We have talked about SEO Over optimization earlier, and probably this is the right approach from Google, to discard those Websites, which are misusing known SEO tricks to stand out in Google search. We all know, there are many known signals to rank #1 in Google, and anyone can use it to rank higher in search engines. For example, backlinks with anchor text will help any webmasters to improve their keyword ranking,but how about if you buy 100’s of exact match anchor text, and outrank all existing competitor? Penguin update, and Exact match domain penalty are introduced to penalize such Websites, which are over optimizing their Website for search engines. (Mainly Google search).
The search engines publish rules and guidelines about how to get your website ranked higher on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). These rules and guidelines are called SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). There are also guidelines that other people publish online after they conduct legitimate or illegitimate (incorrect) SEO research. All of these rules and guidelines are often followed by some people with too much zeal. These overzealous people are often in danger of over optimising their website, which results in the search engines punishing them with a lower web page ranking.
How not to get SEO Penalty for Over Optimization?
Less backlinks and more material to attract backlinks
Many people over optimise by having too many links pointing towards their website. People are able to manipulate how many links point to their websites via various means. There are some people who take this a little bit too far and end up having hundreds, if not thousands, of links pointing towards their website. This is sometimes a problem if you are on the first page of Google with 500 links, when all of your competitors have only 45 links on average. This will often throw up a red flag from Google, where you will be punished for over-optimisation, whereupon your website page rankings take a nosedive.
Few things to avoid:
- Links should originate from similar niche blog
- Anchor text variation is important
- Avoid paid links. Try guest blogging, Press release or blog commenting.
- Don’t build too many links in short time.
- While building back-links, link to your website internal pages too.
Less keyword stuffing and more natural content
Keyword stuffing (See- keyword density) involves putting lots of keywords into your content to the detriment of usability. It is now considered black-hat SEO and will end up getting your website ranked a lot lower down the search engine results (if not suspended from Google). There is however a grey and blurry line between over optimisation and black-hat SEO. For example if a certain keyword appear a very high percentage of the time on one page then it may be considered black-hat or may be considered over optimisation.
Instead of purposefully trying to include keywords into your web content, you should create natural content. If it is on the desired topic then it should include a few keywords naturally. You can go back to the text and add a few keyword synonyms if you like. If the natural content is not related to the keywords you chose then ask yourself why you are putting those particular keywords onto that page. You can take help of plugin like SEOPressor, which will help you to find LSI keywords, that will help in adding relevant keywords.
Putting website design above gaining clicks
There are lots of ways to increase your pages link clicks, your page views, etc. In achieving higher metric numbers, a lot of people will sacrifice website design and usability. An over optimised site will optimisation above website usability, navigation or design. If your website does this then go out of your way to make your website more usable, with a clear and defined design and easy navigation. If you do this then your over optimisation will probably be removed in the process.
Remove keyword stuffing and add some long tailed keywords
The grey line between black-hat and over optimisation when it comes to keywords (as mentioned above) can be eliminated if you switch some of your keywords for synonyms, and switch some others for long tailed keywords. If you do this then you will probably eliminate any trace of black-hat behaviour. You may even end up making your website less over-optimised, even though you have actually made it “better” optimised.
Unexpected and unintentional duplicate content
This happens on e-commerce sites mostly when a large number of similar products are sold. The descriptions and names of each will be similar or copied and pasted, which leads to the same content appearing on multiple pages. The pages may look very good and very uniform, but this will get you punished by Google who consider such actions as lazy.
- What is WordPress duplicate content issue & solution
- Will I ever get penalize for duplicate content?
- How to prevent duplicate web content
Obvious links spam from inappropriate content
This happens when people put their links into text, but the text has nothing to do with the anchor text of the link. For example, the link may have anchor text about cottages, when the article/content that it is in (or surrounded by) is about baby food. This will be considered as a spam link, and too many of them will get your website punished.
- How to remove spam backlinks using Google Disavow links tool
- How I reported 1000 of spam links using Google disavow tool
Interlinking your own websites can be too good
Interlinking between your websites is a good thing, but if you do it too much (on every page for example) it will appear obvious that the website is yours and that you are trying to manipulate the backlinks pointing to your site.
There is one thing which you should know: Avoid practicing any SEO tricks, which gives immediate result but affect your Website in long run. We have already shared an experiment with link buying, and explain why buying links is no more a good idea. Same goes with every aspect of SEO.
Do let me know, if you ever received SEO penalty from Google for Over optimization. What other practices you avoid to getting penalized from Google search engine?