How Google is dealing with Webspam – Cutts Over-Optimisation Penalty Qualified

A while back now, Google’s Head of Web Spam announced to the world that Google was looking at introducing an over-optimisation penalty. This caused much speculation in the SEO community especially when coupled with the de-indexing of blog networks and the announcement that Google is changing the way it handles anchor text. Well recently Google has posted to give us more of an idea about what they’re looking at.

Another Step to Reward High Quality Sites

In their recent update Another step to reward high-quality sites, Google specifies essentially two elements they are targetting with this new update.

  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Links from poor quality / unreadable posts

How are Google targeting Keyword Stuffing?

They are looking at websites that have loads of content in a block that has loads of keywords that doesn’t really contribute anything – or more than likely when taking the next point into account (and the future of semantic search) they are looking for a content block that in which the content doesn’t read in context with the rest of the content block.

I’ve noticed a design agency in our local area that has 3 blocks in their footer that contains about 90 keywords or phrases. I should probaby let them know to change this – although I might just watch to see if their rankings are damanged in this update.

How are Google going to be targeting links from poor quality posts?

Google have given us one example, although from that example I’m going to assume them are looking at two elements, the anchor text of the link in relation to the content of the piece – if it’s not relevant to the topic it’s not going to rank and secondly (as above) does the text read as though it was written by a person for a person, if it doesn’t it’s not going to rank.

Thoughts on Google Latest Webspam Update

Overall, there are things that we’re talking about here that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to anyone and we should always remember that Google deals in half truths – so read what you can from between the lines. If you’ve been in the game for some time now you’ll probably be scrathching you head thinking – I’ve not been doling this sort of stuff in years because Google are boud to do something about it – well now they have.

3% of all search queries are going to be affected by this update, there are some pretty straight forward things webmasters can do to makes sure they don’t get hit by that 3%.