4 Tips to Avoid Spamminess
While SEO is incredibly important and something to implement into your online marketing efforts, you may be making some SEO over-optimization mistakes if you’re not careful. Even if your intentions are good, Google’s algorithms are prone to penalizing some sites and you may find yourself in “time out.” Here are some common mistakes to avoid.
Excessive Homepage Links
When it comes to backlinks, it’s important that they look natural. One problem that we see is Webmasters focusing solely on building homepage links and forgetting about other pages. If you have over 500 links pointing to your homepage and only a handful to other pages on your website, it’s probably going to be a red flag to Google and you may get penalized. For this reason, you should strive for more balance. Be sure your link profile contains references to other pages on your site. This looks more organic and is likely to improve your rankings. To do this requires quality content that worthy of other websites to point to.
Creating Too Many Links Too Quickly
Normal SEO logic might lead you to believe that adding hundreds of links overnight would help your rankings. We’ve seen tactics like going to Fiverr for quick links. In reality, this can get you penalized quicker than anything. It’s an SEO over-optimization mistake that many people make who are new to the game or don’t understand the difference between White Hat and Grey Hat SEO. If you just launched a site and all of a sudden there hundreds of other sites linking to it, Google will definitely know that something is up and your rankings will probably suffer. To avoid this problem, be sure that you gradually build links at a natural pace.
Another SEO over-optimization mistake is using duplicate content, especially around similar keywords. For instance, if you wrote a blog post called “earn money writing,” you wouldn’t want to make another called “earn money writing today.” Ever since the Hummingbird Update in the Fall of 2013, Google has placed more of an emphasis on search intent. So, duplicating content has become a serious no-no. At best, it isn’t going to help you rank any better and is a waste of time. At worst, Google will devalue your content and your website visibility in search may drop.
SEO Over-Optimization for Anchor Text
A relatively new mistake we see marketers make is using exact match anchor text or hyperlinking “money keywords.” Moz defines anchor text as “the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when link to another document or location on the web.”
According to Search Engine Watch, “money keywords are whatever term you’re trying to rank No. 1 for as opposed to more a natural-looking mix of linking anchor text.”
First, any links from a page should be relevant. Your content should be high quality, and written for the benefit of your reader not a search engine. For example, choose outbound links to references or sources of quotes (like the one in the paragraph above).
With Google’s Penguin update, they looked more closely at anchor text. Specifically, they target too many inbound links to contain the exact same anchor text. From their perspective, it’s a bit suspicious and unnatural. The point here is to be natural in the language contained in the anchor text.
What other SEO over-optimization mistakes would you add to our list?
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