Google to Penalize “Over Optimized” Sites

There has been quite a bit of talk in recent days about an announcement that Matt Cutts (Google Engineer and head of the Spam Team) recently made at the SXSW conference where he said that Google would soon be penalizing over optimized sites. With this news has come a series of questions from clients about how this could affect their rankings. While our default content and SEO efforts for clients on the FUSION SEO Pro package don’t have anything to worry about  Here are some of our thoughts…..

Too many keywords on a page…
In Matt’s discussion he specifically mentioned “too many keywords on a page” – here are some things that Google might look for…

Page Titles: Long page titles with excessive keyword stuffing
Meta Keywords & Meta Description: While Google hasn’t used these for ranking purposes an over saturation of keywords in these areas might serve as an additional signal that you’re attempting to spam. Bing uses meta keyword stuffing as a spam signal as well.
Content: Abnormally high concentrations of keywords in site content. Long lists of keywords either listed as bullets or in body copy as comma separated values.

Link Exchanges
Are you participating in link exchanges or building sites to point to your own domains? If so then this part of the “over optimization” penalty could apply to you. Here are some things that Google might look for…

Run of site links: if you’re receiving an abnormal number of links from other sites that appear everywhere on that site (footer links for example).
Keyword Anchor Text: if you’re receiving a high volume of links with anchor text specifically targeting keywords as opposed to a better mix of brand related keywords.

These kinds of things are avoided in both our out-of-the-box SEO and our FUSION SEO Pro package so we don’t anticipate issues with clients unless they’ve undertaken these kinds of practices on their own. However this is something we’ll continue to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months.

For more information there’s a very good article on this topic at SearchEngineLand.com.

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