Google Over-Optimization Penalties – Announcement Pending
There’s been a lot of talk recently in the SEO world about over-optimization penalties that Google has apparently been rolling out over the last month or so. Many sites have already lost ranking or have been de-indexed altogether. Google hasn’t announced anything officially yet, but announcements from them generally come shortly after a major change has been completely implemented.
Rand at SEOMOZ put up a great summary of six really spammy things that webmasters and SEOs should stop doing in anticipation of the over-optimization penalties full implementation:
1. Use of unnatural Page Titles
Bad: A list of keyword phrases, then “your brand” tacked on at the end.
Good: Your brand, and then a natural description of your services, which will include the most important keywords anyway.
2. Manipulative Internal Linking - Linking every instance of a keyword with identical anchor text in body of your content or in a side bar to same the page. Only the first instance will count and the rest will tag you as a spammer.
3. Keyword stuffed footer links. Don’t use keyword link lists in the footer of your website.
4. Keyword stuffed content blocks. If it has no value other than the keywords in contains, get rid of it.
5. Backlinks from penalty-likely sources. (Check out this detailed article on how to monitor your backlink profile for penalties)
- Link Networks
- Comment Spam
- Automated Software
- Forum Signature Links
- Reciprocal Links
- Article Marketing
6. Similar pages targeting different keywords with only slight differences in content. Instead, optimize a single page for the multiple keyword variations.
Making these changes may be a hard pill to swallow, especially if your success has been based on some of these shady tactics. It will be better in the long run to take a small hit right now than to get completely pulled from the SERPs by a Google penalty that is just around the corner.