Websites that use too many keywords will soon face Google’s over optimization penalties. According to a March, 2012 announcement by Google’s Matt Cutts, the search engine leader is making plans to sanction offenders.
Citing a desire to equalize the industry for all website creators, Cutts explained that those who overindulge in SEO will be dropped from Google searches. If a website violates the search giant’s SEO parameters in a combination of categories, then Google’s over optimization penalties will result in removing the website from its index, and the bot crawlers won’t be stopping in to see what’s new anymore.
The Chief Culprits
A professional web development company seldom commits the multitude of faux pas that inspired the Google crackdown. Rather, amateur webmasters who know just enough about SEO to take it to the extreme are the chief culprits. However, web dabblers and professionals alike should take note of the following SEO mistakes that could potentially attract Google’s over optimization penalties from the number one search engine on the web.
1. Over-the-top keyword packing: Keywords constitute the primary search engine optimization strategy, and web designers may believe that the sky is the limit. In fact, keywords should only appear about one or two times per 100 words of content. That constitutes a density of 1 or 2 percent, which is copacetic with the search engine giant. If the keyword content is edging beyond five percent, chances are good that it will earn Google’s over optimization penalties. Do not even try to follow a formula for keyword density, just write naturally!
2. Suspicious incoming links: On the ideal Internet, websites would earn links from other websites through meritorious content. Inbound links are valuable to websites in building brand and establishing authority in their industries. In reality, however, developers can purchase inbound links from vendors that specialize in this type of fare. The search engine giant believes that links should be earned, and purchased links may merit Google’s over optimization penalties.
3. Imitative or fluff content: The search bots ferret out inferior, filler riddled content on websites. Weak or repetitive text can indicate that the website is purposed exclusively for search results and qualify for Google’s over optimization penalties. A professional skilled in SEO content writing can easily fix this problem.
4. Unattractive website: Websites that are clearly placeholders for search ranking purposes may be flagged for Google sanctions. Underdeveloped content, lack of user engagement features and ugly design can unmask optimization manipulations. A web design company can help.
5. Internal links by keyword: Using a keyword or phrase as a part of the verbiage on an internal site link can be a wise strategy, but like other strategies it cannot be overutilized and still pass Google muster.
6. Blocks of keywords: Considered very bad form, putting a text block composed entirely of keywords on a web page is not only unsightly but counterproductive in terms of improving search ranking. Similar to keyword packing, it constitutes a blatant call-out to be excluded from the Google index.
7. A dearth of user value: A website should have a raison d’etre. If it offers no value to visitors, it should not be taking up virtual space. Skilled SEO content writing can rectify the situation.
8. Artificial titles: Titles can contain keywords; in fact, they should. The content writer also needs to localize that keyword or phrase through the use of other specific words. For example, “Mobile Car Repair” is obviously a generic key phrase turned title. By adding a location word like “Montana” and a characterization word, like “Instant,” the title becomes a more acceptable “Montana Instant Mobile Car Repair.”
9. Footer stuffed with keywords: Even if tucked away in the footer of a web page, keyword stuffing is strictly bad form and may attract Google’s over optimization penalties.
10. Pages with similar Meta tags and content: Each page of a website should be unique. On a site that sells sport boats, each model may have a separate page. However, five pages tagged with the key phrase “20 foot runabout,” are liable to cull Google’s over optimization penalties. To differentiate these pages, the site should use page specific tags, such as “Bayliner 20 foot runabout,” “SeaRay 20 foot runabout,” and so on.
Staying in the good graces of Google is a matter of common sense and restraint. Many keywords do not equal better search rankings. The new standards for SEO are good reasons to hire a web development service to eliminate those website elements that do not provide meaningful value to users.