Earlier this month during a Q&A at SXSW Matt Cutts leaked that Google was working on a new algorithm change that would make GoogleBot smart enough to pick out and penalize over optimized Web sites that score well in the results.

Here’s the audio of what he said in the statement:

It’s expected that this update will come out pretty soon, but Google’s been quiet about it so far. We’re sure that when it comes out the usual uproar from SEOs and webmasters will arise and we’ll know why then.

Worried about your site? Although this all sounds new and we’re sure that sites will be hit – this is actually not a new concept.  You just can’t push to hard folks.  Over-optimization is a bad thing.

Remember that Google’s ultimate goal is to make searching better for the user, while your goal might lean more towards getting the user to your site or building up link bait. Google stresses relevance and penalizes those who use tricks to make their site seem more relevant. The point of this update will be to reward those who focus on the user experience and align their goals with Google. If you align with Google’s goal, you can bet you’ll get rewarded for it.

We feel the sites that are the most vulnerable to this update are the ones with an unnatural inbound link profile. It’s the most commonly abused tactic and very easy to target. So, if 90% of your inbound links have “KEYWORD” in them, that’s not good. You need to start to tone that down and get those swapped out sooner rather than later.

Here are 8 Areas to Concentrate On and You’ll Stay Safe…

  • Keep your content unique, fresh and relevant.
  • Keep your incoming and outgoing links relevant.
  • Keep your site ads from taking over the page.
  • Be sure your site is more than just a Flash file. :)
  • Avoid using over the top Page Rank Sculpting.
  • Deal with duplicated content issues.
  • Don’t ignore RSS feed issues.
  • Be aware of incorrect canonical tag implementation.