We have talked about keyword stuffing in the past – and will again now. Whether it be in text, in meta tags or elsewhere on your site; buying paid links, engaging in black hat practices that would make the members of Slitherin cringe such as white on white text and deceptive redirects are always an absolute no-no! SEO may very well be a game to some webmasters, but the penalties for ‘over optimizing’ (Hint-hint keyword stuffing) are crystal clear – if you break the rules for the search engines they may very well exact punishment with extreme prejudice!
It’s not only the outright deliberate subterfuge that can and often will harm you – at times, being nothing more than overenthusiastic with your SEO efforts can hurt your website rather than help it. Many webmasters in their over enthusiasm to get good rankings for their website engage in efforts that set off the search engine flags without even knowing it. The crux of the problem is that SEO is a lengthy process. We want to get instant results, it’s natural. As a consequence we often try to speed up things by overcompensating with “extra“ keywords. This can bring down problems and ‘retribution’ on your head, making all of your work counterproductive.
Before beginning to optimize your website, you have to clearly understand the requirements from each search engine. There are differences. Your efforts have to be balanced to meet the requirements of all the major search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing. If you fail to do that, you have problems in the long run. Ask people that focused solely on Google and felt the wrath of panda. Many webmasters limit their optimization efforts to Google as it is one of the search engines with the most competition. However, each search engine has its own algorithms, and there can enough difference to cause a search engine penalty in one for actions that do not disturb another.
In almost all situations as a website owner, you do not over-optimize your website intentionally. This is very different from black hat SEO. In black hat SEO, you do things to manipulate the search engines on purpose. Sites like some of the once prominent content mills that did this under serious mismanagement paid for it heavily – nearly with their business. It is not worth the risk. However, over optimization can still elicit penalty even if you do not do it knowingly. Over optimization probably will not get your site banned completely from the search results, but it can affect your website’s ranking negatively. It is hard enough to get traffic without having a handicap to work with.
Whatever you have been working on for months could be undone by a single mistake which is tragic. You may stuff your web pages with the keywords and this will pull you down in the search results page for that particular keyword. This will affect your traffic that matters most to your website, and completely defeat the purpose. Play it safe, when in doubt go light, take help of keyword research – or hire a professional SEO copywriter to do it for you.