Mon Mar, 2012 by Derek Mehraban
During a panel at SXSW Google’s Matt Cutts announced that Google will be implementing a penalty for sites that are overoptimized. Until that announcement the policy about SEO overoptimization was run by a 2009 announcement, also by Matt Cutts, that there was no such thing as overoptimization. The goal of the penalty is to emphasize quality content by privileging those sites in search results over sites that have better SEO tricks.
There are not yet specifics about how these changes will be implemented. The easy speculation is to increase the weight of external links based on the assumption that sites link to quality content providers. The penalty might then be a downgrading of weight given to internal links and/or the meta tags of a website. However, a simple changing of weights is not necessarily a penalty. The use ‘penalty’ implies a different approach. Maybe a threshold for meta tags will be implemented and a site that has too many will be downgraded.
As of now there is not much for the social media agency to do about this revelation. Google might make more specific announcements as the change becomes implemented. If history is any guide, then Google will not. Agencies will need to stay abreast of the measurements as people measure the changes, although some preliminary changes can be made. Preparing for a change to quality content prioritization is necessary. It is also necessary to figure out which keywords are most important to a brand. Doing so will allow the unnecessary ones to be excised thus avoid the coming penalty. As more information is forthcoming, then so too will be the measures needed by the social media agency.