Ending the Para-Sites: Google’s War On Over Optimized SEO

Aug 13, 2012   //   by Deny Saputra   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  39 Comments

Ever tried to search something in the internet and ended up annoyed by the top search result’s poor content? Good news. Google has announced that it is making a way to fix that. It seems that in order to achieve the birth of a pleasant internet experience, we have to wish for the death of over optimized blogs and the extinction of over optimized SEO voodoo.


What Is an Over Optimized SEO?

over optimized seoIt is a rat race even in the internet. Web pages compete for every view and visit. When you search the net for anything, the search responds with search engine result pages (SERP). SERP ranks web pages that are likely to give you what you need. Search engine optimization (SEO) largely influences the SERP ranking. Over optimized blogs target to get to the top of SERP and not really to help the user.

Search engines devised algorithms to determine relevance to you search based on keyword matches, popularity and authority but because these cannot really review content, users often find themselves in over optimized blogs with low-quality content.

When we say over optimized SEO, websites such as over optimized blogs are using too much key words and hyperlinks to manipulate its way to the top of the SERP.


Google: The Quality Hunter

This March 2012, Matt Cutts, head of Google search spam team has announced in SXSW panel that they are trying to work on a new algorithm that can outwit over optimized SEO strategies and bypass over optimized blogs. Google is also planning to penalize over optimized blogs by placing them last on the SERPs, or never at all.

Cutts said during the panel that they want to “make the playing field a bit more level” between those who use over optimized SEO and those who are just trying to make useful sites.

Is This the End of SEO?

Punk and metal might be dead but not definitely SEO. The Google’s banshee cries are only about over optimized SEO techniques and over optimized sites or blogs.

 Cutts clarified that SEO techniques that marketers have been using will stay around because they are undeniably useful. He said they make the internet “crawlable” and they make the sites more accessible. So it seems that white hat wearers have to fear nothing at all.

Black Hat: Over Optimized SEO

White hat is good. Black hat is bad. And although some may complain that this sounds like stereotyping and racism, these are really the two categories of SEO. The former is the sort that employs no deception, sticks to a search engine’s rules, gives you what you need to know and refers you other helpful sites. The black hat is the opposite and it’s what over optimized blogs are wearing. Over optimized SEO is definitely a black hat. Soon enough this terrible faux pas will die once Google is through with its algorithm.

It seems Google is serious in playing the hero (which is the good thing) but there is absolutely no reason to panic unless you are running over optimized blogs. If what you have is low-ranking but legit and view worthy, it’s safe and sound.


How To Avoid Over Optimized SEO and Over Optimized Blogs

As mentioned earlier, SEO is an important and indispensable aspect of internet search. However, your parents are right: anything is bad when overdone. To keep out of Google’s shunning and ill-favor, here are the basic steps:

  • Do not over-stuff with keywords
    SEO relies on keyword density use. It means it can calculate the degree of your web content’s relevance to a search by how many times a keyword appears. An over optimized SEO or black hat (you know what that means now, don’t you?) will saturate its content with those keywords. You’ll pretty much be reading a lengthy article with little help. An ideal keyword density is said to be only between 1% to 3%.
  • No link toxicity
    Aside from content, search engines’ algorithms judge your web page’s rank by popularity. You are popular when you link is posted in many other web sites.Likewise, you’ll get higher in ranking when you post other links in your web site. This move is supposed to help the users over optimized SEO strategists will fill their webpage with futile, irrelevant links and hyperlinks.
  • Don’t Tolerate Over Optimized Blogs
    If you spot what seems to be an over optimized blog, get out of there! Some theorizes that the length of time you’re staying with a site affect its ranking. Don’t even add a link of an over optimized blog on your own site. It makes you seem like an accessory to the crime.
  •  Site Goodness: Mean It
    It seems safer to be genuinely kind. Don’t deceive users by appearing to be helpful when all you want are views. Ironically, the more you want visits so desperately that you use over optimized SEO, the less likely you will get it. 

Apparently, the more a web page concentrates on the quality and not on the visibility of its content, the more likely it will get more views and make it to the honor roll of Google’s SERP. Just go with what the users need, not with what the search engine wants. Very soon, over optimized blogs will be history but maybe now we can already start saying, ‘adios over optimized SEO, hello better and satisfying internet experience.’

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Deny Saputra

Deny Saputra is an internet marketer and writer. Read more valuable articles by Deny and team at GetWebsiteTraffic blog that specially sharing various topics about internet marketing and targeted traffic generations follow me @denygwt

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  • Elena Anne

    Good article. I agree with you about overuse of keywords. Such makes an article or blog seem disingenuous, as if the writer is only interested how much traffic they get instead of wanting to share interesting information that will benefit others too.

  • Deny Saputra

    Thanks for commenting!
    Sure, over optimized keywords that targeting for the search engine isn’t work anymore.
    Search engine with new algorithms, is smarter to give more value to quality content instead of blog content or article that simply intended for the search engines with a pile of keywords.

  • Suzanne says:

    All good points indeed. I must admit that in the past I have been guilty of using too many keywords in some of my writing, but mainly it was due to ignorance. It’s good to know that some SEO techniques won’t be going out of style – namely, good quality content. I guess all will be good 🙂

    • Deny Saputra

      That’s true!
      SEO is die (for those use “black hat” methods or over optimized)
      Even if there are few of them are still alive, it’s because Google algorithm isn’t completely perfect yet. And a matter of time to get a turn penalty

  • Sanjib Saha

    Hi Deny,

    Over optimized SEO has been a hot topic for a while now. As said by you, it has become a rat race for staying on top in SERP. In my view, with a steady and smart SEO, you can keep your sites on top. Not to forget that users will always look for the best content and not best managed show. Your site should serve the purpose first and then you will be on top, eventually.

    Sanjib Saha

  • nice post relative to seo because you have discuss very well about black hat and white hat seo,

  • Amit Shaw

    Hi Deny,

    In the recent times, over optimization of SEO has been an issue of concern. You aptly wrote that to stay on top SERP, site owners and bloggers are indulging in rat race.I feel that, SEO should be crisp and wise which is enough for your sites to be the best. Also, users always look for the best content and best presentation. These factors count ultimately.


  • Marbella says:

    Hi Neka,
    The companies that have the most trouble are those who buy link pack of 5.000 skit links for $ 79. etc. and believe they will go in the top of the SERP. The result is the opposite, in the bottom of page 200, and ranking 2000.

    • Deny Saputra

      Agree in the some point!
      5k links from irrelevant sites, low-quality, bulk in a short time, and other bad sign will only waste that $79..

      That would be different both in result in SERPs and the “price” if site owners PAY people or company to build 5k links naturally from authority and relevant sites (and other good requirements or signs)

  • Donna Spears says:

    Is this really true that you will gain higher in ranking when you post other links in your website?
    I was quite unaware of this!

  • Deny Saputra

    There are many factors that affect ranking. And external links to other sites counted, but the portions are very small.
    External links are useful to help your readers to find more extensive information related your blog post.
    If you are plan to have an external links into other sites, make sure that you’ll give an relevant link that actually related and will useful for your visitors.
    DON’T add to many external links, or your bounce rates will increases.

  • Anton Koekemoer

    Hi Deny,

    Yes – With the new algorithm updates over optimized content and websites do get penalized. Even websites running to much or too many PPC ads can even get penalized as well.

  • Great job on this article. It’s really superb and informative. I like the way you call over optimized sites as parasites. 🙂 This really helped me alot. One of my site was also penalized because I used to practice unethical SEO, using automated softwares, post on spammy sites, etc. I’ve learned my lesson and will do things correctly.

  • Mohammad


    Yup i totally agree with your point of over using of the keywords is very dangerous for the site as it get spammed by the Google.


  • Hello Deny,

    I guess you have called them parasites as over optimized SEO blogs are not leaving scope for creative and good blogs to come to the fore. Regardless of the quality of the content of these blogs, they manage to stay on top because they are over optimized. I completely agree with you regarding your concerns. But Google’s measures are appreciable in tackling this menace.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Raj Kumar

  • Jessie Siega says:

    Over the last few years, with the rise of search engine optimization, various unscrupulous webmasters have manipulated their content to secure higher rankings, thus reducing the quality of content on Search. To crack down on this, Google has created algorithms that are detecting over-optimized sites created specifically with seo in mind, and bringing their ranking down by 950 pages, as a penalty. Sometimes, webmasters may inadvertently over-optimize, as, while writing about a topic, mention certain words repeatedly as part of the natural flow.

  • Jon

    Great write up. I agree that SEO is far from dead but over-optimizing is not only dangerous but can lead to bad search results. As much as these Google updates can screw with bloggers websites, as a user of Google search I’m thankful for them.

  • Some sites owners are experiencing problems with their sites because of SEO. I guess it’s just a fair result for some because they aren’t following the rules of Google to webmasters. This is a downside for site owners, but may result to a much better service from Google. And by the way, how do they decide what is over optimized and what is not, seems pretty random to me.

    • Deny Saputra

      Thanks for great comment!
      And yaa.. “how do they decide what is over optimized and what is not, seems pretty random to me.”

      If they build web content with the aim to manipulate search result (by making use of keyword stuffing, link spam, and other black hat techniques) without considering the user experience or provide users with useful content that actually help, then it can be decided that it’s over-optimized.

      If the site owners naturally build the content – even don’t think about SEO (just focus to provide users with quality content) then it can be decided that it’s NOT over-optimized.

  • Paula says:

    I really do understand Google’s move to eliminate spam as much as possible, however I do feel that understanding what they really mean by over optimisation really makes a novice like myself panic about doing anything at all. but let’s face it, if I want to succeed online then have to build links, I have to build quality content, and have to make all of my content to humans and not from Google. I really hope I’m on the right tracks with this.

    • Mike says:

      I totally understand what you mean here. I have a number of sites ranked number 1 for their search terms that I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. I know exactly the strategy that are used for both of these yet I feel a little bit reluctant to use exactly the same on my new site.

  • Mark says:

    Well I am loving these changes to Google serps. Many years ago I wrote for several blogs and I optimized my posts, keyword stuffed, spent endless hours/days at times getting backlinks, commenting and all the other “norm” SEO techniques, only to see slow gradual increases in rankings etc. I had to spend weeks to really improve rankings. The work vs payoff i felt was not worth it.

    Fast forward to now with an offline business and a blog that is intended to inform those we meet in person, our customers and word of mouth visitors etc., i am finding our posts rank well within minutes of going live and very little link building or seo optimization being done.

  • Marbella says:

    Hi Neka,
    The basic principle of all articles:
    To write an article is to write for your readers and not for Google serp. There are no readers who want to read an article that is littered with keywords. You make not loyal readers, and then you can not sell something to them, so write for the readers.

  • biobank says:

    Some sites owners are experiencing problems with their sites because of SEO. i guess it’s just a fair result for some because they aren’t following the rules of google to webmasters. This is a downside for site owners, but may result to a much better service from search engine. And by the way, how do they decide what is over optimized and what is not, seems pretty random to me.

  • Deny Saputra

    Not only you, that many are confused how a site can be said to be an over-optimized.
    However, I personally say that over-optimized sites is the websites that “over” in using keywords / phrase in their webpage with the aim of getting more value in search engine (keywords stuffing – not work anymore).
    Building too many unnatural links pointed to their webpage, and many more other unnatural approach with the purpose of cheating the serps.

  • Steven

    SEO is certainly not dead, you just have to be a lot more careful with what you are doing. If you paid to have 10000 links posted on forum profiles all with the same anchor text then you might be in trouble. If you build good content, interact with other sites, post guest blog posts etc. then you should be fine.

    • Deny Saputra

      Great comment Steve!
      And surely totally agree with it – that any unnatural looking techniques in SEO are not work well nowadays.

      Very different from the techniques executed with more consideration to the quality and conversion.
      And also keep in mind that with their newest algorithm, Google has a new calculation to rank a site.

  • Abhishek says:

    I think the recent updates by google were very much required and they will help deliver better results while using search engines. I remember there were many websites who used to be on top of search engines just by using unnatural links while their content was very thin. All these updates have ensured that only websites that do quality work will survive.

  • Magic Webs says:

    This is very helpful. Reading this article seems like pulling something out of my chest. Google finally decided to help the reliable sites rather than those that only are high ranking. The main purpose why people search the net is to find high quality sites. And thus, all sites should now conform with Google. I really love how Google thinks. This is great!

  • In the recent times, over optimization of SEO has been an issue of concern. You aptly wrote that to stay on top SERP, site owners and bloggers are indulging in rat race.I feel that, SEO should be crisp and wise which is enough for your website to be the most desireble. Also, users always look for the best content and best presentation. These factors count ultimately.

  • Brain says:


    You post a good article.I agree with you about overuse of keywords and all others point too. But the main thing is black hat SEO,black hat is destroy your site completely.The writer of the site should use only interesting articles shares which is helpful for others and its help to more traffic on your site.Your post is very helpful.
    Thanks for the great post!

  • Brad

    I have found that some of my competitors who over optimized their sites have taken a real hit since the Penguin/Panda update.