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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Google Algorithm Will Penalize 'Over-optimization'

Google is changing its search algorithm to penalize what the company calls "over-optimization" and instead favor websites with high-quality content.

Google announced Tuesday that a change in its search algorithm will punish sites that violate the company's "existing quality guidelines" and is intended to reward those "making great sites for users, not just algorithms." The change will go live over the next few days, the company said.

Search engine optimization, or SEO can be positive and constructive. Effective search engine optimization can make a site more crawlable and make individual pages more accessible and easier to find. Search engine optimization includes things as simple as keyword research to ensure that the right words are on the page, not just industry jargon that normal people will never type.

"White hat" search engine optimizers often improve the usability of a site, help create great content, or make sites faster, which is good for both users and search engines.

The opposite of "white hat" SEO is something called "black hat webspam". In the pursuit of higher rankings or traffic, some sites use techniques that don?t benefit users, where the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be to be ranked.

"The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs," Matt Cutts, Google'ss Web spam chief, wrote at the company's blog.

In the next few days, Google is launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that Google believes are violating its existing quality guidelines. "Our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics," Cutts added.

The change will go live for all languages at the same time. For context, Google's initial algprith change (Panda) affected about 12% of queries to a significant degree; this algorithm affects about 3.1% of queries in English to a degree that a regular user might notice, according to Google.

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