SEO is wonderful when used correctly, but excessive SEO can create over optimization.
Search engine “over optimization” is the practice of creating too many SEO enhancements, to the point that the enhancements begin to lose the capability for your website to rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Sure, you’re doing all the usual SEO “basic stuff”, but then you start to take it too far.
But first, why do you need to employ “basic” SEO?
Creating a solid website design and providing clear navigation will support search engines indexing of your website quickly and easily.
Additionally and more importantly, this provides website visitors with a better overall user experience and likewise encourages repeat visits.
It’s also worth taking into consideration that Google is increasing focusing on ensuring its user’s receive a quality experience when conducting searches.
When it concerns just how much website traffic is driven by search engines to your site, the percentage is rather substantial, and probably the clearest indication for the importance of search engine optimization (SEO).
Back in 2014, one research suggested that 64% of all web traffic originates from organic search, compared to 2% from social media, 6% from paid search, 12% direct and 15% from other referral sources.
Of all organic web traffic, in 2015 it was found that Google represents for greater than 90% of worldwide organic search traffic.
Based on that alone, it’s obvious or should be, that you need a solid presence on Google SERPs… but exactly how solid?
Based on the graphic below from Advanced Web Ranking, it shows that on the first SERP, the Top 5 Results account for 67.60% of all clicks and only 3.73% of clicks occur with 6 – 10.
For this reason alone, it’s absolutely vital that your website performs in the Top 5 Results.
With that, lets dive into it!
7 Signs Over Optimization Is Being Taken To Far With Your Blogging Website
1. Keyword-Rich Anchors for Internal Links.
If you’re an online network marketer, you need to understand the power of “anchor text” in SEO.
Although this is a commonly-used phrase, several online marketers are yet to realize what it actually means after Google’s Penguin and Hummingbird updates.
Anchor texts are an essential part of SEO and strongly influence your search engine ranking and results.
Prior to the 2012 Google Penguin update, Google made use of anchor texts to recognize whether a particular website was relevant for the user conducting the search.
Nowadays (dependent on who you talk to) anchor texts work as a great method for the search engine to penalize websites for spam as well as over optimization.
An example of keyword rich anchor text is lets say you have a page you are trying to rank and the phrase is “cat training.” A keyword anchor text would be one that had “cat training” as the anchor text.
Avoid internal linking with keyword-rich anchors
While internal linking is highly recommended, avoid doing it with keyword-rich anchor text. Employing too many keyword-rich anchors can have a significant negative impact on your link profile.
Rather, try the healthy and balanced approach of spreading the anchor across a sentence.
For instance, instead of using “SEO” you can go for something like “learn 5 Steps and Easy Techniques For Better SEO.” So, this preferably suggests that you create a long anchor and disperse the keywords within.
In the post-penguin and 2016 SEO strategy, the exact match anchors should be minimized to 1% of your content or less.
You need to be more cautious when utilizing these types of anchors since they can penalize your site for trying to over optimize.
The primary kinds of anchor texts that are both safe and effective are naked link anchors and branded anchors.
Concentrate on building your links organically using quality content and a diverse range of anchor texts. This will certainly help you optimize as well as enhance your link profile and make it difficult for Google to penalize you.
However, you shouldn’t even be trying to scheme the system (Google) in the first place.
Don’t try to increase traffic for keywords that are not even relevant to your site.
Back in the early days of the Internet, bloggers felt that the more a keyword was used on a blog post, the higher probability the webpage would rank for that word. The assumption was that online search engines would find the site more relevant and rank the pages higher.
For a while this tactic actually worked.
Today however, Google discredits this practice of “keyword stuffing” and may actually penalize your site and permanently remove your site from the Google index if they presume you are using this practice.
Google describes “keyword stuffing” as: “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google’s search results.”
Non-Relevant Keywords: Adding non-relevant terms with a high search count into the Meta tags with the expectation of attracting more traffic to the site and raising the site’s rankings.
Keywords used on the site need to pertain and be relevant to the topic of the page and actually have to be used within the content on the page.
If you have a travel website, it makes no sense for you to write a blog posts on the healthiest ingredients to feed your pet lizard.
As Google continues to index your website, it will take into attention all the keywords that you make use of throughout your entire domain, then rank your site for relevant queries.
Bottom-line, way too much content copy or keywords that are unrelated to your specific niche will undermine the overall strength of your website within the SERPs.
For example, if you have a traveling blog, as opposed to using “San Francisco hotel vacation cheap” a dozen times, you could incorporate natural phrases like “places to stay in the Bay Area” or “lodging near Union Square.”
I suggest having a laser-like focus on your specific niche, and your niche only. Yes, you can find plenty of topics to write about in your niche. Just stay within your particular niche.
3. Pointing All Internal or External Links to Top-Level Navigation Pages
A healthy and balanced link profile has links pointing to deep internal pages as well as at times, the home page.
Most of the time, however, most of a new websites links point directly to the homepage or to top-level navigational pages.
Often times, in the beginning, this is because someone who just starts a blogging website doesn’t know any better and simply does not have enough content to link to.
It’s normal to see most links point to the start page, yet it often weakens the link profile. The strongest web link profiles have links pointing to the deep internal pages/ links to specific blog posts.
A healthy proportion is considered a 1:1 ratio, or 50% of the links pointing to deep internal links.
A solid quality content marketing strategy will attract more deep internal links from outside sources.
People like your quality content, and they want to link to it. So, they inevitably create a link to your specific blog post (not your homepage).
Presto! You just acquired another deep internal link or rather, a quality backlink.
The over optimization issue happens when online bloggers themselves create a ton of links to their homepage or to their main navigation pages such as “Contact Us,” “About Us,” or “Resources” tabs.
Yes, you want to create internal links, but you shouldn’t be pointing the links to these types of pages.
Rather, enhance your link profile by pointing to deep internal links/ pages.
4. Using Several H1s on a Page
An H1 header is for a web page’s main heading/ headline. Ill-advisedly, some bloggers think that awesome SEO means using a gang of H1 text. This is simply bad advise.
Specifically speaking about WordPress, WordPress uses a H1 header as default (it might be theme-specific, but all the published/released WP HTML codes that I checked, the source code for my browsers had a H1 tag for the blog post’s title).
Simply remember this rule of thumb: Never use a H1, begin with H2.
It’s fine to use a couple of H2s, and then 3s, and 4s, but there should never be an H1 because your header is already set by default to H1.
5. Linking To Toxic Websites.
The sites that you link to are virtually as significant as the sites that link to you.
To put it bluntly, several bloggers are completely ignorant of the hazard of linking to toxic, low-DA (Domain Authority), or spam websites.
If your website links to a toxic spam site, then your site may receive unfavorable SEO ramifications or more specifically Manual Action against your website.
If you’re trying to gain mutual link-backs by linking to other sites, be cautious.
The more outbound links you have to low-DA websites, the higher probability you have of placing your own site in this low-DA neighborhood or bad neighborhoods (poor quality or artificial link building).
Bad neighborhoods are sites that violate Google’s guidelines. They are normally websites that intentionally or supposedly “accidentally” use Black Hat SEO Strategies meant to synthetically improve a site’s rankings in the free or organic search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google has consistently taken the lead when it pertains to penalizing site owners who cheat or use any tactic they can use to get top rank positions.
The warning posted on the Google Webmaster Guidelines page takes this one step further.
They will not just penalize a site they capture cheating; they will likewise penalize websites that link to the penalized site to dissuade link building. Which consequently will probably or hopefully, wind up driving the penalized site out of business.
Rather, focus on associating with or linking to healthy sites in your niche — sites that have strong DAs and a strong reputation.
Remember, quality links take time to obtain through both relationship building with the people who have the probability to give or provide links-back and the authoring of better than average content that is valuable to the marketplace.
A few quality links will yield far bigger results than a high quantity of irrelevant links.
6. Keyword-stuffed footer.
Ah, the footer! How many over optimization debaucheries have been devoted to website footers?
This can range from just a couple of added footer links to hundreds of them.
Many times they’re only on the home page, but occasionally you find them on every page.
The concept behind this tactic is that people mistakenly think that the home page of a website has some extraordinary power to pass extra link status to the pages linked from it.
However, over-optimizing your website footer is an excellent way to shoot your SEO work in the foot.
The only kind of footer optimization that you should do is… NOT TO DO IT AT ALL!
Studies show that Google devalues footer links.
Moreover, due to their placement at the end or bottom of a page’s content, they receive marginal crawler credit and simply don’t add any SEO value to a webpage.
If you swear on adding a gang of keywords to your footer, you are chancing over optimization.
One of the most common footer optimization mistakes are with local SEO.
First, let me point out before proceeding that you can have your name, address, and phone in your footer. That’s not a problem.
Here’s the issue: Including geo-specific keywords and links in the footer.
If a business serves multiple cities, for instance, they might be drawn to list all these dozens of locations in the footer.
If there is large organization spread across multiple regions, then this may not be a bad thing.
However, simply putting raw lists of keyword-rich anchor links is basic over optimization. And it’s chancy.
When you design your footer, do so with the site visitor in mind.
- Your footer shouldn’t be a sitemap.
- It’s not a place for fancy graphics.
- It’s not garbage dump for all the features of a site that don’t fit anywhere else.
- And it’s most assuredly not a place for dumping keywords.
It humbly is supposed to be a pleasant closure to a webpage — a simple, navigable place at the end of a webpage that indicates the end.
7. Non-branded, keyword-dense URLs.
In the quest to attain an authoritative branded URL, some bloggers go nuts with their URLs. They choose super-optimized URLs rather than a healthy and balanced brand name/ domain name.
While selecting a domain with a bunch of keywords might appear clever, it is actually positioning you on Googles high alert for over optimization.
Don’t create a URL just for its keyword SEO value sake. The best thing to do is to have your brand name in your URL.
Your brand name should be your URL. That’s it.
On top of that, what happens if you are in an online network marketing business and that business goes under? May not be today, tomorrow, this year, or next year, but what if?
All that work that you put into creating quality content for a keyword dense domain URL just got shot dead.
Now you have to start all over again because those products and services are now gone forever and all of your content is irrelevant.
Are you concentrating too much time on technical SEO more so than quality content marketing?
There’s a fundamental problem with over optimization… and it’s this – Over optimization occurs when we concentrate too much time on the technical SEO.
Granted, there are numerous other ways that over optimization can occur with your SEO.
While you should do your best to be cautious of things such as keywords and keyword phrases, occasionally you can merely take it too far and forget the bigger picture of your websites purpose.
Your primary goal for your online network marketing (MLM) blogging website should be creating value added high quality content, and be optimized for your website visitors but likewise Google and the other search engines.
If you cling to this goal while creating your content, you are going to have more natural looking webpages, with long-term, and more fruitful SEO forthcoming.
What other over optimization practices should bloggers avoid? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.
To Your Success,
Shaun & Kimberly Keizur
PS: Learning Online Network Marketing is a skill set that is definitely worth the effort if you have what it takes to do so. I owe 90% of my success online to this ONE proven system. Proven Network Marketing System.