Google made some significant changes a couple years ago to the way that sites were allowed to use optimization to create more traffic for landing pages. Google started to penalize sites that engaged in over-optimization practices, and it’s still hurting businesses today that don’t have the right SEO strategies in place. It’s important to understand what over-optimization is and how to avoid it if you’re marketing any kind of site online today.
What is Over-Optimization
Sites that have too many keywords on a page, exchange too many links or paying for links is likely engaging in over-optimization. One word to think of is keyword stuffing. If you have content that repeats a phrase over three times, and it’s something like “Kansas City computer techs,” you may be over-optimizing your pages too much. Too many keywords and link exchanges are also big spam signals that search engines don’t like to see. Anchor text must also be changing and reflecting new keywords rather than repeating a phrase over and over.
To Be or Not to Be Above the Fold
Above the fold design means that all of your action images, big typography and important headlines are above the point of scroll for users. It relates to the way newspaper front pages are designed to have all of the big headlines and major images “above the fold.” If you have too many ads on your front page or you have pop-up windows, you are likely going to send away lots of customers and you won’t get any favors from search engines who are looking for high quality, original content. Then again, Google asks site owners to place AdSense ads above the fold to get more attention. In conclusion, Google and search engines often make statements that say they’ll penalize for one thing while asking for the exact same thing. These are rough waters to navigate, but with finesse, you can combine original content, eloquent advertising and high quality design above the fold to make readers like your content despite Google’s attempts to make you dance.
Remove Over-Optimized Links
With a few tools, you can remove links that are possibly screwing up your site’s goals by being over-optimized. You can look through content as well and spot keywords that are being used too frequently. In addition, you want to keep a low count of manipulative internal links. You don’t want to abuse side bars and link to pages over and over. Your site navigation and links in content need to have a purpose that is easily understood by the visitor.
By being logical and offering useful links to your readers, you’ll gain more readership and avoid penalties by Google for over-optimization. If you’re not sure whether your site is over-optimized, contact VR Business Marketing for a quick, free online consultation.