Google to penalise over optimised websites in favour for content

Google has announced it will start penalising websites that are overfilled with SEO.

The major search engine told of the plans during SXSW, with Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Search, speaking about how the company has been working on a new search penalty for websites that are over-optimised.

This means that websites with great content will be favoured in order to drive more traffic to them, rather than websites with strong SEO. Cutts said it was a way to ‘level the playing ground’ for websites.

"We try to make the GoogleBot smarter, try to make our relevance more adaptive, so that if people don’t do SEO we handle that," Cutts said during a conference at SXSW. "And we are also looking at the people who abuse it, who put too many keywords on a page, exchange way too many links, or whatever else they are doing to go beyond what you normally expect."

No specific details have been announced, including how websites will be penalised or how website owners can find out if their website will be affected.

Google is also introducing new semantic search technology, giving more specific answers in search results rather than just page links.

The new penalty will be introduced during the next few weeks.

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20 Mar 2012, 10:42 a.m.

This is good to hear, as content should be the king. And it does feel that the SEO machine and approach has meant that sites that have the resources and knowledge to "manage" how well they do are winning.. and not always the best content. Be interesting to see how this all plays out....