Earlier this month, Google announced a new algorithm change aimed at preventing webspam which is often the result sub-standard search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Google Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts refers to these undercutting SEO techniques as black hat. Web publishers manipulate good SEO practices when using black hat techniques to improve their webpage's ranking in Google search. However, these backhanded techniques are infamous for filling webpages with meaningless, low quality content. Keyword stuffing is one of these black hat SEO techniques, and as its name indicates, it involves literally stuffing a website with keywords in a fruitless effort to improve the webpage's ranking in Google organic search. In actuality, keyword stuffing renders the task of crawling a website for search engines laborious and racked with unnecessary obstructions. On the other hand, good SEO work generates a more crawlable webpage. Though, what does crawlable really mean? Who or what does the crawling? To explain this, think of a dusty attic filled with cobwebs that stretch from floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall. Imagine this attic space as a metaphorical website prior to undergoing a clean-up with good, white hat SEO work. This cobweb-filled space would be difficult to walk or crawl through. Constant swatting at obstructive, wispy strands would be requisite. That experience of confronting an obstacle is what search engines like Google undergo when crawling through cobwebby portions of websites such as sections with keyword stuffing.
The new algorithm, which is often referred to as the Panda algorithm, as it seeks to differentiate between white hat and black hat SEO techniques, seeks to penalize users of webspam techniques by decreasing the ranking of these low-quality, webspam-filled webpages. In this effort, Google seeks to provide their search engine users with the most honest and quality content on the web. Ultimately, the Panda algorithm change will recognize and reward websites that use white hat SEO techniques.
At webShine, we are excited that Google continues to clean up the search experience for users. The algorithm update further confirms that our efforts to produce quality content and emphasis on user experience is the best, long term SEO approach.
Read Matt Cutts's full blog post about the algorithm change on the Google Webmaster Central blog.