Over optimisation: 5 common mistakes to avoid

Over-Optimisation

In light of the recent Google Algorithm updates, I thought it might be useful to write a post around the 5 most common mistakes.

Now when I say mistakes, I mean over optimisation, or doing to much SEO (yes there is such a thing!).

Google recently released an updated called Penguin and you can read more about it here.

Below I’ve listed 5 classic mistakes which you need to fix or avoid.

Stuffed footers

One technique that has been widely used is to add keyword rich links in the footer of your site, I’m not just talking about one of two links which is OK, I’m talking about 30, 40 or even 50 links at the end of a web page.

Whilst many would argue it’s to help users, Google classes this as over optimisation as you are trying to use your most authoritative pages to pass PageRank through to these internal pages, which more than likely with be doorway pages, read more on these here.

Poorly written, copied and keyword stuffed content

Whilst I don’t claim to be the best writer in the word, all of the content on my site is written by me.

I’ve seen many examples where websites owners are lifting content from other sites (copying content) and passing it off as there own. Also rewriting the copy and changing a few few words is also a big no, no.

Then to top it off, some webmasters will order content which is poorly written or use software to rewrite content which is keyword stuffed – seriously, Google is about the user and your content needs to be focused at the user.

Mass article syndication

One thing that really bugs me is article syndication – let me ask you a question, where is the value is syndicating an article x100 which isn’t unique! As I’ve mentioned above, there is no value in copied content across sites, why would Google want to index the same content over and over again?

Here is a video by Matt Cutts. In the video he talks about article syndication a little more.

Link exchanges (aka reciprocal links)

This one is very simple, Google has been telling us all for years to avoid, quote “excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging”, but yet many webmasters still do this.

This has to be one of the oldest linking techniques which is seen as a negative method – so stop now as Google is after these links even more now.

Chasing exact anchor text – every time!

Something which is very easy to do is chase the same keyword or phrase over and over again. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, each web page should target up to 12 different or related phrases. If you chase the same phrases or anchor text every time, surely you’re ‘over’ doing it.

You need to mix it up, you need to make it look natural.

Do you have any thoughts or feedback? Leave your comments below.

Credit: Sign post image from SXC.hu

This post was written by , Dave is a digital marketer specialising in SEO and PPC, and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

2 Responses to “Over optimisation: 5 common mistakes to avoid”

  1. Hi Dave,

    So good points here, some old, I am surprised that people still try keyword stuffing, and some new, exact anchor did work until recently and many people will still advise to optimise each page for one key phrase only. I’m with you, anchor text should be varied and you should use a good number of closely related keywords as well as non keyword anchor texts.

    I am sure you can think of another 5 mistakes.

    Cheers
    Roger

    • Dave Cain says:

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks for the comments and yes there are a lot more than 5 mistakes to talk about! Another blog post might be coming soon…

      Thanks,
      Dave.

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