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Tuesday, January 28 2014
Is Your Website Over Optimized?

over optimizing seoWhen you start to build your website, the notion of search engine optimization (SEO) is probably at the forefront of your planning. After all, you want users to be able to find your page when they search for products or services like yours. By adding the right search terms and positioning your site correctly, you increase the chances that search engines like Google will return your site in the results when someone runs a search.

However, some factors of SEO have evolved recently and many website owners may have overdone it by today's standards. Focusing too much on SEO can now be a detriment to both the site and the site visitors. When a site is over-optimized, the search engines will actually penalize it in search results and cause it to appear lower. In addition, when a site is not optimized authentically with users in mind, visitors can tell and will often click on to find another site that’s easier to use and read.

How can you tell if you have overdone it with SEO and keywords? Look for some of these telltale signs, and then work with your web designer or web hosting service to make the necessary changes.

Keyword Stuffing

Not long ago, if you wanted to attract people who were searching for a certain term, you could make an extra effort to include that term as often as possible in your content. As long as the information contextually made reasonable sense to a human reader you could load a page with lots of duplication of a term or phase and the search engines would respond favorably to that. Using the same terms over and over again and including them in your photos and links and everywhere else on your site is going to backfire now. The search engines have gotten alot more sophisticated. Now they will notice if you’ve stuffed keywords everywhere they can possibly fit and penalize you for doing that. Avoid using the same keywords more than two or three times per page and focus instead on creating useful, well-written content for your intended human audience.

Bad Backlinks

Backlinks are the links from other sites that bring visitors back to your site. Ideally, your backlinks should come from other high quality sites and not from sites known for spam, poor content or other issues. Again, while it might seem like it would be helpful to create as many backlinks as possible from anywhere, bad backlinks will have the opposite effect and torpedo your SEO. Instead, focus on building good links. You might have fewer links, but they won’t hurt your reputation with the search engines.

Now, you may be wondering what is a good link? That's hard to determine sometimes these days. In general, backlinks that you earn through positive actions are what you want. Don't trade links anymore. It's ok to ask for a link if you have content or something on your site that you think might be beneficial to the users of another site. But let the other site owner choose how the link is set and/or worded. The search engines want to see more natural linking instead of planned out linking patterns intentionally configured for search manipulation.

Overvaluing Traffic Volume

When you’re building your site, what takes first priority? Is it your search engine rankings or the experience of your site visitors? Many business owners who are new to Internet marketing and web design put their focus on getting as much traffic as possible by any means possible ahead of creating a useful site experience for their customers. That strategy will eventually backfire. If you do get some traffic that way, the visitors you get are unlikely to return or even stay if your site is a bad experience and doesn’t easily give them what they need. When you’re building your site, consider the user experience first and SEO second.

Your Traffic Slows Down Suddenly

A big problem with over optimization is that it can often sometimes work for a while. But then when the search engines change up their algorithms again (and they always do), website owners who aren’t properly managing SEO will suddenly see a significant drop in their search listings and slowdown in traffic. If your site traffic suddenly slows to a trickle without an obvious reason then it is likely your website is over-optimized in some way and you need to make some changes.

If your website is over-optimized due to a backlinks issue then Google will actually tell you that if you have a Webmaster Tools account with them. The report will say that you have some questionable backlinks that appear to possibly violate Google's guidelines and then it will list out those links. You can then go and ask the sites where those links appear to either take them down or set them with what is called a "no follow" tag.  If the site owner won't remove the links or no follow them, then you can use an option in your Webmaster Tools account called the disavow tool to tell Google to ignore those links.

Over-optimizing your website is just as detrimental as under-optimizing it. Take some time to address your website’s SEO the right way and make adjustments as needed to improve your results. Learning basic SEO and staying up to date on any changes in the standards or guidelines will be the key to keeping your traffic healthy for the life of your website.


Posted by: eBizWebpages AT 06:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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