SEO Over Optimization Warnings – Steps to Take in 2012

SEO continues to get more specific and a bit harder the case of SERPs and gaining leverage. In many respects its becoming the Web that we wished for, for so many years. Though as SEO’s that means we need to wear our hats a little differently and be willing to nut-up to the changes.

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The titles continue to roll in:


What does this mean, and what are the solutions? Well if you’ve been keeping to the MO that has been preached for years, this means that if you are a great content creator…and fill your pages with valuable, semantic, relative content….you should be just fine.

If you’ve been using shortcuts to implore clever SEO tactics in the effort to overshadow lousy or small inadequate content, then this article is for you. Let’s take a look at whats being said:

Google has announced that they will be cracking down harder on sites that use SEO to the extreme without really offering value. This change includes “penalty” targeting sites that over optimize. The stated purpose is to “level the playing field”

Matt Cutts goes on record with the following statement:

“So all those people who have sort of been doing, for lack of a better word, “over optimization” or “overly” doing their SEO, compared to the people who are just making great content and trying to make a fantastic site, we want to sort of make that playing field a little bit more level”

- Stop obsessing over your meta tags – and analyze your actual content
- Is your content relative, does it bring value, or is it only marketing filled keywords?
- Quite obsessing over those “anchor Links” – Do what you need to keep content relative but dont worry about every word having a link to somewhere else. (hmm, does this imply that Wikipedia may be effected) A good rule of thumb is fine relationships between pages and use those as anchor links.
- Think more about what content holes can be filled. Write articles that you think would interest others, rather than just keyword articles. A nice mix of both is my suggestion, or at least for testing purposes.


My takeaway is that once you’ve determined your target articles base on keyword importance and assumed reader interest, you should shoot for naturally sounding articles that incorporate at least 400-500 words per article. Once this is in place THEN run down the checklist of SEO implementations. This creates a solid content page with strong SEO implementation.

Alot of recent articles have appeared on this issue. Essentially what is being said in a nutshell is that black hat taticts are becoming a thing of the past. Google is designing their SERPS to find relavance, a decent amount of content on the page and that the article is deemed sufficient (using a variety of metrics). While that may sound cryptic, the firm takeaway is that if you set out to build a decent comrpehensive article on a subject, you should be ok (dont forget to add basic SEO practices- also to the article). What wil be affected are those shorter, overstuffed nonsense pages that only serve to gain SEO rather than a worthy contribution.

With that being said, a good example might be if I set out to build 5-6 articles based around a subject…say “tyrannosaurus rex”
With 5 or 6 well written articles that are at least 400-500 words, it’s fair to say that I may rank well for that keyword term (give or take on competition)
Now keep in mind, if you take that approach with the keyword “SEO“, you may rank…though not very high…as the competition is steep.
So also consider the keyword competition, and build your articles on that factor as well.

Note: Also make sure and refer to my article on 1 Page websites

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About Michael Bohatch - SimpleInbound

Michael Bohatch has been involved with SEO and Inbound Marketing since its inception. Michael provides professional services that combine his experience in Web Analytics, SEM, SEO and Inbound Marketing for a comprehensive strategic approach to web optimization. is an advice blog where he documents some of his findings.
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2 Responses to SEO Over Optimization Warnings – Steps to Take in 2012

  1. Hello Michael, I have gone through your article and I want to add here something. In the recent times there are lots of changes in the world of SEO. And keep yourself update about these changes. Over optimization – the word we have heard each n every places in this SEO world but what does it mean? Your article help us and the other readers to understand this topic. Avoid keyword stuffing, avoid irrelevant link building, avoid spun article, avoid link farm or link sell, avoid irrelevant keyword using in your web content – these can be protect yourself from the SLAP of Penguin. So keep concentrate in your quality not in your quantity. Best of luck. :)

  2. Hey this is my 1st visit in your blog and quite impressed with this article. I want to share some more tips on this issue. I think avoid Doorway pages, hidden texts, spun content, irrelevant use of link and anchor texts, avoid link farm / paid links – can be the solution of recovering yourself from Penguin. I suggest to be honest in your SEO work and don’t spam anymore. Otherwise you will be penalized by Google. Keep it up – loveto see more from you. :)

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