Google Fights Search Over-Optimization

May 16, 2012

Google is at it again. NetworkWorld reports, “Google Begins Penalizing Search ‘Over-Optimization’.” (SEOO?) The latest algorithmic adjustment is designed to counter the proliferation of low-quality sites designed just to attract click-throughs. I guess the poor Panda wasn’t trying hard enough. Writer Cameron Scott reports:

“The company emphasizes in Tuesday’s announcement that the algorithm shift will target only those practices, such as ‘keyword stuffing’ and ‘link schemes,’ that violate its guidelines.

“However, the announcement included the caveat that not all content punished by the changes will ‘be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise.’

“The shift to Google’s algorithm is likely to affect, at least initially, some websites that aren’t clearly violating its guidelines, according to a strategy paper for Web marketers released earlier this month by the search-engine marketing firm iProspect.”

The paper goes on to say that such users rankings will probably be restored with “subsequent adjustments and tweaks.” I’m sure that will be of great comfort to companies who thought they were playing by the rules but suddenly find themselves at the bottom of the heap.

Look, Google fostered search engine optimization in its effort to balance “free” placement with paid traffic. Now that the ponies have left the corral, Google wants to round ’em up. Do you hear the theme from “Rawhide”?

Cynthia Murrell, May 16, 2012

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