is the rule of the day for most. This is contrary to what google wants. They want a fair and level playing field, and i am already past sure in stating that google has things in their algo already that slows some of the bigger sites, because amazon, wikipedia and a handful of other sites would rank no 1,2,3 etc... for at least the first page for every single phrase if google did not throttle them back a bitI believe google is looking for the right partners, the ones that deliver good content, a nice, user friendly site that their clients stay on, have multiple pages views and time on site.You now have webmaster tools, analytics, website optimizer and a host of other free tools so that you can do it right. Google made 22 BILLION dollars last year. it looks like they are teaching us through fear of loss to run our businesses like they do theirs, based on user interaction.And this is what the algorithm has always been about, but as technology increases, google will get better and better at it. They can't just show the algo or give ranking signals because when you close one hole, it opens others most of the time. That would be the indy 500 of spam algos and nobody legit would get up top.


03/16/2012 05:39 pm

"your theory makes no sense as there will always be someone at no 1" Yes, a Google advertiser.


03/16/2012 05:46 pm

Among the hardest hit sites in the last year has been blogs with adsense. So that theory is awash also.

Scott Krager

03/16/2012 05:51 pm

This is good news for great SEOs. I think as SEO has become more challenging the past few years, the great SEOs will continue to adapt and deliver good results to their clients and the poor just getting by on crappy tactics SEOs will start looking for new jobs.


03/16/2012 06:02 pm

Jim = Google employee. Matt Cutts perhaps? Theory is not hogwash, your argument is. Google's earnings and clicks increased by almost 40% with the same number of visitors. Stop the fraud


03/16/2012 06:13 pm

I'm all for this. I've also always opted for quality optimized content vs. quantity of key words and link spamming.  I'm happy to hear that Google is making this efforts in the right direction.


03/16/2012 06:27 pm

They only guaranteed thing: Google will make even more money. No matter what update, what they "target" their earnings increase. What a coincidence #stopthefraud


03/16/2012 06:40 pm

Remember Panda that targeted "content farms...shallow content"? Most hit were small e-commerce sites that don't advertise on Google while brands that advertise got a major boost. What Google says is different from Google does. They are masters at deceiving and at forcing sites to spend money on Google advertising. 


03/16/2012 06:53 pm

Jim= Professional SEO who has had sites hit by panda, recovered and now doing more than ever. The only difference is you are acting like a baby that is entitled to be up top when in reality your site is not compliant. "Theory is not hogwash, your argument is. Google's earnings and clicks increased by almost 40% with the same number of visitors. Stop the fraud" Really? If they have good sites with low bounce rates that inform their customers, educate them and then get the adsense click, it would seem that is the logical path. So, having quality sites instead of bouncing sites in the top would increase googles revenues, but it would also increase the site owners revenues. If you spent the time you are spending here crying about a computer program picking on you then you are in the wrong game anyway and need to go away. If your site is at no 1 for keyword "A" and mine is at no 2 for the same, My bounce rate is 30% and yours is at 60, then I must be pleasing a lot more visitors than you are. If They stay on my page longer, it gives me an even better lead, add in page views and I I am sure I would get the top spot if all other signals were close. There is no tie, the site that is the most compliant overall wins. Spend your crybaby time learning to use the free tools they give you and you may be shocked by what you learn. Your site is considered trashy if google is dumping it. Use the info and tools they give you and you can see why you were hit. It is a conspiracy, but it is conspiring to get better results.


03/16/2012 07:04 pm

Dear Matt Cutts, do no waste your time, people do not believe you. Google makes money when users click on ads, not on our sites. That's why your earnings increased by almost 40% and content owners are complaining about traffic loses. Spin is not going to get you out of this. Your earning numbers are public records. Less traffic to sites = more money for Google. Simple, and that is what we see.


03/16/2012 08:47 pm

Perhaps Google will put out a release on how they define "over-optimised?"  In the interim, I found this article - some pretty good stuff in it - take a look:

Matias Coo

03/16/2012 09:19 pm

Guess we will find out soon what "overly optimized" means. Perhaps the new SEO strategy will be to not do anything and watch our website rankings soar. 


03/16/2012 10:26 pm

 Umm, they always did. Google has never been friendly to actual SEO's.


03/16/2012 11:08 pm

To Danny Sullivan, the owner of this site: why did you not post that the meeting where Googlers "discussed algo changes" was a setup? Googlers knew they were being taped and that it woud be released. That is cheap trick, no one buys.

Aaron Kronis

03/16/2012 11:40 pm

SEO will never die it will just change. 

Aaron Kronis

03/16/2012 11:41 pm

anything that gets popular quickly likely will be manually reviewed anyways. I know I would make my teams of thousands of manual reviewers look at the newest popular sites first... wouldn't you...if you were Google... imagine that. Being Google. 

Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.

03/17/2012 12:17 am

Thanks for sharing Barry. Matt Cutts is like the Ben Bernake or Allen Greenspan of the Search Engine world ... when he talks about algorithm changes, markets listen. This makes sense to me. Its all about providing the user the best experience which is in Google's best interest as well as the markets. Why do you think Google currently has 65% of the US search market share? Just because a site has the best SEO doesn't mean that it deserves to be ranked number 1 in terms of what users are looking for. I know that is a hard pill for SEOs to swallow (myself included). What it does mean is that  SEO  may become more about creating high quality content that fills a void than getting tons of inbound links with exact match anchor text to mediocre, commonly available and/or thin, low value content. In the end, I am all for a level playing field where it is harder to "game the system" by putting a grey or black hat on a pig while liberally applying lipstick.

Bernie Madoff

03/17/2012 12:29 am

Matt Cutts is like the Bernie Madoff or Allen Sanford of the Search Engine world... when he talks about algorithm changes, markets know he's lying and cheating.


03/17/2012 12:31 am

It means they are going to stuff more of their own ads at the top of their SERPS than the already inordinately large number now. Any change has always come down to that and this one will be no different. Folks, don't let Google kid you. They announce an algo change, and yes, some change probably occurs. But in reality, they are anouncing that behind the smoke screen, they are quietly, very efficiently increasingly shafting all website owners other than the overbloated mega names.


03/17/2012 07:36 am

I thing this update is related more about image search and youtube effect on rankings

Mithun Divakaran

03/17/2012 08:12 am

Huffington Post just went "Dammit!"

James Norquay

03/17/2012 09:58 am

Interesting changes to come, I can see a big shake up in the SEO world, all these low quality sites in the ranks will hopefully be hit =) 

Advertising Standards

03/17/2012 02:18 pm

They are missing the whole point. Choice is coming for Consumers! Why will any educated user click / view advertising over the internet that they are not going to be rewarded for? What you need to know - it's all about .LESS! See how we are going to "reconfigure the internet" to make your browsing experience faster and more enjoyable while using "LESS" bandwidth to save YOU time and money!


03/17/2012 03:33 pm

Sounds like more affirmation that building quality unique content will win in the end.


03/17/2012 04:47 pm

Scott is right on the money ! As this is indeed great news for Good SEOs and for the frustrations of those great SEOs as "bad" SEO was / is still working pretty well…


03/17/2012 05:58 pm

Matt being honest ?

Dreamaker Dreamaker

03/18/2012 12:40 am

Write what people want that's what their going to eventually end up returning in the results. If that's their goal and it seems to be they will accomplish it sooner or later. Might just as well get it right from the beginning and then you'll end up benefiting from these changes. Just a thought.


03/18/2012 01:57 am

Your reply makes sense except for the fact that you are saying "if you're number 2" you wouldn't be number 2. Go write your butt off for no one to read. See how long it takes to be number 2 without gaming system then we can discuss hypotheticals haha.

MSI Mail

03/18/2012 03:38 am

Too many keywords in a website makes it difficult and unpleasant to read. Google promoting quality content in a site, rather than just how many keywords can be stuffed in, is a positive. 


03/18/2012 04:06 am

Um I just had a national client that I've link building for years pretty much drop off the map... Wtf?


03/18/2012 03:43 pm

 I guess he didn't feel he needed to as they mention in the first minute of the video that they know it is being taped.  Perhaps you found it easier to write a comment than watch the video?

Tom Bates

03/18/2012 10:37 pm

 WOW... Don't mind leveling the playing field, but i just read, from SRT, that they had project sites fall in placement but traffic up 30%....?? Is this returning traffic? I had several sites/clients maintain or jump in placement, however, have a Question.... If Google does not even touch the "keyword tag" are they pulling the keywords from the title/description and if so, is it the LIVE title or the title they decide on? I slowed down on all link building about a year ago to a drip of STRONG NICHE related only links...   seems to be holding well but is a huge amount of work!

franz enzenhofer

03/19/2012 12:23 pm

algo. updates are unactionable until they happened, so i don't care (much) 

Kitchen Taps

03/19/2012 01:31 pm

This sounds great to those companies who seem to have massive budgets that the smaller companies cannot compete with!!!


03/19/2012 04:48 pm

Nothing new, just another round of slaps on the rump. If you overoptimize, you knew this day was coming. What Google really needs to target is all of those domain parking dynamic  content generation scripts all the domainers use. I mean come on, if 5,000 domains are using the same script with crap dynamic content/link it's damn easy to filter out. Maybe the money's too good huh Google?

Twinkle Clean

03/19/2012 08:58 pm

About time! I am the webmaster for a number of small sites and ive been competing with other sites that have over 1500 crap inbound links for irrelevant site. Ive managed to get the sites onto page one by using quality inbound links, press releases and articles etc. Why are google only doing this now??

Manish Pandey

03/19/2012 09:49 pm

Probably Google now understands that "quality content" might not get too many links to begin with. It's only when people see it in the results, it will get linked by others. I had been writing good content to keep my blog alive and wouldn't write anything if I didn't had anything new to add. At times I'd think that people who are just changing the titles and re-posting the articles were helping them but with this new algo Google is just trying to take a step ahead of the Panda update. My 2cents. Manish Pandey.

David Seymour

03/19/2012 10:46 pm

So what was the point of introducing for example and a bunch of new social linking tools which to an average user are almost incomprehensible (think google maps and google places - what a mess in terms of user friendliness and how they link together or do they even - make a review - OMG - way too complicated for my Mum that just wants to recommend the local hairdresser).  And anyway, what does overdoing SEO mean exactly? What is the point of Mr Cutts uttering anything unless there is some detail in his words which have a tendency to be vague. The devil is always in the detail. I think Google is moving in a poor direction not least for these reasons. Social democracy of the Anglo-Saxon flavour in terms of the web and search engine rankings - makes me laugh when you see the increase in prominence of Google adwords in the SERPS. Seems like they are not going to apply it to their business interests. Time to perhaps consider selling the old Google shares. It is not going as well as it once did for sure. Call me an optimist but is over optimized? Advice need from professionals. 

Ben Hamilton

03/20/2012 02:45 am

The main thing is that if we built back-links the right way, we don't have to worry about the old say "better be safe than sorry"


03/20/2012 04:54 am

This is a very good algorithm update, because the "small" / single developers are too busy developing quality products, so could not devote time and skills to SEO aspect of it.

Ribbun Software

03/20/2012 06:08 pm

Google have been updating its algorithms more often these days.  and if Matt Cutts makes an announcement then its not really far away. I am still struggling to figure out ...what Will happen to those sites which are good at SEO at the same time they are providing good and quality content as well....Any thoughts ??

SEO Singapore

03/21/2012 03:37 am

Nowonder, we realised there are some major changes by Google these days! Some of our ranking has drop significantly. Trying to catch up the changes now.

Paul Botang

03/21/2012 10:10 am

Google are bastards and are running out of money and having to cut various services.


03/21/2012 01:52 pm

I saw improvement, slightly, in my rankings. But, it's odd that sites like are still ranked on the first page for my keyword but my site is on page #2. doesn't have quality content for the, this is still a bad search algorithm.


03/21/2012 08:12 pm

This is a good start, but I'm hoping more will be done as time goes on.  Businesses with big budgets often win over the little guy because they can hire multiple consulting firms to take care of business.  I see businesses that don't provide good content at the top with tons of terrible backlinks and content that is trash while other really decent sites are way down the list.  


03/22/2012 07:17 am

so if this happen few months or years from now SEO will be gone and all SEO who has a hundreds of clients and earns thousands of dollars will be gone also.

Raquel Johnson

03/22/2012 07:36 am

Day by day everything is becoming strict !

mlm software

03/22/2012 12:07 pm

What is exactly over optimization and why google changing algorithm frequently.


03/22/2012 05:39 pm

Well i think Google already launched its algorithm on over doing SEO and it penalized many SEO work.I think doing proper SEO with unique and fresh contents will not going to penalized by any algorithm.

Metro PCS Android

03/22/2012 06:37 pm

I think if we stick with White Hat SEO techniques SEOs will be fine

SEO Consultant

03/22/2012 10:33 pm

In all honesty; what Google is doing really is a good thing. The only people that need to be worried are the people doing the wrong thing - stick to doing the right thing like writing valuable content and linking from relevant and authority websites and you will do fine!  After reading all the posts on forums of late; it seems only the people who are screaming are those who have used crappy content and spammy blog networks - quit your whinging! You knew this would eventually happen! :)

SEO Philippines

03/23/2012 12:33 am

As long as your site is putting out great content, you shouldn't be worried.  No one should be overly-optimizing their pages anyway.


03/23/2012 01:20 pm

I doubt you're going to see much of a change outside of small niches.  It all comes down to diversity and looking natural.  If you have a site with a disproportionate amount of comment backlinks, you're going to feel the slap.  If you rely on article marketing, it's going to hurt.  There are a lot of sites in the small niches that are ranking by using these methods only. It all comes down to making things look 'natural'.  Your content needs to be readable and your inbound link profile needs to be diverse in sources and terms. I'm not worried about this one bit.

Greg Fowler

03/23/2012 02:47 pm

I think as long as you build good natural quality links you should be okay, in my opinion, but otherwise it sounds like Google is going more towards a content based search engine or more of it.


03/23/2012 08:37 pm

Its a good thing. Content is getting a little nasty in certain areas and I was getting tired of it. Even though I do seo. Good content should be king, im glad and thats why I provide it. As well I think bounce rate is being monitored. That would be a pretty easy thing to figure out if content was matching up properly. As well google plusing and social reccomends will also probably factor in. You wont see backlinks die anytime soon...but im sure they will hone in. As well pages and other things. Google certainly likes wordpress blogs. But what google changes its algorythm how many times per month? From what I hear a lot...does it change what I do no. I just heard about this and figure id chime in. Just keep your head down and keep and learning and keep on typing and youll do just fine with google.

facebook freak

03/23/2012 10:08 pm


facebook freak

03/23/2012 10:10 pm

This update definitely slapped my site, It is moderately new and was beginning to start ranking well. Then around the 18th, bam. It's gone.

Colin Hall

03/24/2012 11:59 pm

Hi Facebook Freak, We have a new site and were also starting to rank in our small market place. Our site has been slapped too, but only tonight :-(

Andrew Lynder

03/26/2012 03:58 pm

when the algorithm is able to catch  sites who spin my original articles, then I'll stop doing seo and will focus on writing quality content. In the meantime, I'm seriously considering to start taking photos of lol cats because these little puffy things get share a lot and here we go with the social liking factor!

Jody Olaes

03/30/2012 02:00 pm

I've seen nothing but 50%+ growth in organic traffic on my sites.  Good luck to you all!


04/02/2012 02:22 pm

thank you mr cutts, you keep enjoying your life while playing with others. just kick back and sip that cocktail while us small business owners scratch our heads as to why we have lost  50% of revenue overnight. it's already a battle trying to survive with the GFC thanks for making it just that little more difficult, and while your on the subject of even playing fields maybe everyone should boycott google and give yahoo and some of the other seach engines a go ??? so what happens to online stores that have a page  chock full product containing  keywords relating to the product for example haltech ecu  , we have over 100 haltech products listed in our online store haltech page and all 100 products contain the word haltech , will this be penalized for keyword spamming (stuffing) , how is this spamming, we are just offering our customer the complete range of haltech products

Michael Aulia

04/03/2012 07:25 am

It's a good update but I'm worried about how these bots "know" which ones are sites that provide good and quality content and which ones are not :|

Gain Tain

04/04/2012 01:40 pm

Ultimately,  for the sake of users content must be king.  Search engines are  just trying to satisfy user needs.   If that need is a question that needs and answer, or a the desire for a product that soves a problem or a want. I believe that the content will and should always be the criteria used to judge the worthiness of the page.  


04/04/2012 07:45 pm

I have read about this today. Although these are good news I agree with Michael. How good will new ranking criteria really be. The other thing I don't understand is should we completely forget about SEO, because Google doesn't like it any more or we should combine about 5 different traffic tools, like SEo, Social media etc. It seems that this will be the best Google's update ever, or the worst one.


04/08/2012 06:28 pm

how to define whether some site is 'over-SEOed' or not? How do webmasters know where to draw the line?


04/08/2012 08:32 pm

what actually Google wnat to do .. everybody just tired of all doing performed by Google in the name of to improve search quality ????


04/10/2012 09:27 am

I have seen google gives importance to quality work.Just do  quality artilce submisison, top 10 press release submission, social bookmark to top 10 high PR sites, blog posting to top 10 sites and some blog comments and forum posting. If somebody do this package regular then i think its enoug to get top 10 ranking. people try to get lot thousands of backlinkg in very short priod by thinking top ranking in short period that is really not good.

Adnan Anatolian

04/10/2012 05:08 pm

I am terribly affacted by this. However, I am not over doing SEO. :/

Kieffer Sutherland

04/16/2012 08:31 am

They have deindexed one of my 2 year old website and this is just not acceptable!


04/17/2012 02:57 pm

 I think you got Google's message the wrong way, Google doesn't want you to combine 5 just wants you to use one tactic, AdWords that is. Remember the adwords ads running with headlines along the lines of "Forget about SEO, Advertise through AdWrods" (not textually exact lines). TBH, they don't give a damn about my site or your site or any other thin affiliate site as much as they care about big pocket companies not invest in seo but rather in AdWords advertisements.


04/17/2012 05:34 pm

Its all about purity and and well managed and displayed fresh human readable content. My sites did face last 4 updates and they never dropped, but improved.

Seo web consultor

04/18/2012 05:49 pm

Google trys one thing and almost everytime gets another... First of all, we should know what's over doing SEO for Google...


04/23/2012 12:59 am

Since this update, I lost my first place on the first page on many keywords, even if you search for my site domain name (without the .com), and I'm not doing over SEO, I think this is a really bad update, because I put a lot of my time building my site. I'm so angry at them right now..  I was receiving more than 10K hits /day from google.. and since this update it dropped slowly to 1.3K.. and still dropping.. that's horrible for my business. I hate them.


04/24/2012 09:30 am

How is Google going to find the abusers and differentiate between the good and the bad is a question we all are waiting to get an answer for. It’s not only going to be difficult but I believe it will probably bring focus on SEO basics of On-page optimization, and there is room to define inbound links relevancy as well. What Google will also need to look for, is websites which have good content but zero SEO, surprisingly high PR and high SERP rankings. While this is good news for all those who believe in websites with highly relevant content, it could mean another drop in rankings for those who have not understood the search engines move to increase relevancy since the Panda update.


04/25/2012 05:46 pm

Level the playing field a bit? Sounds a little too democratic for me. I don't participate in any black hat stuff, but have worked diligently the last several years to build up my rankings, traffic and sales. Over the past few days I have lost roughly 50% of my traffic/sales due to a drastic drop in my  rankings. At what expense? To level out the playing field for those that haven't' worked as hard as me? I'm perplexed. I understand Google is trying to improve their product for their customers... but I fear that these updates are effecting good, hardworking, small businesses. I guess the only thing I can do is suck it up, and start over. Alright, where is the newest Google manual?


04/26/2012 02:04 pm

 Completely agree with Go4seoindia. Diversity is the key without a doubt! And press releases are often overlooked for being too expensive, in favour of paid links. I'm looking for a new PR agency at the moment, are there any you would recommend?


04/28/2012 06:02 pm

I think the updates are to get webmaster to spend more on their PPC with Google. Remember PPC is the main source of revenue.


05/01/2012 03:47 pm

100% Agree with you Chad.

Uday Patel

05/02/2012 04:58 am

Make contents informative and unique for the whole site. But it is difficult to gauge what is unique content since one may like it another may not and leave the site.  Relevant information should be provided about product, services, places etc.  This okay and sensible. This is true that many sites where ranking high in spite of poor contents hence the level playing field.  White Hat Seo is going to remain as a differentiating factor since site does not get traffic from Google alone, referrals and placements on many platforms can also make it popular.   Hence make good contents and proper promotion then leave it to the algorithms.     One should try to get traffic from multiple sources. Why Not?

Web Directory

05/05/2012 09:59 am

I am also agree with you chad


05/18/2012 02:54 am

How over optimized is over optimized? We're in the process of checking why Penguin hit our site. How do you cure backlinks to your site that are suspiciously bad ones? Hope this gets answered.


05/20/2012 01:58 pm

Matt, why did you do that? kill that f... penguin

John Jones

06/03/2012 07:37 pm

google is not running out of money. they are greedy and want to make more money while still showing extremly poor search results!

Bedlinen Direct

06/13/2012 03:05 pm

still unclear at to what over SEO really means?


06/22/2012 05:59 am

yup :P


06/22/2012 06:02 am

no its not dead,, its change some tricks?


08/20/2012 11:39 am

This is incredible. Google program is good program.

Carisa Carlton

08/21/2012 02:22 pm

I am one of the little gals who benefited from this change! Thanks Google! By the way, Barry, I really like this article...quality content, well written and structured.

David Curtis

10/10/2012 02:59 pm

StopTheFraud - sites that advertise and rank get more hits than sites that simply rank. There's a confidence in seeing a site more than once, also in knowing that since they have an actual adwords account with Google that they're *probably* better established and more trusted, which provides a degree of assurance. That said, someone seeing both an organic listing plus a PPC ad will often click on the organic link. (I do, why make them pay if both are there?). So more trust and assurance tends to lead to more conversions and transactions than less trust and less assurance. Based on that theory (it's not mine, but I agree with it) PPC does not directly boost rankings. But what does boost rankings is more clicks, more conversions and more transactions. Google would actually have to do it's own A/B testing to see percentage changes in clicks on an organic links (in all niches) *with* and *without* PPC ads for that site present on the same SERP and then calculate the average percentage of change in clicks to the organic links. Then Google would have to subtract that average percentage of clicks to the organic links from the total number of organic clicks and recalculate the "actual" value of the site as if there were no "value boosting" psychological assurance or trust factors attributable to someone seeing a PPC ad on the same SERP as the organic link.

Franklyn G.

11/17/2012 10:51 pm

SEOs are here to stay at least those of us who are willing to put in the work to figure out what Google wants and figure out ways not to look like spammers.

danny kelan

12/10/2013 07:48 am

seo is more difficult to updating google robots

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