SEO is here to stay for a long time. Though it’s important to stick to best SEO practices and guidelines, you should never use too much SEO. Google spam team head Matt Cutts attended the SXSW a week ago. During his panel, he announced that Google is working on an update that’ll specifically target those websites that indulge in overdoing SEO.
Matt’s announcement is yet another proof that SEO won’t die soon. It’s here to stay and webmasters need to be more careful while incorporating search optimization strategies into their sites.
So, you need to ask – ‘Is my site overly SEO’ed?
The upcoming update is going to be a massive one. A hard pill to swallow for SEOs! Though Google usually doesn’t pre-announce an algorithmic update, this announcement should quickly raise the ears of SEOs around the globe. If you are working really hard at SEO (which I know many of you do), it’s about time you stopped this right away.
Though over-optimization or overdone SEO has been in discussion for a long time, you can’t ignore it anymore. The algorithmic update (which many Google engineers are already working on) will be launched anytime in the next few weeks. It sounds pretty scary, right?
Signs of Over-Optimization
I know this is what you actually want to ask. You want to know how much SEO is too much so that you can identify whether your site is overly SEO’ed. On the other hand, there are those who are over-optimizing their web pages and they know that they are overdoing it. Brace yourself!
A site is overly SEO’ed if –
it repeats keywords in Meta tags
it has long keyword-stuffed URL strings
it has keyword-stuffed alt tags
it focuses on SEO content, rather than the visitor
it has an unnatural backlinks profile
it has too many anchor-text manipulated hyperlinks on web pages
Many times, you would force yourself to complete 500 words when you can say or express your idea in just 300 words. You do it only because you want to meet a mythical search engine word count so that you can rank at top positions in search engine results pages. This is exactly when you start to create fluffy SEO copy, which indicates you are in the habit of overdoing SEO.
What to Do
Without any delay, you should warn all your SEOs or the search optimization agency (if you outsource the work) to beware before it’s too late. If you’re working with a SEO company, it’s always a good idea to keep a close watch on everything they are doing to improve your site’s rankings. Don’t make the mistake of handling your sites to a SEO agency or professional and never bothering to check what strategies they are using. After all, it’s your businesses and you’re accountable for where you want to take it.
Please people and search engines will be happy too. Google has told it time and again that they want to enhance the web user’s experience. If you want your site to survive in search rankings, you need to focus all of your attention to people. By writing for people, you won’t only escape search penalties, but you’ll also increase the rate of conversion on your site.
And, be careful if you plan to hire a SEO agency or professional because prevention is always better than cure.
Should Google Define ‘Too Much SEO’ or ‘Over-Optimization’?
This is an important question. A lot of people are worried because they have no idea how Google is going to differentiate between great content and overly SEO’ed sites. Publishers and small businesses are investing in SEO in large numbers. They really need more clarity about what Google considers as ‘over-optimized’ or ‘overly SEO’ed’. Will Google ever answer?
What do you have to say about this upcoming Google search update? I really hope that your site doesn’t fall into the ‘overly SEO’ed’ catgory.