Google Over-Optimized Penalty Overview

by / Thursday, 19 July 2012 / Published in Google

Everybody who is involved in internet marketing and search engine optimization has definitely heard about Google Panda algorithm and penalties associated with it. It has been talked about for so long, so people got used to it and in one way or another we are all trying to cope with it, hoping that bad times are behind us. But you know what? It is not over yet.

Now there is a big buzz going around the web that they are about to introduce new penalties for over optimized websites. It means that if you did what was said in SEO books even one year ago, you can end up in being penalized for it. We personally think that Google is becoming too obsessed as they have enough analytics already to recognize dodgy sites. It seems they behave like the one who could not get enough and want more and more until they end up with nothing. World is really need an alternative to this monopolized market, but until it is not there we have to play their game.

So, what they mean by over optimized websites? We will try to analyse it below.
First think you need to check is your title and description. Those are your face for all search engines. Take a careful look at them and make sure that you do not just list keywords there, especially if all of them contain the same short keyword in each of them. The idea is that your title and description should be targeting your readers, but not search engines. The main idea here is that users are more likely to click on meaningful titles rather than on keywords. And if you have already read our Google Panda Overview post, then you should know how important click through rate is.

Second thing you need to think about is your internal backlinks structure. We all know that this is a very important part of SEO and we all use it on our sites. But be careful and do not overdo it. There are a lot of websites there, which stuff their posts with a lot of links to internal pages; they want to rank higher in search engines. Now this is considered as not a very good practice. Try to limit this and add only one or two text links there or even skip them if you have other backlinks in your posts. Especially avoid adding the same link multiple times on the same webpage.
Another tip, related to it is to avoid multiple links in your footer. I believe everyone has seen websites with a lot of links to internal or external pages, hidden in the footer. Stop doing it and find another place for those links on your website. Also, you should not make those links of the similar colour as your background. We all know that the same colour is a huge NO-NO practice, so a lot of webmasters started to use similar colours as a workaround. So, from now on, consider it as NO-NO too, as if you are caught you can lose more then you have gained from it.

Third point is to avoid backlinks from private networks. We think that it is not really dangerous to get backlinks from those if they are placed correctly. You should avoid networks, which contain interlinked members of them, as they can be easily detected. Another type of networks to stay away from those, which claim that, they will place your article to multiple websites. No matter how good your spun article is, it is really impossible to spin the same text even ten times so it cannot be recognized as the same article by smart search engine crawlers. So, if you really want to use blog networks, then you should use those, which allow you to publish one or two posts for the same article. We are planning to open our own network, which we are using for promoting our websites. So, if you are interested, keep an eye on our blog for announcements.
The same tip is relevant for article marketing. Do not publish the same article to multiple article directories. This means you should avoid automated tools like article marketing robot or use them very carefully.

Last thing we want to talk about is a content of your website. One thing you need to stay away from is from adding text to your content, which is specifically dedicated to search engines. Quite often webmasters publish very useful content, which might be difficult to optimize for specific keywords and then they add a paragraph to that article, which is stuffed with keywords and not really beneficial from readers’ point of view. This is going another target for Google in the nearest future.
Another important tip for the content of your website is avoiding multiple webpages optimized for the same keywords. It is fine to have several of them as it can be difficult to avoid this completely if your website is targeting a small niche, but you must avoid having lots of pages optimized for slightly modified keyword terms.

To summarize this, we tried to give you a very brief overview of additional things you need to look at when creating and developing your websites, so you stay under the radar of search engines. You should use these techniques together with all the others; we talked about earlier, in our previous posts. If you follow our advice, you will definitely rank higher than your competition and more importantly, you will be on a safe side from being penalized by Google.