Google Plans to Penalize Sites That Overuse SEO Techniques

AUSTIN, Texas — Google is planning to penalize sites that overuse search-engine-optimization techniques, a move it hopes to “level the playing field.”

Google engineer Matt Cutts discussed the plan at South by Southwest (SXSW) last week, saying it would be introduced into the search results in the upcoming month or next few weeks.

Cutts said the point to penalize companies is 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.

"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," Cutts said at SXSW. "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."

Matt announced the SEO penalty plan on a panel called "Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!"