A lot of people who study the art of SEO are able to get their pages to the top of Google, even if their site isn’t actually the best site for that search phrase. Better content gets lost because of SEO, rather than because of content.
Google is aiming to change all of that. In the near future, they’ll be bringing out an algorithm change that’s designed to penalize websites that have “too much SEO.”
What exact does that mean? How can you avoid getting penalized?
In short, your site should appear as natural as possible – As if your site was just on the web to put out content. More specifically, here are some of the things you should pay attention to.
Don’t: Cause All Your Backlinks
If you’re the only person who’s causing backlinks to your site, you can bet Google can tell. If you’re doing things like blog commenting, profile submissions, Web 2.0 links and so on, Google knows those are all links that you can personally cause. It looks unnatural.
Don’t: Overly Optimize Anchor Text
The anchor text from links linking to you should look natural. That means some links will say things like “I love this site” or “click here to learn more” rather than having your keyword.
One big mistake a lot of marketers make is paying other people to link to them with specific anchor texts. This can actually hurt you. Let people link to you with whatever anchors they want. You should only have specific keyword anchors 20% to 30% of the time.
Don’t: Pay Attention to Keyword Density
If you go out of your way to use specific words a specific number of times in your text, you’re probably doing something wrong. Having a “6% keyword density” is not going to help you rank.
In fact, what it’ll really do is make your content sound weird while potentially hurting your rankings. Write your content for real people. That’s what Google wants. Keyword density hasn’t mattered for years now.
Don’t: Use Complex Linking Schemes
Are you using link wheels, link magnets, private link networks or other similar complex linking strategies?
The problem with many of these strategies is that they look similar and leave footprints. Google literally has a team of several hundred PhD’s with astronomical IQs creating algorithms to combat these kinds of link strategies.
If you’re thinking of using a complex link strategy, you’re probably better off just leaving it at the door. Especially with Google’s new anti-SEO slant.
Don’t: Use Too Much Aggregate Content
Are you using content scrapers like Caffeinated Content or scraping RSS feeds and using that as a source of content on your website? If so, you could probably kiss your rankings goodbye.
Google doesn’t want to rank websites that just re-wash other people’s content and post it up as their own. They want fresh, original content. Even if you can do SEO better than the original content creators, chances are you’re going to get penalized for it.
Don’t: Cloak or Keyword Stuff
If you’re using techniques like cloaking (showing search engines one page and people another page) or techniques like keyword stuffing, you can pretty much expect to get penalized.
Again, the rule of thumb is real high quality content. Anything that you do to deliberately try and fool the search engines is more likely than not going to backfire.
Don’t: Write Similar Content for Similar Keywords
A lot of people who create websites for search engines try to create a separate exact match title page for every keyword they’re targeting. For example, you might have these two keywords as two different pages:
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When in reality, both pages really contain the same content.
Don’t do this. Combine both pages and have one high quality page, rather than try to get an exact match title for every page you’re targeting.
These are some of the things that Google is looking out for in websites that are “too optimized.”Read More ...