Over optimizing your blog is more common than many blog owners realize. With all of the hype over SEO and ranking well on a Google SERP, it’s easy to get carried away with all of the different tactics and SEO tricks. Unfortunately, sometimes using too many SEO or using one SEO strategy too much can hurt your blog.
Google likes to see sites that are natural and not full of optimization. This proves to Google that your website was created for users and not the Google bots. For this reason, sites that are over-optimized raise a red flag in the eyes of Google and are often penalized by Penguin and/or Panda updates and then have to climb their way back up the SERPs.
Top Ways You Can Over-Optimize Your Blog (and How to Solve the Problem)
Although it might be tempting to over-optimize your blog, it’s easy to make sure you have a good balance if you understand where it’s easiest to make this mistake. Below are a few ways blog owners often over-optimize:
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- They target more than one keyword in the hopes of optimizing for them all.
This tactic might seem like a good idea, but it actually confuses Google and simply does not work. In other words, you want to focus on one specific keyword and optimize your articles for that one keyword. Trying to do too much will only discount the one keyword you really want Google to catch. Make sure you put this keyword in your image alt text, description tags and keyword tag, and a few times in the copy of the article. That’s all you need.
- They overdo the keyword density.
This point is a bit tricky because it seems to have changed over the years. In the past it was best to include your keyword in 2-5 percent of your article, but this has changed since the latest Penguin update. You can learn more about this change in an article I wrote found here. The short answer: You only need to include your keyword one or two times—any more and Google will think you’re over-optimizing and not writing for your readers.
- They use the same anchor text when earning backlinks.
More and more bloggers are beginning to offer guest posts as a way to earn backlinks for SEO. While this is a great tactic, it’s important that you continue to change the anchor text of your links. While many assume that the more links you have with a particular anchor text the better, this is actually over-optimization. Google wants things to be natural, and a bunch of links with the same anchor text simply is not natural.
- They aren’t creating titles that get readers to click on the blog.
Believe it or not, trying to optimize your titles for Google is actually hurting your blog. Trying to your keyword in the title tag is a good idea, but you want to make sure that it’s put there for readers. If the keyword makes the title less interesting than something you had originally written, people will either not click on the article or they will click on and click off. This shows Google that your content isn’t as valuable as it could be, and thus your optimization tactic backfired.
Do you know of any other ways that a blog owner might over-optimize his/her blog? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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<a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/113948183183915741351/posts?rel=author”>Amanda DiSilvestro</a> is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.