I’ve been talking about “perfect SEO” sites for a while now, and it seems all along Google have been working on a way to stop those annoying sites that rank purely as a result of SEO rather than great content from ranking well in the search engine result pages (SERP’s).
My definition of “Perfect SEO” is a little vague, but essentially it cam be summed up as investing most of your time making sure everything is perfect, your keywords, titles, descriptions, headers, anchor text, etc instead of focusing most of your time on the content – Remember that? It’s what your audience are coming to your website for!
Matt Cutts mentioned this at a sxsw session (audio available) on March 16 and that it will come into effect in the coming weeks.
What does this mean?
Although it’s now slowly changing, traditionally the best results in the search engines were given to those sites doing the best search engine optimization (SEO). In other words, those with the most SEO resources and most money to spend on SEO generally tend to win.
This change seeks to even the playing field by effectively penalising sites or blog networks that are in Googles eyes overly SEO optimized so that they rank better.
I discussed human reviews and perfect seo in this article if you are interested.
Hurrah for the common people!
Yes it will mean (in theory) that “mom and pop” style websites that have quality content will be more likely to have better website rank because these overly optimized sites will effectively be penalized.
Of course, deciding what exactly overly optimized means is of course open for debate. I note Joost de Valk (author of my favorite plugin, the WordPress SEO plugin) means he is already receiving email from worried people asking if they should stop optimizing their site and/or stop using his plugin
Let me make one thing clear here – Matt is talking about OVER optimization. Matt made a point about saying they are not anti-SEO, but they are anti-SPAM.
If you think about it, it’s in line with their goal to give the searcher the best possible experience (e.g. the best search results). After all if a site is ranking well purely for SEO and does not have great site content, bot the visitor to that site and Google are going to be unhappy with that right?
Specifically, this change is targeting people who focus on getting things perfectly turned for SEO instead of focusing on great content and a great site (from the users perspective).
If you are an aggressive SEO person who’s focus is on optimization, then you should be worried – Stop what you are doing and focus on the website content.
I made a post in January about focusing on high quality content for your website and this change re-enforces that this is a commitment by Google along those lines.
So, no this does not mean to do NO SEO, just don’t overdo it. Don’t cram too many keywords into your articles, don’t have “perfect” anchor text all the time, don’t have perfect anything. Be real, be a human and above all focus on great content and you will be good to go.
I for one think this is another great change that will really help even the playing field!
So what are you waiting for, go write some content already and avoid Google penalties!