Google Turns The Slap-Stick on Heavy SEO Abusers
A couple of months back, I raised the question of whether the biggest non-content quality factors in SEO were about to change…
If you didn’t read “3 Google SEO Changes Rattle SEO Experts & Bloggers Alike!” you really should… it’s highly relevant to where the industry is going today.
Understanding those changes is the key to understanding why Google’s newest announcement was both expected and celebrated!
Google has now announced that it will soon be penalizing those individuals who are making excessive use of heavy-handed SEO tactics.
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This is of course leading to a lot of crazy blog posts on all sorts of tangents… but let’s look at what’s important!
A quote I made in the prior post is deeply reflected in this change:
“It seems that Google may have finally realized than much of the best content is produced by writers, not link builders”
4 Ways The Over-Optimization Penalty Affects You!
1. No negative penalty for the average SEO using blogger. It’s important that we first understand that the penalty being discussed is for the “worst-of-the-worst” heavy-users. I estimate that I personally know four people who will be impacted and these people already knew they were toeing the line. But don’t, however, be going around doing known no-no’s such as using extreme keyword density and artificial tactics.
2. SEO remains important for bloggers and content creators but what changes is the degree of emphasis and amount of money thrown around needed to rank well today vs “old school” SEO tactics. If you’re SEO’ing your blog it’s still a good thing. All of the basic SEO foundation skills you have learned for your blog go right on working. (In fact, Google is currently more dependent on “schema” and “video sitemaps” and other whiz-bang than it was a year ago. Don’t let this fool you into thinking SEO is dead.
3. Quality Content PLUS relationship building remain in lock-step as the driving factors of SEO. Nothing else matters if your content sucks. Get the content right, unique, fresh and awesome and build a community around it. You can never ever go wrong writing kick ass content and you can never go wrong building relationships with people who are looking for you!
A variety of new social signals are now highly important (but they’re not just the backlink, backlink, backlink) of the old days. While backlinks remain important so to do social signals (pluses, likes, tweets), social influence (your social network on Google+), site speed, site navigation, high quality unique branding and more. What’s changed is that these are not things that are easy to throw money at (except speed & branding art) and expect to win unlike the old days of buying thousands of backlinks.
Google is working very hard to begin to, bit-by-bit, level the playing field for the average person that produces kick ass user experience.
They’re doing this because their ability to produce quality search results for their visitors (people searching) depends on it. These changes are slow but cumulative and when adding this to the ad-heavy penalty and the “Panda” algorithm stuff are beginning to move things in the right direction.
SearchEngineLand made a paraphrased transcription of the important part of Matt Cutts (head of Google SEO) speaking in the audio…
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.
Google does not hate SEO or SEO users – it simply hates spammers and I agree!
I personally call this change a win!
Have you been impacted by the changes in Google’s algorithms in either direction? Have you taken the time to work through setting up verified authorship through Google+? How do you feel these three things impact the average Google search visitor?
Look forward to sharing your thoughts below and thanks in advance for the tweet, like and plus love!