April 11, 2012
As if Google didn’t have you driving in enough different SEO directions, the search engine recently announced that it will be penalizing websites for being over optimized. Although these penalties have been around for quite some time, Google is now creating a new algorithm and that will begin putting a heavier focus on over-optimization. Matt Cutts, Google’s SEO guy, explained that the penalty is part of an effort to level the playing field between sites creating content for SEO and smaller Mom & Pop-type websites “who are just making great content and trying to make a fantastic site.”
This algorithm change will certainly help level the playing field, but for anyone who really understands SEO and has been working hard to optimize a website, this isn’t the greatest of news. This new change could cause loss of jobs for SEO professionals or help those who never cared about SEO outrank a website that really took the time to understand the importance of search engine visibility. Nonetheless, this over-optimization penalty isn’t going anywhere and SEO professionals need to be ready.
How to Tell If Your Website Is Over Optimized
The very first thing an SEO department or expert needs to do is check to see if the website in question is over optimized. This of course depends upon Google’s definition of over optimized, which is of course extremely unclear. However, although we may not know exactly the right amount of optimization Google is looking to see, there are a few things that most agree might constitute as over-optimization:
There is no guarantee that these are the particular aspects of optimization Google will focus on penalizing, but these tips are some of the best guesses SEO experts have. The best thing you can do for your website is read over your content. If certain words sound out of place, they are probably there for SEO reasons only. This is something Google wants to avoid, so it’s a good idea to change your content to sound more natural. Create new content every day and focus on the quality of the content. In the end, this new emphasis on over-optimization might actually turn out to be a good thing!
What do you think Google means when they use the term over-optimization? What steps have you taken to make sure your site is not over-optimized?
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