Google announces SEO algorithm update
Search giant Google is planning to penalise web sites that the company feels are "over optimised", according to an announcement by the head of web spam Matt Cutts.
The surprise announcement was made at this year's South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.
Cutts was speaking at the tech conference and it is still unclear whether he meant to talk about the subject.
However, he made it clear that the international IT organisation is developing a new
algorithm that it hopes will "level the playing field" and reward sites with unique content.
According to Cutts, Google has been busy looking for new ways to make sure sites it deems to have high-quality content are ranked above keyword-heavy pages – which would help to ensure its own market share.
"We try to make the GoogleBot smarter, try to make our relevance more adaptive, so that if people don't so, 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," explained Cutts.
The company is keen to update its page ranking system, which takes keywords, links to other sites, layout, appearance and a number of other factors into consideration in order to determine which pages rank above or below the first page fold.
Reports from a variety of Tech journals suggest that Cutts' latest user update may in fact be part of a broader plan to provide users with more relevant search results.
Semantic search – which places a greater emphasis on the actual meaning of words – will be able to associate terms and link them to relevant sources in what the company refers to as the "next generation of search".
Posted by Aimee McBride