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Solving the SEO Over Optimisation Mystery

Digital8 has written this blog to explain Over Optimisation - what it is, why it costs more to fix rather then starting SEO from scratch? 

 

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What is over optimisation?

Over optimisation can be defined as any activity in regards to SEO which is done in excess. It often means that websites of over done link building, keyword stuffing, overusing keyword rich internal links, use of non-relevant keywords, pointing internal links to top level navigation pages rather than more relevant pages, using an to many h1 (heading or title font) or h2 tags throughout content and a keyword stuffed footer (cue horror movie music).

So, if you’re still wondering what I’m talking about..

When optimising your website, it is best to optimise it so that it is easier for people to navigate and to read the content. 

Why it used to work:

Back when SEO was just beginning to take off, over optimisation was the way that sites gained rank. It was a quick, dirty and easy solution to boost websites in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). By using these techniques, webmasters or SEOs were able to trick search engines into thinking that their website was much more relevant for a search term than it may actually be. So it would work short term but then slowly lose ranks until one day Google decided that websites needed to be more user friendly and everyone who had used this as a technique to boost their scores quickly dropped out of existence on Google. 

Why doesn’t it work anymore?

In April of 2012, Google released the very first Penguin update. It was the first "Web spam update”. The Penguin update was all about penalising websites that were using spammy techniques such as over optimisation.  So, once that update was rolled out as well all subsequent roll outs of Penguin any website that was (or still is) using any of those techniques has been penalised with poor rankings, or removal from the Google index - until they clean up their website. 

So why do we charge more for fixing over optimised websites?

These websites require a much more in-depth auditing process, the removal of meta data, irrelevant content, and removal of keyword stuffed footers. Once the removal of the spammy on site content is complete, we then have to evaluate and clean the websites link profile - which can be a exhaustive, time consuming process. If your website has received a manual penalty via Google Webmaster Tools, we will have to document everything that we’ve done to correct your website. Digital8 then submits a reconsideration request to Google so that they can go over all of our actions and remove the penalty - thereby restoring your website to the Google Index. 

Depending on your budget, this can either take days, weeks, or months. 

Once we’ve done that, we can begin re-optimising your website or we can re-optimise as we go. So, in summary if you aren’t an SEO specialist be very careful about how you optimise your website, because it can be time consuming.

What is over optimisation?

Over optimisation can be defined as any activity in regards to SEO which is done in excess. Ok. So what does that mean? It means that when you are link building, don’t over do it; keyword stuffing - also a no-no; overusing keyword rich internal links; use of non-relevant keywords; pointing internal links to top levee navigation pages - rather than more relevant pages; using an excessive amount of h1 or h2 tags throughout your content; and my pet peeve - the keyword stuffed footer (cue horror movie music).

So, if you’re still wondering what i’m talking about, let me break it down further ...

When optimising your website, optimise it so that it is easier for people to navigate and to read the content. Don’t optimise for search engines. Don’t go crazy with your SEO (using the above mentioned tactics), thinking that you are helping your ranks - because in the long term, you won’t be. 

Why it used to work:

Back when SEO was just beginning to take off, over optimisation was the way that sites gained rank. It was a quick and easy solution to boost websites in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). By using these techniques, webmasters or SEOs were able to trick search engines into thinking that their website was much more relevant for a search term than it may actually be. So it would work short term.. but then slowly lose ranks.. until one day Google decided that websites needed to be more user friendly… and everyone who had used this as a technique to boost their scores… quickly dropped out of existence on Google. 

Why doesn’t it work anymore?

In April of 2012, Google released the very first Penguin update. It was the first "Web spam update”. The Penguin update was all about penalising websites that were using spammy techniques - such as over optimisation.  So, once that update was rolled out as well all subsequent roll outs of Penguin… any website that was (or still is) using any of those techniques has been penalised with poor rankings, or removal from the Google index - until they clean up their website. 

So why do we charge extra for fixing over optimised websites?

Simple, they are a lot more work. They require a much more in-depth auditing process, the removal of meta data, irrelevant content, removal of keyword stuffed footers etc etc. They are simply a lot of extra work. Once the removal of the spammy on site content is complete, we then have to evaluate and clean the websites link profile - which can be a exhaustive, time consuming process. If your website has received a manual penalty via Google Webmaster Tools, we will have to document everything that we’ve done to correct your website. We document everything so that once we’ve corrected everything, we can submit a reconsideration request to Google so that they can go over all of our actions and remove the penalty - thereby restoring your website to the Google Index. 

Depending on your budget, this can either take days, weeks, or months. 

Once we’ve done that, we can finally begin re-optimising your website. Or, if your budget allows it, we can re-optimise as we go - but this too increases your monthly SEO cost. 

So, in summary - if you aren’t an SEO specialist be very careful about how you optimise your website, because it can cost you a fortune!