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Google to Target Overly SEOd Sites

     
3:03 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Matt Cutts says:

What about the people optimizing really hard and doing a lot of SEO. We don't normally pre-announce changes but there is something we are working in the last few months and hope to release it in the next months or few weeks. We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO - versus those making great content and great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.


Article here:

[seroundtable.com ]

Any guesses on what it likely to change?
3:13 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Guesses? Yes, lots.

Facts? Nobody but Google knows what will happen.

The only sure thing is that search is evolving at an amazing pace and nobody can be sure of what to expect next.
3:14 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My first thought is that this sounds like an extension of Panda philosophy - that sites should rank well because of their quality.
3:14 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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dun dun dunnnn! Let's see what happens.
3:16 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They'll screw something up and they'll roll out some redshirts [1] to waffle about Wikipedia, the Knowledge Graph and Star Trek. Seems to be the only constant with Google nowadays. If I was being really cynical, I'd say that Panda was a complete clusterfsck and they are trying to recover from the mess it made.

Regards...jmcc
[1] [en.wikipedia.org...]
3:20 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We are often being told that google use over 1000 factors to assess our sites - but so far this didn't include keyword stuffing and excessive link exchanges?

Makes me wonder what it does include. I thought these factors had been taken into account years ago...
3:31 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wish they would just get it over with already and kill organic results. Seems like that's the trend. First page will be all paid ads, Google products and partner sites, followed by big brands. Everyone else page 2 or further fighting for scraps. That's the direction they are heading and we all know it.

BTW, I recently starting using Bing much more often. They do have better results than Google now.
3:35 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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ohh linkexchange is a BIG winner for my keywords, i dont do it, but all those in front of me have from 20-300 link exchanges. I guess the important things will again be about links
3:36 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think it's meant to detect whether or not there's any *there* there. (shut up, you know what I mean)

Of course, they won't get it right the first time, they never do.
3:37 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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In a way Im glad to here this. I have done nothing wrong with seo (never optimized except for playing with the index page) or paid for backlinks (However I did do some manually one way links of submissions to a lot of free directories years ago, but who has not done it).

I have one competitor that ranks well with junk content because of backlinks he creates in a blog or wordpress.

One thing I do know for sure is that I have useful content and quite a good amount of backlinks from good sources that I had nothing to do with.

Could be a interesting year and maybe a good boost in traffic. Might just help with some of the Panda traffic losses I still have.

I cant imagine me being hurt by this because im sure there are alot of offenders with bogus backlinks out there.
3:55 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Y'all go create some great content and great sites. The rippers, scrapers, duplicators, search-and-replacers, repurposers, spinners, aggregators, etc. await. :-/

I'm all for great content creation. Just don't forget to work on the other part of the equation, Matt. Creating great content has a cost or opportunity costs. My time is valuable. It's painful investing my time in creating great content when the reward for my effort is siphoned off by Google allowing, even rewarding, others who leech it.

Give me the ability to expose my work to your/any SE spiders, before publishing, so G/B/Y/Whomever can date stamp the work and give me full SERPs credit. Everyone else who, after I hit "publish", wants to leech, spin, aggregate, RSS republish, etc. can go straight to SERPs hell for all I care. The dupes should never appear . . unless I code the work as acceptable for A, B or C types of re-use. (Give me republishing rights microformats, or something like that, to mark up my work for use in the "secondary publishing markets".)

[edited by: Webwork at 4:13 pm (utc) on Mar 16, 2012]

3:59 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This sounds like all of the factors I assumed they addressed back in 2004/2005 when many overlay SEO'd sites took a dive in the SERPs

I thought a few of my sites had gotten a penalty back then, but Googleguy claimed there were no penalties. I now think that was just wordplay as they chose to classify the drop in rankings as a "filter" rather than use the word penalty.

Is there anyone here who thinks Google doesn't have an algorithm in place already for keyword stuffing? Or too rapid of link growth? Or too much of the exact same anchor text?

I would have expected a post from Matt Cutts like this in 2004, not now. Very odd.

I can only guess what they really are working on at this point. I think many of us could come up with a few factors to get rid of the spam in our sectors. It seems like he is saying that they will have some new way to boost good content that doesn't have traditional good markers. I thought they implemented some of that a few years ago too when they improved the rapid indexing of some articles (which I admit did seem to disappear after a few months). Maybe they are revisiting some old failed attempts?
4:14 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This announcement is a silly publicity stunt. Professional SEOes and savvy webmasters know very well that Google Webspam team has always considered over optimization as spam and accordingly the same team has been fighting and penalizing over optimization for years.

Maybe Mr. Matt Cutts has an urgent need for publicity for one reason or the other, therefore this announcement :-)
4:29 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This could just be misdirection meant to distract from their move to route more traffic internally as reported by the WSJ [online.wsj.com ]. Pre-emptively brand everyone who might complain about loss of traffic as an over-optimizer, so the media focuses on that rather than the fact that Google just carved out another slice of the pie just for itself.

To be clear, it's their algo and their site, so I believe they've got the right to do whatever they want... I just wish they weren't so sanctimonious about it.
4:33 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I started this discussion in the hope of getting some insights into what this might tell us about where Google are heading, not get a lot of whinges about Google.

@netmeg, sorry, I do not know what you mean. Could you explain?
4:34 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So Google is about to become the next Yahoo? A Portal site? :)

Regards...jmcc
4:34 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I just finished listening to the clip here. I think this is the original source.

[schedule.sxsw.com...]
4:42 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Any guesses on what it likely to change?


My first guess would be us saying good-bye to all of those cookie-cutter sites from India ..
4:49 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If I was being really cynical, I'd say that Panda was a complete clusterfsck and they are trying to recover from the mess it made.


I actually agree with this! LOL
I think they'll remove that stinky Panda. It sucked when they launched it and sucks a year later. All this "above the fold" implementation and crap since ::rolls eyes:: - I see MORE sites with MORE ads crammed in than ever before - and they all rank! Forget having any content?
It's laughable.
4:54 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My hope is that good content, non-MFA type sites that sell products or services, tangible or intangible, and have been ranking highly for years who have thus far been following Google webmaster guidelines "should" not be ill affected. Unless of course, Google suddenly changes those guidelines and further tightens their belt.
I hope their "intelligent" system has the courtesy to send us messages in WMT to tell us of we've violated any of these new restrictions...because it's all just a big black box to us.

[edited by: backdraft7 at 5:05 pm (utc) on Mar 16, 2012]

4:58 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@reseller which exactly is what makes me wonder what it could possibly be. Some sort of tightening? Too many links which are on target, not from blogs? Not some from unrelated sources?

If this will affect SEOs and not just wannabe-SEOs, then it has to be something huge, especially since they have been working on it for "months."
5:00 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Webwork - framebusters works in many cases, but google dont like them on google image, be cause then they leave google
5:18 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Actually .. My money says that Google isn't going to be doing anything, that's really any different, from what they've already been doing.

Danny Sullivan did a pretty fair job of pointing this out lately:

If all this isn’t really new, why’s it getting played up so big with the Wall Street Journal, as well as Mashable last month? Mashable even quoted Google talking about its “knowledge graph” for the first time that I’ve seen.

My take is that Google’s pushing these technologies for some good PR, and they are in turn being blown up out of proportion to what will really happen.

Google’s been under intense pressure in some quarters since rolling out Search Plus Your World, pressure that its results aren’t as good as in the past. It’s helpful to counter that type of bad PR with interviews talking up forward-looking technologies. Heck, it’s right out of Bing’s playbook.


[searchengineland.com...]
5:19 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Ahh, Google returns to good old fashioned FUD.

Announcement: We're about to do something big and scary. It's the same thinge we say we've been doing for years. And we're done several waves of it in the past.

The end is nigh. Repent ye sinners, repent.
5:24 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google is like the long lost lover in your life. You keep romanticizing how great the sex was - it's all you think about. But you're SO focused on what was.... you forget there are other lovers to be had and wooed.

In the end.... you'll realize Google sex wasn't that great after all.
5:29 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have to agree with the person that said if you have good content, it could easily get ripped off by someone who may be more web savvy than you. Then what? I've had a site that at one time was extremely popular and added new content constantly. The articles have since been lifted and reused or re-purposed elsewhere and now I'm sliding down the pole...do they have a solution for this? What is too much or too little optimization nowadays?
5:35 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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here we go again :-)

I think this is just an algo update towards a stronger semantic change in search they are working on since before Panda.

I had that discussion with Tedster and Robert several times in the past years. Now I am convinced they will put more strength on the semantics than ever before (also relates to the WSJ press release earlier this week).

so:
--------------------
blah KEYWORD1 blah blah RELEVANT TERM blah blah KEYWORD2 and more blah
--------------------

might get a different value now than

--------------------
blah blah KEYWORD1 KEYWORD2 more blah blah no relevant term
--------------------

if you search for "KEYWORD1 KEYWORD2" ... even if both terms are closer together in example 2: it could be that example 1 outranks you, just because the relevant term boosts it...

means away from core keyword opts to semantic opts - more than I wanted to admit in the past years!

my 2 pennies on that!
P!
5:40 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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SEO will just morph into something else. instead of paying SEO companies to ramp up all our onpage and offpage stuff, we'll be paying them to tone it down. its still SEO.
5:40 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@pontifex .. So essentially, what you're saying is: Google plans to rearrange the living room .. using the same ole sofa, easy chair and pics ..

Really, nothing new here to get too gawdly excited about me thinks
5:51 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I suspect it means that some of the linking tactics that still work to this day and are so obvious to any human who bothers to go looking (and there was a detailed post on SEOMoz this week about this that later derailed into a discussion about 'outing') are going to be targeted.

With what Google has been doing (or trying to do) lately regarding intent, figuring out words in proximity of each other, etc - maybe they now have enough to take these on.

That's what I'd be looking at first, anyway.
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