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Google Over SEO Penalty Coming Soon

Matt Cutts speaking at SXSW
Photo rights: John Nowak, CNN

If you haven’t already began a major SEO overhaul for your real estate website based on Google’s Panda Update—now could be a good time to start.

Google doesn’t generally announce algorithm changes before they happen, but, as reported by Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable, “Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced…that Google is releasing an algorithm update specifically to target sites over doing their SEO.”

Matt Cutts says, “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…”

How Do I Know if My Site is Over Optimized?

To learn more about over optimization, check out this video from SEOmoz.

Note: Rand says you won’t get a penalty for this, but Google’s new update will in fact penalize your site for these practices.

If you see any of the issues reported in the video, best update your real estate site now. You only have a few weeks before the algorithm is released.

About Justin Britt

Justin Britt ( is Head of Innovation and Co-Founder of a little Hawaii Real Estate company. Britt oversees user interface design, SEO, programming, public relations and social media for Hawaii's 6th largest and fastest growing real estate brokerage.

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  • I enjoyed Yoast’s comments about this…

    Seems like we all might be getting a bit over excited.

  • Agreed Geordie.

    People need to just go back to creating great, natural content — and stop worrying so much about the intricacies of seo.

  • I’m sure this news is going to have a lot of people nervous. I know I’ve been working hard the last few months on link building… I hope I didn’t “over-do it”….

    • This algorithm change is specific to on-page optimization. There are already penalties in place for spammy link building.

      There’s nothing wrong with link building (done correctly), but spammy link building practices will certainly get you penalized. @0705aa36fb6c0b7729889fb97b22a9b3:disqus–make sure your link building is legit.

    •  Chris if they are going to be looking at user engagement more and you have a site that has a low bounce rate you shouldn’t have much to worry about.. I would remove all the keywords out of your left navigation though. That could create a problem. I have been told by someone that follows this pretty closely that internal Keyword Navigational links could create a problem 😉

  • I agree…. I just “write” what comes to mind, structure it well (gee… all those thesis papers in English really did stick with me), and THEN go back to see where “strategic,” yet helpful internal links are appropriate. Of course, I also follow the tried/true “best practices” with pages titles and description tags.

    With that said, what bothers me sometimes about recommendations to take the foot off the SEO gas-pedal, is no matter what Matt Cutts says, I see time and time again, BAD sites making it to the top of Google which contain positively abysmal content – or worse, iframed content which is shared among hundreds of other sites – this is particularly true in real estate. I’ve been in SEO and online marketing for 7 years, and this has been a constant frustration.

    Hopefully, this “over SEO” penalty will finally make a difference and favor sites with helpful, unique, and updated content.

    • Matt is not saying “to take the foot off the SEO gas-pedal.” Do SEO, and do it well.

  • Google SEO services, use another type of optimization called off-page optimization. Here, content on blogs, article sites, tweets etc. are created that link to the actual page being optimized. Google also takes into account the number of links a particular page has to decide its ranking.

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