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Search engine optimisation (SEO) now has another trend to keep in your little bag of techniques.  You may have heard of Google’s over optimisation penalty for those who have really incorporated SEO efforts without too much regard to the content of the site. There are already existing penalties, but it seems that these are not enough.

Help yourself avoid penalisation by reading through the guidelines below.

What Will You Be Penalised For?

Google has not yet revealed (nor we expect that they will) how exactly the penalty system is triggered but we have the following suspicions:

  • Excessive backlinking, especially to low quality sites or content
  • Too much anchor text used. This can be backed up by some web admin’s observations that content with more organic content are being ranked higher by Google
  • Spammy titles and keyword stuffing. Too dense keywords can backfire on you.

Now please be aware that this information is not directly from Google, but judging from their intent in improving the content of sites, this is what we deduce.

Why Was This Done?

Primarily, this was done to protect the end users from being led to sites that will not give them much value. Guilty of this are forums that stuff keywords in search boxes and sitemaps at the bottom of the page, without really giving information relevant to the keywords that you searched.

This was also done to make sure that content providers are focusing on quality not just on higher search engine ranking.

How Do You Avoid It?

Here are some steps that you need to take to ensure that you will not be grossly affected by the Penguin update.

  1. Create relevant backlinks. Backlinks to and from your site to relevant and related items are a must.
  2. Don’t stuff your content with keywords. A keyword density of 2 to 3% is good enough, especially if they are inserted in a natural way. It is better to under perform at the rankings game than to be penalised because of over optimisation.
  3. Increase traffic not just through SEO efforts but by expanding your community through the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Adjustments You Need To Make

If you have always focused on quality search engine optimisation techniques, there shouldn’t be many changes to be made to your site, if any.

If your website is reasonably new, remember to keep the keyword phrases to a minimum and use a variety of alternatives throughout your content.  If you don’t go overboard, you shouldn’t suffer from this new penalty.

We should expect similar updates in the future since it would be wise to assume that Google will relentlessly push for quality upgrades. Our job as content providers is to think foremost of our readers and visitors, enticing them in through quality content and compelling user experiences so that they would naturally go back to your site, with or without SEO efforts.

Would you like to learn many more search engine optimisation techniques?  Join one of our hands-on advanced SEO training workshops at a place near you!

Google’s New Over-Optimisation Penalty was last modified: May 1st, 2012 by Sue Cooper