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Google and the Over-Optimization Penalty

Much hype was recently given to the so-called "Over-Optimization Penalty" that Google was rumored to be implementing in its algorithm. In an official blog post on April 24, Google announced that it was taking steps to punish sites with overstuffed SEO keywords and content as a way to discourage "black hat" SEO companies from performing "webspam" such as keyword stuffing and link schemes to trick Google into ranking them higher than they otherwise would deserve.

So how much impact did Google's changes have in the search engine optimization world? The general consensus seems to be that the impact was not as immediate and severe as some other past changes to Google's search engine algorithm. Google already had been undertaking steps to attempt to weed out low-quality content. The company estimates that more than three percent of all Web content would fall into the "webspam" category, but identifying and punishing this content is a larger task than one algorithm change can accomplish.

From a real world perspective, Google's recent updates don't impact the bottom line for SEO agency life. It's important to avoid the risks of overstuffing or spamming keywords and instead focus on creating high-quality and usable content. Google is clearly placing a value on punishing "black hat" content and the latest updates are just another step in refining their algorithms.


May 21, 2012