Answers to today's SEO questions through blogs and articles

What is Over Optimizing for SEO?


Having a solid SEO strategy is very important to getting a website in the top rankings in search engine result pages. An adept SEO specialist has many tools to use in order to accomplish this task effectively. In his repertoire there are on-page strategies as well as off-page strategies that can all work together to help a site be more visible to the search engines. While these can be effective, the old saying “too much of a good thing” is a possibility. Over optimizing a site can have an adverse effect on its ranking. Actually, when a site is over optimized it is very likely that it will trigger penalties and these can cause the site to drop significantly in rank, or be totally eliminated. It’s important to find the right balance in using SEO strategies without overdoing it.


Over Optimizing On-page SEO

On-page optimization is referring to the SEO strategies that are used on the website such asMetatags and keyword usage. These are commonly accepted as legitimate strategies but there are instances when they can be over used. If you optimize every single page on your site in exactly the same way search engines will notice it. It is important to include keywords in your content, but they must appear naturally and in context. A black hat SEO tactic is to over stuff keywords but rather than helping a site rank, this practice will probably get it penalized. When creating on-page or on-site content make sure that keywords are used naturally. It is worthwhile to remember that Google is looking for high quality content and is getting better at finding it while isolating poorly written content. Write for humans, not search engines. Over the last few months, the importance of keywords has undergone a transformation. Search engines are not merely looking for specific keywords that are strategically placed in the site’s content; they are looking for high quality, relevant content that is designed to benefit the reader.


Over Optimizing Off-page SEO

Off-page optimization strategies take place off the site itself and serve the purpose of improving the site’s ranking in the SERPs. Back linking is an off-page strategy that has recently undergone a lot of change as well; at least in the way the search engines view them and count them toward a site’s ranking in the SERPs. It is very important to be careful about the types of links you have coming to a site. More is not necessarily better and in many cases having too many of the wrong types of links, or irrelevant links will probably get the site penalized. IF you use anchor text off-site to provide “generic” links back to the site, it may be okay but avoid the erroneous practice of using the same anchor text for every link.


Penalties for Over Optimization

Google already announced that they will penalize a site that is overly optimized. Over applying any strategy is never a good idea and even if it works out great at first, it will end up penalizing the site later on. When Google refers to over optimizing they mean people going to the extreme and using all sorts of loopholes or shortcuts that give them a better ranking. One way to look at it is if you are using any SEO strategy to optimize a site that is not beneficial to the user experience, you are just inviting a penalty. Google offers some reasonable ways to optimize a site and these include:

  • Creating a site that is very crawl-able
  • Designing the site to be easy for navigation
  • Speeding up the time it takes for a  page to load
  • Creating content that is easier to be read


Avoiding Over Optimizing Penalties

In order to avoid penalties for over optimizing a site it is important to review the site periodically to make sure that it continues to comply with the guidelines set forth by search engines. If you ever wonder about a particular practice and how ethical it is, seek the advice of an SEO professional. It can be very confusing with the constant changes to the algorithm. One thing to remember is that trying to recover from a penalty is much more costly in terms of time and hassle than using the right strategies which are not going to get you penalized.

Leave a comment