Google Targeting Over-Optimisation

In an effort to “level the playing field,” Google announced that it would be tweaking their search bots to look for “over-optimisation,” or sites that use too many keywords or appear to have too many links (which indicates link baiting). This effort, says Matt Cutts, would help high quality sites with strong content show up as more relevant in searches. Could you be unintentionally over-optimising?

And will this change affect your site?

Google’s search bots are already on the lookout for spammy links and keywords within low value content sites, so what exactly does the change target? According to Matt Cutts, it is aimed at “people who sort of abuse it whether they throw too many keywords on the page, or whether they exchange too many links, or whatever they’re doing to sort of go beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area.”

In other words, who knows exactly what they’re looking at? But it is worthwhile to comb through your site to see if you have done things like link to a page from within that same page or have used too many keywords in a particular page. While the density is not exact, shoot for about 2 to 3 percent. In a 100 word paragraph, for instance, you may mention your keyword twice or so – if it flows naturally with the content. You can implement synonyms naturally as well, to help Google distinguish which “bat” you mean, or which version of “football” you’re talking about, for instance.

Cutts indicates that “several engineers” are working on the change and the penalty may go live within the next several weeks.

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