Avoiding Over-Optimized Content
While many search engine optimization (SEO) companies will work hard to optimize your website, there is a fine line that can be crossed. Properly optimized content is vitally important to any website’s traffic. With Google creating algorithms that can penalize your site for manipulated content, it’s good to become familiar with the idea of over-optimized content, so you can avoid penalties.
1. Avoid stuffing keywords: You are on your way to a fully optimized website — you’ve narrowed down the keywords that need to be targeted for your home page. You’re feeling inspired and can’t wait to get your content written. This is a great opportunity to get as many keywords in there as possible, right? Wrong.
Once upon a time, there was a keyword percentage density to nail. Not anymore! There is a lot of debate here, but the general rule of thumb is to keep it to a minimum and make it natural. Cross the threshold though and watch your rankings drop. Google has an algorithm for everything and one of those focuses on keyword stuffing. The “Florida Update” was designed to penalize pages that are considered to be stuffed with keywords or generally over-optimized. Our best advice for avoiding this mistake: hire a strong writer for your content. If you’re writing it yourself, make sure it sounds like a human being wrote it and try to engage the reader (while naturally tying in your targeted keywords). The best way to stay on search engine’s good sides is to provide visitors to your website with great content.
2. Stay away from duplicate content: Many new clients have come to Lead to Conversion because their site is no longer ranking for certain keywords and they’re seeing a dramatic drop in visitors. After looking into the causes, we often land at a Google Panda penalty. This algorithm is strictly designed to penalize sites with duplicate content or just poor content, in general.
When writing content for your site, make sure it’s original and not copied and pasted from other sites or even pages within your own website. Duplicate content can surprise a lot of people because it can be spawned from abnormal URLs and no canonical tags. Things like a page that loads with or without a trailing slash can cause problems, so technical audits are equally as important here as content audits. Along the same lines as writing it yourself, or by a professional, don’t let a computer write it! Google has algorithms to detect such things. If you’re not good at writing or you’re not fluent in the language you’re trying to write in, don’t simply let a computer do it.
3. Don’t overdo internal links: Internal links are a great tool to use within your content to keep traffic on your website and coming back for more. It can also be a good signal to search engines about the relationship, topic and importance of content. However, much like keywords, excessive internal linking within your website not only looks unnatural, but can also work against you. Overdoing internal links looks like spam to search engines, leading to a negative effect in your search rankings.