Someone at Google is mad. Clearly they are tired of being gamed. Their job is to find and prioritize the best content on the web for their users. Their job is NOT to find, and prioritize the best optimized content for users. Google wins when it delivers the best content.
But it is no secret that OK content deployed with sophisticated SEO tactics can get higher Google rankings than better content without them. Google is out to change this. Last year the Panda series of algorithm changes lowered the rankings of websites that aggressively repurposed content or utilized content farms to win higher ratings.
This year, Google is at it again, this time introducing the Penguin algorithm adjustments which will lower the rankings of sites using so called “black hat” or aggressive SEO techniques.
Google’s "webmaster central blog" explains:
"In the pursuit of higher rankings or traffic, a few sites use techniques that don't benefit users, or the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be ranked. The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a greater user experience and fulfill their information needs. We also want the 'good guys' making great sites for users, not just algorithms, to see their effort rewarded."
Google still welcomes basic SEO techniques like posting key words, but websites that use agressive techniques may find their rankings reduced. It's tough to outsmart Google. But the sure fire way to keep on Google's best side is to simply spend less on advanced SEO techniques and more on content. That will keep Google and the penguins happy.