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Google Is Planning To Penalize Overly Optimized Sites 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-keywords-for-you dept.
tekgoblin writes "This is an interesting move by Google but not completely off the rocker for them. Last year they blocked search results from the co.cc domain because they believed they polluted the search results. Google plans to penalize overly optimized sites because they want to level the playing field for other websites who do not concentrate on such efforts. From the article: 'Google Engineer Matt Cutts explains the following: “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.” The search engine at Google is about to go through a major overhaul and de-prioritizing sites with heavy SEO is just a small part in the big picture to bring better search results. The changes to the search engine will be coming in the next few months.'"
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Google Is Planning To Penalize Overly Optimized Sites

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  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by heypete (60671) <pete@heypete.com> on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:29PM (#39397673) Homepage

    Too many site owners are worried about SEO strategies rather than producing good content.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davester666 (731373) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:33PM (#39397695) Journal

    How about somebody mentioning to Google that we also don't want Google+ crap spamming our results...

    We shouldn't have to hit page 2 before we start getting useful results.

  • content not ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrismcb (983081) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:35PM (#39397711) Homepage
    People want to find the best content, not the best ads. But they shouldn't be penalizing people who have "good seo" such as decent keyword lists. Rather they should be penalizing people with poor content.
  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by green1 (322787) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:40PM (#39397727)

    It used to be that good content was what search engines were looking for. And by producing good (and well organized) content you automatically ended up at the top of the search rankings.
    Unfortunately search bots don't actually know what "good content" is, so all they can do is try to work with the bits that they can figure out, and that led to SEO which really ONLY exists to game those algorithms.
    This is a good move on google's part. I think one of the big failings of all search engines recently is that they have mostly been accepting SEO rather than fighting it. This leads to lots of garbage sites with good SEO grabbing all the top spots, and makes it very difficult to find really good sites. The smarter they can make GoogleBot the better, I long for a day when the only way to do SEO has the side effect of having to make useful information for human visitors too...

  • by Molt (116343) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:41PM (#39397731)
    All this is doing is changing the rules on which sites will be rated more highly, this changes what needs to be done to a site to gain artificially high ranking- maybe making it more difficult- but it'll still be done. I can imagine the SEO service sellers being delighted about this, new customers will still be buying their services to gain ranks and since old approaches will now be penalised they can start to sell again to those who'd bought their services before the change.
  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:42PM (#39397739) Homepage Journal

    Too many site owners are worried about SEO strategies rather than producing good content.

    Surely the reaction to this will be producing good content, and not employing more SEO gurus to circumvent the new weights by dodgy techniques.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by green1 (322787) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:49PM (#39397789)

    If I had mod points this would be +1 Funny...
    SEO is the business of circumventing the proper weighting of search results by "dodgy techniques", it always has been, and always will be.
    SEO didn't exist until people realized that bots had specific things they were looking for, and people started putting only those things in instead of writing good content that happened to include those things (what the bot writers originally assumed would be found)
    I hope this is the start of a new war by google against the SEO business, one where humans benefit by being able to find sites that are actually relevant.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:01PM (#39397877) Homepage Journal

    I hope this is the start of a new war by google against the SEO business, one where humans benefit by being able to find sites that are actually relevant.

    The core of the problem is really that people don't want to hear that their site/content is not relevant on a search term, because for them it is relevant. So they will search for ways of "correcting" this picture, and demand creates supply.

  • by nprz (1210658) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:16PM (#39397969)

    A lot of the SEO sites have very low actual value in them. They are avoided by any humans with 10% of a brain.
    This dilutes Google's actual value as a search engine.
    If they change how sites are rated to raise usable content-rich sites, then people are more likely to view the site and maybe actually click on an ad and maybe buy something.

  • Re:Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:17PM (#39397979)

    Or have more than one popular search engine, each with a ranking algorithm that is different from the other, different enough that optimizing a site for one search engine would cause that site to get demoted in other search engines. Well I can dream can't I?

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:23PM (#39398029)

    I hope this is the start of a new war by google against the SEO business, one where humans benefit by being able to find sites that are actually relevant.

    I can propose a tactic that might work pretty well: Whenever Google figures out the latest spamming method the SEO people are using, make a list of all the sites that currently do that (ideally in the way that only or primarily the SEO people are doing it), and then give all those sites a long-term decrease in ranking, even if they stop doing that thing. Make it two years before you can get your site back into the higher rankings.

    Soon enough everybody will realize that "get SEO" is a synonym for "get your site removed from the first page of results for the next two years" and then finding methods of fooling the Googlebot in the short-term won't matter anymore because no one will be willing to attempt it if they can get slapped with a long-term penalty.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:26PM (#39398053)

    I mentioned it to them in the "why are you doing this?" box when I deleted my Google+ account.

    You mean "Disabled your account." You don't actually believe they deleted a damn thing, do you?

  • SEO is bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by evanism (600676) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:49PM (#39398171) Journal

    I have always hated SEO with a deep passion.

    I despise the SEO marketing idiots who glamorise themselves with "arcane knowledge". They end up using basic tools that any illiterate monkey could. Knowledge that could be written out on a 2 pages, in a big font.

    They act like Chiropractors, alternative medicine quacks and ponzi fraudsters. Wizard of Oz stuff, "Ignore the man behind the curtain". They all get caught out, simply because what they espouse is rubbish.

    The sooner Google allows the entire internet population to have a "This Is SEO Bullshit" button, the better.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by datavirtue (1104259) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:56PM (#39398203)

    Not really, now that people have been gaming the system those with good content now have to practice SEO to stay afloat/visible.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Armakuni (1091299) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @06:01PM (#39398239) Homepage
    The first thing I will do then is buy a number of spammy links to be sent to my competitor's otherwise entirely white-hat site that currently ranks in 1st, thus making sure his excellent site never troubles me again. Meanwhile, he's too honest to do the same to my site, so I benefit. This is called negative SEO and is not new. It's the reason Google haven't done what you suggest.
  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tqk (413719) <s.keeling@mail.com> on Sunday March 18, 2012 @07:48PM (#39398861)

    And how in the hell can you function without a Google account?

    Is that a serious question, or do I get a "whoosh"? I'm missing the point, I think.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lee1 (219161) <lee&lee-phillips,org> on Sunday March 18, 2012 @08:40PM (#39399169) Homepage
    I suspect Google doesn't actually want all the spam sites to vanish from their results, because they profit from them: these sites are designed to entice you to click on ads, which leads to revenue for Google. I feel that the ease with which crude spam pages can still rise to the top [lee-phillips.org] of the search results is some evidence for this. The old (pre-IPO) Google would of course know that this is not a good long-term stragegy. Today's Google? It wouldn't surprise me.

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