Have You Over Optimized Your Site? There’s a Penalty for That

Good news fellow small business owners: Google is continuing to level the playing field for us.

While this really isn’t anything completely new (quality content has always been critical for SEO), the fact that Google is coming out to verify this new penalty is pretty newsworthy.

As I tell my small business owners during my SEO Atlanta training and DIY SEO talks, all of Google’s changes – while understandable frustrating and difficult to keep up with – are actually good for ethical business owners who have a quality website. Google’s frequent algorithm changes are actually intended to penalize sites that have overinflated high search results and reduce their high rankings. In other words, the spammers, scammers, and those trying to take the easy way out.

Another Google Penalty to “Level the Playing Field” for Small Business Owners

Now, according to Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, Google is working on a new penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” and “over SEO’ed.” Want to see an example of over optimized copy?  And yes, this example is a little extreme but scary enough I’ve seen copy that’s just as bad:


Thanks to the good folks at Search Engine Land, here is a brief transcription of the talk Matt gave where he provided a rare “heads up” about this new penalty coming down in the next month or so:

“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.”

Will your site move up in rankings? Or down? If you’ve over optimized (aka keyword stuffed your pages), I’d say right now is juuuussssttt about the best time to go and cut back on some of your on page keyword usage.

Bottom line: if you’re putting out quality content and sprinkling in your keywords judiciously like I always recommend, you have nothing to worry about. Carry on.

**I wanted to add an aside, because I know there are many Google haters out there who say that Google is just doing what’s in Google’s best interest to get more advertising dollars. Yes, Google does have to look out for #1, but I do believe that their changes are designed to give the searcher a better experience and to give quality websites a fair chance.

What do you think?

ChatGPT for SEO Content:

Get this free resource - ChatGPT for SEO Content Cheat Sheet and learn how to maximize output and not get penalized in the process.

The following two tabs change content below.

Jenny Munn

Jenny is an independent Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with more than 10 years of experience helping companies and content creators generate brand awareness, traffic, and conversions with SEO. She is a frequent speaker and is on the faculty for the AMA (American Marketing Association) and has taught SEO to thousands of marketers over the past 10 years.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *