• Christian Noel

    Benny, while in principle I agree with your general assessment that the focus should be on content, I don’t think this is anything really new. I would agree that not much has changed materially. One could make an argument (as you have) that Google made this move as a way to “nudge” marketers in this direction, maybe. Or perhaps it is a happy circumstantial outcome. However, 5 points I will counter with.
    1) This is not the reason Google gave in doing this. It was supposedly about privacy.
    2) Over optimization s just newer way of saying “Don’t keyword stuff”, On this point any statement from Google talking about “over-optimization” is vauge
    3) If you take last Fall’s EMD crackdown, the advent Penguin etc. maybe that equates to an over optimization penalty, but maybe not. I personally think Penguin was the penalty Cutts alluded to.
    4) Keyword data can be reconstructed using data modeling techniques. So it isn’t lost really, it will just take some more work to re-create the missing data.
    5) At the end of the day “over-optimization” isn’t something to be afraid of. Look at your engagement stats, compare it with your ranking data and your raw traffic counts. The numbers will always tell you what to do.

    Content is important, but I don’t think that anyone should fear optimization content for fear over over doing it. All the things that could be included in such a penalty are already things that you shouldn’t be doing anyway.

  • Benny Blum

    @christian_noel:disqus – appreciate the response. Conceptually we’re saying the same things. Good search marketers will always analyze and use data insights to dictate the direction of their content development and site optimization strategies. However, the intent behind this piece is that, inductively, I believe Google is trying to remove some of the ‘science’ in search marketing strategy and get back to the art that is good journalism and quality content development.

  • http://www.diannahuff.com/ Dianna Huff

    Benny, I would say good marketing. You can have a high quality (well-written) piece, but if it does nothing for your business (move people to take a next step, result in some type of conversion, etc.) then it’s not good marketing. That is what Google is “nudging” people to do — and you can see it right in Google Analytics. How many people are commenting, +1ing, sharing, etc.? You can see it in your Goals — how many filled out the form or downloaded something? Look at your Visitor Flow — what are people doing once they get to your site?