Don’t Fall Victim to Over-Optimization

over optimization
Melody Ciria
Melody Ciria
April 4, 2012
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SEO
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According to a new announcement made by Google’s SEO guru, Matt Cutts, there will be a regulation on sites that are considered ‘over-optimized.’  This latest algorithm update isdesigned to penalize sites that are potentially using black hat SEO tactics to stay ahead of their competition. To avoid falling victim to over-optimization and protect yourself from Google’s pending Panda updates it is important to implement white hat SEO strategies and attract quality traffic. Because of the upcoming changes to Google’s semantic search and algorithms, site owners will have to be more careful in how they optimize their web content.  It has not yet been determined how search engines will target over-optimized sites but site owners should be prepared to adjust their SEO efforts based on these upcoming changes.  In essence, you may want to ask yourself whether you are overly optimizing your site.  When it comes to over-optimization, black hat SEO comes to mind.  That being said, you may want to ask yourself the following questions to ensure your website is not over-SEO’ed:

  1. Are you incorporating the same set of keywords throughout tags and within the content of the page for the sake of SEO? In other words, are you keyword stuffing in hopes that Google will crawl and index all your keywords?
  2. Are you internally linking all your pages using an excessive amount of text links? In other words, are you self-linking keywords to the same page?
  3. Are you duplicating the same content in all pages?
  4. Are you optimizing multiple pages with the same set of keywords? Alternatively, are you overusing key phrases in multiple areas with little regard to the content’s flow?
  5. Is your content based on how many keywords you can include rather than the quality of the message?
  6. Are you including keywords in a tag that is unrelated to the page’s content in hopes of targeting all keywords despite its relevance to the page?

If you answered yes to all these questions, then you are guilty of over-optimizing your site.  By continuing to implement these black hat SEO tricks, your site will eventually get spammed.   Practicing better SEO strategies will not only protect you from Google’s over-optimization penalty, but it will also generate quality traffic that will increase your return on investment.  Here are a few guidelines to follow in order to better prepare you for Google’s improvements and to help you in your SEO efforts:

  • Make high-quality content your priority.  Write content that is compelling and interesting to your target audience instead of focusing on how many keywords you can incorporate in a page
  • Build your presence in social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter,  &  Google+
  • Focus on reputation management.  Increase your fan-base on local review sites like Google Places  & Yelp
  • Make sure your site’s architecture and coding is up-to-date to ensure your content is easily crawled

By following these tips, Google will better recognize small businesses that produce quality content and develop a strong presence through local optimization.  So, adjust your SEO strategies based on Google’s upcoming algorithm updates to avoid being flagged.

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