A new search algorithm released on April 24th by Google will attempt to address the issue of webspam in search results. The algorithm will target spammers who intentionally utilize “black-hat” SEO methods such as keyword stuffing, duplicate content, and dishonest link building tactics to artificially inflate their website’s rankings. The update is expected to affect 3% of overall search terms.
It is important to note that this algorithm is not designed to target “overly-optimized” sites. Google Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, warned of a penalty for sites that Google finds to be optimized to the extreme, but rest assured that this is not that penalty. In fact, Google encourages SEO practitioners to follow white-hat methods to naturally improve their site’s rankings without resorting to shady SEO tactics. You can read more about Google’s over-optimization penalty here.
The most important thing to take away from this update is that Google appears to be intent on helping SEOs who play by the rules and don’t attempt to manipulate or artificially inflate their rankings through shady practices. Google has made it clear that they are determined to weed out the bad sites with no adverse effects for sites that are performing SEO best practices. SEOs take heart– it appears that Google is truly making an effort to weed out the bad eggs.
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