The latest Google update has officially rolled out entirely and webmasters are beginning to feel – and very visibly see – the pinch that the “over optimization penalty” is going to have. Early chatter has it that returns that have been pegged as over optimized have slid from as far as page one to page 5 of the search results which is a far harsher penalty than many expected. While Google announced the change was coming, they did little to help people understand what was too much and how severely transgressions would be punished.
Curiously enough, at least early on, it appears as though Google is coming out a winner again. Although the analysis is still young and incomplete, WordPress based platforms appear to have been hit far harder than Blogger for instance – which is a Google platform. This has raised suspicion that at least in part, this whole change was yet another one of Goggle’s tactics to help push one of their own dying platforms back to relevance.
Anyway you slice it, the over optimization penalty is going to be problematic for webmasters, and the SEOs that have to work around it until clearer guidelines can be developed. Because Google remains so insistent as to not tell people the exact nature of why they are being penalized, no one is absolutely sure how to get past it yet with any certainty. The one thing that is for sure, Google is going to take heat for doing evil yet again and Sergey Brin is looking a lot more like bad guy Larry Page than ever before.