Can a Website Have Too Much SEO?

…and what the hell is ‘over-optimization’?

Personally, I think Matt Cutts and the Google Webspam team have waaaay too much power [which means you’ll probably never see this post!]. Watch any videos of him speaking about how the Google Webspam team treats specific technical issues and I think you’ll see what I mean. Struggling with the issue of how to adjust client sites for the latest release of updates to the Google search engine, I came across this:

Google’s Matt Cutts announced that Google is working on a search ranking penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” or “overly SEO’ed.”

Matt announced this during a panel Search Engine Land’s Editor-In-Chief, Danny Sullivan and Microsoft’s Senior Product Marketing Manager of Bing at SXSW named Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!. The audio for the session has been published where I learned that Google has been working on a new penalty that targets site’s that overly optimize for search engines for the past few months.

Matt Cutts said the new over optimization penalty will be introduced into the search results in the upcoming month or next few weeks. The purpose is to “level the playing field,” Cutts said. To give sites that have great content a better shot at ranking above sites that have content that is not as great but do a better job with SEO.

Source: Too Much SEO? Google’s Working On An “Over-Optimization” Penalty For That

Here’s a video clip of Matt discussing the issue…

And, if you really want a scare do a search on the phrase “Google penalizes” and you’ll see that Matt and his team have mafia-like powers to ‘disappear’ people and websites!

Now, here’s my issue. Can anyone define for me exactly what constitutes ‘over-optimized’ – even Cutts skirts the issue because defining the term would be to reveal too much about the Google search algorithm would be my guess. The question I have is this, then: if most sites are ‘under-optimized’ then are sites that follow best practices ‘over-optimized’?

7-3-2013 3-09-17 PM
Click image to enlarge…

Take for example a website that uses a tool like RebelMouse or Twylah to capture their tweets and other social media shares as Search Engine Optimization [SEO] by adding those tools as a cname extension, or one that adds a blog to a static website using tumblr or WordPress using the same approach – are these sites ‘over-optimized’ because the webmaster is clever?

See what I mean? Search Engine Optimization [SEO] is a moving target and Google-style ‘leveling the field’ means content creators are shooting at a moving target in the dark. What do you think?

Should I care about Google+?

Chatting with a new client in Australia yesterday, he asked the question should I care about Google+. The answer, of course, is an overwhelming yes! Here’s independent proof…

Google favorece sites com páginas no Google+ e cliques +1, revela pesquisa

Google favorece sites com páginas no Google+ e cliques +1, revela pesquisa

Conducting Market Research Before Investing in Tactical Execution


When I tell my clients and students they need to ‘cogitate’ before planning and inbound marketing strategy, this is what I mean. Of course the folks at Moz put it much more eloquently:

The phrase “look before you leap” has never been more true! Before you start investing in tactics, it’s important to do your market research. Many businesses are tempted to dive into the details before answering the bigger questions, like who their customers are, how those customers make purchase decisions, where their potential users are on the web, and how customers may choose between similar companies and offerings.

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses why building out a research-based roadmap before you start you building your tactics (like SEO, content, and social campaigns) will help boost your chance of success. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: Conducting Market Research Before Investing in Tactical Execution – Whiteboard Friday – Moz

School is in session…

Positioning Your Business for the Future of SEO

Positioning Your Business for the Future of SEO - Whiteboard Friday | SEOmoz

Ron Garrett writes:

Keeping up with the rapidly changing pace of SEO best-practices can sometimes be as difficult as juggling flaming batons while reciting the alphabet backwards. As an agency or business owner, you need a checklist to help make sure you’re staying competitive, focusing on the right tactics, and building your business in the right direction.

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Ron Garett discusses how to position your business for whatever the future of SEO may bring. Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

Full story at: Positioning Your Business for the Future of SEO – Whiteboard Friday | SEOmoz.

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