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What in the Blue Hell Is the Google Over-Optimzation Penalty

April 15, 2012.Finn.0 Likes.0 Comments
Home/Blog/SEO/What in the Blue Hell Is the Google Over-Optimzation Penalty

This is why I only make writing about SEO a part of the site and seldom get past the basics unless me or a client needs the information: because the rest is plumb stupid.

What Do I Mean?

At SXSW – South By Southwest – there was an SEO Panel. Matt Cutts, official Google webspam team leader / unofficial PR Good Cop – and Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land plus others. A Bing rep was there too to pretty much take notes for Microsoft on what Cutts said.

If I was finished with Project 02 & 03, I’d a gone to Austin to attend the event just to hear the panel. If I’d a heard this panel, I’d a probably left after Cutts’ announcement.


Not because of anything Cutts did. The announcement was a step in the right direction. It gave SEOs a chance to make last second changes. But my problem is the announcement itself: a penalty against…

All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and great site.

What does that mean?

There’s been a lot of content but nobody has had the courage to come out and say they don’t know what in the blue Hell the over-optimization penalty will be. Most who did write about it so referenced this video:

It was 3-6 Google Panda Updates & A Farmer Update Ago

So, keyword stuffing and over-keyworded content will get penalized. Because that wasn’t being done before? In theory, black hat SEO was supposed to be getting punished with the algorithm, Google Panda & the rat on your friends tool. What makes this penalty any different? Here, check out Marketing Tech Blog’s infograph on Google Algorithm updates which is supposed to account for this stuff.

According to everyone quoting Cutts…

Then what the Hell does Google Panda do?

The best I can guess is that Google Panda and the rat-out-your-friends tool was like treating site penalties as misdemeanor and the new penalty is going to be handing out death sentences.

Like I said, so I’m guessing.

And given that some of that Hubspot is reiterating their definitions of white hat SEO & heavy hitters haven’t like SEO Moz & Slingshot SEO haven’t hit on the topic as of this publishing, the field is in wait & see mode.

In the End

When companies pay for SEO, Google doesn’t get a cut  but for the pennies they might get from companies using the API for webmaster and SEO tools (as opposed to most companies who scrape the content, bypassing the Google API and opting instead for complex, undetectable proxy servers). If they, “level the playing field,” then those companies, in theory, will choose to spend their money on paid search engine marketing – aka – Google Adwords – and Google gets a cut of the pie. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but like anything else in business:  follow the money.

Music and writing is so much more fun to write about.

What do y’all think is going to happen?

Update 2012/04/15

I started this while on vacation in Southwest Florida last month. I wasn’t going to post it until Katie Bickley, a Senior at Mizzou, sent me this link from AdAge. I was reinvigorated to send it out. Now, people might have shouted out about it and apparently Google’s Webmaster has sent out the warnings in emails but I still haven’t seen anyone say anything more about the topic yet. I guess it’s hurry up and wait.

photo credit – joefraizer4th via Flickr
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