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  • SEO TIPS: Avoiding an OverOptimization Penalty

    Is putting keywords in your content enough to bring you the success you’re looking for? Do you believe that if a little is good, more is better? Do you know about how Google and the other major SERPs view the use of keywords regarding how often they appear, whether or not they are anchored and even where they appear in your text? If not, it is time to get a quick crash course on keywords and more importantly, keyword stuffing.

    This is not a new topic for us to cover, but it is important. We’ve talked about keyword stuffing… in text, in meta tags, and elsewhere; buying paid links, engaging in black hattery such as white on white text and deceptive redirects. We do it because so many webmasters keep getting it wrong and wind up in trouble. While SEO is a game to some, the penalties for ‘over optimizing’ are clear – break the rules of the search engines, and they may exact punishment! Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

    It’s not only deliberate subterfuge that can harm you – at times, simply overenthusiastic SEO efforts can hurt your website rather than helping it. This goes back to what we talked about when we asked whether or not you believe more is better. Far too many webmasters, in their over enthusiasm to get good rankings for their website, engage in efforts that set off the search engine flags. They might not mean to, but the search engines don’t know that.

    What generally happens is that a webmaster is looking to speed things up. The problem is that SEO is a time consuming process and all of us want to get instant results as a consequence we try speed up things up and go too far. This can bring down problems and ‘retribution’ on your head, making all your work counter productive. When this happens you lose time fixing the problem and even more time waiting for the SERPs to clear your site and start indexing you appropriately. Does that sound like “speeding” things up?

    When you begin to optimize your website, you must clearly understand the requirements from each search engine. They don’t all operate under the same algorithm – if they did there would be no need for multiple SERPs. You approach has to be balanced to meet the requirements of all the major search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing. We know Yahoo is pretty much a joke now, but it still counts for some traffic.

    Many webmasters tend to limit seo optimization efforts to Google as it is one of the search engines with the most competition. They do this at their own loss.  Because 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. You have to know what matters where and how to make it all work without hurting yourself too much in one SERP for a minimal gain in another.


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