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Google Introducing “Over SEO Optimization” Penalty; New TLDs won’t Give you a Google Search Ranking Boost, Matt Cutts – Chrome Paid Link Penalty Lifted

Google’s head of the web spam, Matt Cutts at the SXSW, while addressing questions from the audience revealed that Google is working on a search ranking penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” or “overly SEO’ed,” at about 1/3rd of the way into the audio clip embedded below.

Cutts announced a session with Danny Sullivan and Microsoft’s Senior Product Marketing Manager of Bing, Duane Forrester at SXSW named Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!.

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,” he 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.

So what exactly is this new change? Truthfully, nobody knows quite yet, he mentions too many keywords on a page.

Also, he was quoted as saying, “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. 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. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”

Here is the transcription:

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.

Here is the audio clip:

Here is a video of Cutts from 2009, on over optimization penalties saying there was no such thing:

In other Google search news, A Google representative confirmed that Google has lifted the 60-day paid link penalty applied to the Google sponsored post campagin for Chrome in the first week of January.

Now if you search for [chrome], [browser] or similar searches, the Google Chrome landing page will once again show up on the first page of the search results. Here is a picture showing the page ranking in position number for on Google:

Google removes Chrome Paid Link penalty

Cutts on Mar 15 on his Google+ page said that using the new top-level domain (TLDs) will not give you a ranking boost in Google. “I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either,” Cutts said.

He responded to a story published on markingmag.com.au where the CEO of a domain name registrar claimed that the “new TLD web addresses” will “automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent.” Matt Cutts that he “needs to debunk this misconception.”

Per Cutts post:

“I read a post by someone offering new top-level domain (TLDs). They made this claim: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.””

“Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings,” said Cutts.

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