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Google Over Optimization Penalty Says Don’t Overdo Your SEO


Getting Slapped by Google Isn't Nice!

At the end of April 2012, Google updated its algorithm. It was an algorithm change they’d been warning about, designed to crack down on ‘over-optimized’ websites. If you’re an Internet marketer or SEO expert, you’re probably thinking, ‘Gulp!’

The point of the change was to get rid of sites that don’t benefit the user. But lots of Internet marketers were finding their good, high-quality content sites hit hard as well.

So what gives? Let’s look at each of the things they targeted in detail and see what takeaways we can get out of it, read on…

Backlink Spam

Targeting backlink spam was a huge part of the update. This means low-quality backlinks from irrelevant sites. In other words, backlinks for the sake of backlinks just to increase your ranking in the search engine results pages.

Takeaway Get all of your backlinks from high quality authority sites that are relevant to your niche. Don’t get backlinks just to get backlinks. Think about getting human visitors.

Keyword Stuffing

Lots of the folks whose high quality sites were hit were hit presumably because they were keyword stuffed. Even moderately over-using keywords can now get you into trouble.

Takeaway – Use your keywords sparingly or don’t worry about them at all. Instead of trying to rank for a particular keyword, chose several that are relevant to your niche and pepper your content with them. Don’t go overboard.

Spun Content

A common strategy used to get more for your money is to take the content you buy and spin it so that it’s ‘unique.’ These spun articles will pass Copyscape and you can then shoot them all over the web for backlinks. After this last update, this is a no-no.

Takeaway – Create all original content to use for your site and backlinking. Again, focus on posting your articles to high quality sites that will get you more juice per backlink rather than just taking the shotgun approach.

My Tip:

Spun content is never very successful anyway. Most spinners still mean you have to edit and virtually re-write anyway – so why not do that in the first place? Makes life easier I reckon.

Link Bait

According to Google’s site, the update was also designed to go after ‘link bait.’ This means any kind of low quality content that’s crammed full of links leading back to your site.

Takeaway – Content truly is king. No more cutting corners on it. Make sure that the content you put out there gives value to your readers and helps them with their problems.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t put your eggs all in one basket. The marketers who came out unscathed did so because they’d diversified. They hadn’t relied on the search engine giant for all of their site’s traffic.

As long as you make sure you’re pulling in traffic from all different sources – social media, Bing, Yahoo, offline sources, etc. – you can weather any Google updates.

Actually, lots of people are calling this update the end of Google. Why? Because from user’s point of view, it screwed up the search results really badly. For a while, the number one ranking site for the keyword ‘make money online’ was a blank page! Lots of people think this update was a huge mistake and that Google’s going to pay for it.

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