What Google’s “Over-Optimization” Penalty Really Means

Comments: 13

  • Bill Glosse says:

    The problem with this is that not all websites are meant to be information, per se. Many websites are simply businesses that are trying to advertise and acquire clients.

    Content doesn’t really change on these websites, because their business doesn’t change. Furthermore, most websites of professionals are not meant to give a way all of the information – the information or service is given for a fee, such as is the case with lawyers.

  • Bill Glosse says:

    Also, social media has no relevance to certain businesses, such as criminal lawyers.

  • I think you are spot on Chad! The info graphic is perfect. My company has been moving towards this for some time now, and think ultimately this will be good for the internet… but I do not like the penalties I am seeing currently that have been hurting so many quality sites.

  • Brian:

    You’re right. . . Even though many think Google can do anything they want with their technology they are far from perfect. Unfortunately, there will always be collateral damage.


    Your take is the most common objection I hear in this business. ANY company that follows your school of thought online will eventually fail. They might as well pay for a yellow page listing instead.

    People only go to the web for TWO reasons – to solve problems and/or to be entertained. ALL businesses are in the business of solving problems. Therefore, they ALL need to create problem solving and/or entertaining content around their area of expertise and publish it online in some form. They don’t even necessarily need to create social media communities, but if their content is that good at solving problems or entertaining it will get shared in social media naturally.

    There’s a reason the town crier went to the town square to ring his bell and make announcements in the middle ages. He did it because that’s where the people were. Today the people are online on the search engines and social media. Attorneys that want to get their message heard have no choice.

    Besides, I personally know a lawyer who is a chronic blogger and social media aficionado. He gets “mad love” from the search engines.


  • Bill Simms says:

    Matt Cutts states: “we want to sort of make that playing field a little bit more level”. That’s a bunch of baloney. In the health care niche I market to most of the top spots went to the major insurance companies with a professional team of webmasters. All the novice webmasters like myself who has optimized their pages and got top listings took a back seat to the big dogs on Aug 24th with the google over optimization penalty.

    But that ok! Most of the novice webmasters like myself are not quitters. We’ve been knocked down before, we got up, dusted ourself off and began building again. Aug 24th was just another one of those days. Google can not keep the small guys and gals of America down.

  • I did quite a bit of research and I believe the penalty is most correlated with over use of keyword anchor text. I wrote a post about it here http://www.seo-services.com/the-google-over-optimization-penalty/general/ . Would like to know your thoughts.

  • SEOwner says:

    Ya this update totally messed up everything. Destroyed businesses, and the EXAMPLE offender wasn’t even punished. Wtf?

    Look at my response please. I’m a long time underground marketer, but have no voice. Although I think my article explains what happened well.


  • I absolutely love the Infograph. It’ll be intersting to see how they end up going. The problem with SEO relying on social media to much is that it causes people to just hammer it with rubbish. That’s what I love about GPlus: They haven’t released an API to autopost to it yet… yet…

  • Larry Lau says:

    A lot of the other reads have posted, it’s going to be interested how the over-optimization penalty will take place. Although there are some obvious over-optimization techniques that Rand Fishkin covered in his last White Board Friday, there is this ambiguous concern for some border line white hat methods. Unfortunately, it will be inevitable that some legit businesses will be negatively affected by this.

  • Bill G,

    I disagree with you about the need for any business to perform content marketing and let the SEO chips fall where they may. If you have something to sell, then you have a customer base that wants to know more. If you provide them with useful information on a regular basis (like every day through your blog), you will establish yourself as a “thought leader” in your industry, and you will naturally find yourself with more traffic, leads and, yes, higher Google ranking on relevant keywords. It doesn’t matter what your profession is or who your target market is – the same basic principles apply across the board. SMB’s that ignore these facts are getting crushed by those that embrace them – there’s lots of data to support that. BTW, attorneys are definitely getting into the act with blogs, social media and even inbound marketing. Who do we know? Because they are hiring us.

  • Georgian says:

    To be honest, the Panda and Penguin updates are a necessity since the relevancy went down pretty much in the past years.
    It’s the content war now !

  • Carl says:

    Hello, I have just changed my SEO company due to an ineffective 12 month campaign, my blog was started over 6 months ago but has not brought me any extra rankings. How often should we be posting to avoid the over seo penalty.

  • Carl:

    Great question. Check out this prezo – it goes into the details of blog publishing and frequency.


    If you don’t like video than you can check out “The Content Marketing Manifesto” ebook. It goes into detail too.



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