You may have heard recently Matt Cutts revealed Google was working on an update that would punish “over optimization,” which even had some white hat SEOs worried. However, Cutts has recently clarified this statement, saying “over-optimization wasn’t the best description.” Simply stated, this Google update complements its overarching goals of eliminating webspam from its search results and, therefore, the user’s eyes. However, this update is said to only impact 3% of search queries, according to Google’s WebMaster Central blog post.
So what kinds of SEO tactics will be attacked in this update? They are the usual suspects: keyword stuffing, link farming, cloaking and duplicate content. These tactics are usually implemented by “black hat” SEOs who want to get rankings quickly (and do not care about buying real estate for the long run). SEO is generally thought of as a long-term investment, and anyone offering simple and fast solutions should be examined sharply. Oftentimes, using the aforementioned tactics will put you at direct odds with Google’s quality guidelines and, therefore, open to punishment (and if you are JCPenney, a little public humiliation).
Generally speaking, white hat SEO tips include cultivating quality inbound links, optimizing content on your site and keeping it as fresh as possible, and building as easily navigable site (for both the search engine robot and for the user). These SEO basics will allow you to form a good foundation upon which to build your site. Then you can rest assured that you won’t have to worry about getting penalized by a Google update.