Google Cracks Down on Over-Optimized Sites
Jillian Johnson, April 30, 2012
Is your website over-optimized? Watch out because Google is cracking down on sites that are over-optimized and penalizing them.
The penalty is presumed to be introduced within the month and is aimed at sites that are cheating the search system. Sites that are penalized will be removed from Google's index and will not be crawled by search engines, ultimately becoming non-existent to search engines.
“Google is looking at sites by 'people who sort of abuse it whether they throw too many keywords on the page, or whether they exchange way too many links, or whatever they're doing to sort of go beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area," said Google SEO engineer Matt Cutts.
The purpose of the penalty is to give each website a fair shot at ranking well in the SERPs. There are websites that contain unique content but low rankings. And then there are sites with heavy SEO focus and low quality content, but rank well in the SERPs. Google's focus is to allow websites with low rankings but quality content to gain a better search engine ranking position.
Cutts added that Google already looks at actions such as keyword stuffing and link exchanges as spam signals in Google's algorithm.
“It’s widely believed that keyword stuffing and link exchanges are already spam signals in Google’s algorithm, so either Google intends to ratchet up the amount of penalty or dampening that those spam signals merit algorithmically or they have new over-optimization signals in mind as well."
So, while you want your website to appear higher in the SERPs to gain more traffic, search engines have their eyes out for those who go above and beyond, surpassing organic tactics and following black hat techniques. Therefore, it's important to ensure you're not using any backdoor practices to beat the search system.
Here are a few tips to help your site avoid being penalized by Google:
- Create titles that describe the page best with keywords in mind
- Watch your keyword density
- Write creative and fresh content, don't take content from another source and don't place duplicate content on pages
- Use guest blogs for backlinks
- Don't create inbound links that come from your own site
- Create high quality links
- Write creative anchor texts
- Take note of your page loading time as this is a major sign that your page is over-optimized