Google's pre-announed policy to level the playing field between sites that overplay SEO and those that simply provide excellent content is a boon to the B2B companies that hire me as a ghost blogger. Here's why: Google plans to reward my client's high-quality content by adjusting their GoogleBot functionality (what I've dubbed the "Level Playing Field" policy).
Google's Matt Cutts explains:
Normally we don't pre-announce changes, but there is something we’ve been working in the last few months and hopefully in the coming weeks we hope to release it. The idea is basically to try to level the playing ground a little bit. So all those people who have been doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly doing their SEO – compared to the people who are just making great content and trying to make a fantastic site, we are trying to level the playing field a bit. 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.
This is great news for my corporate clients who are interested in educating their customers and prospects (rather than trying to monitize traffic). Instead of focusing obsessively on the number of page views, they can now shift their attention to "bounce rate." As in golf, the lower the bounce rate, the better the score. Bounce rate is one of the key indicators of the value (stickyness) of a site's content.
I've been preaching quality content to my clients for nearly a decade. Those sites that have been overplaying SEO trickery to boost traffic in an effort to monitize are finally going to get their comeuppance. I applaud Google's Level Playing Field policy.