Can You Actually Over-Optimize Your Website?

       6 min read

By now, we all know that performing proper SEO is vitally important for getting your website ranked in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for your chosen keywords. So the more optimization you do, the better, right? Not true! The truth is that over-optimizing your website can actually hurt your website’s effort to rank better. Consider the following tips for maximizing both your on-page and off-page SEO:

Keyword Stuffing

This is probably the most common type of over-optimization, for the simple reason that it used to be acceptable in the old days. While it certainly worked in the past, keyword stuffing is ineffective and offputting today. Not only is not helping, but it's also actively hurting you. Google and other search engines now penalize keyword stuffing by diminishing your ranking. Instead of being overly specific, focus on creating valuable content that includes keywords in a natural way that a human would consume your content. Remember, this is more than just putting too many specific keywords in the actual content. Keyword stuffing the URLs and titles come off clunky, unprofessional and don’t read well.

Shady Backlinks

Although backlinks are incredibly valuable in helping to improve your search engine rankings, building too many, too quickly looks suspicious to Google. For this reason, it’s important to build quality links from real websites, and no more than 30-100 per day. This window is more than enough for a small- to medium-sized business who isn’t implementing a Black Hat backlink profile.

Exact Anchor Text

Incorporating anchor text, both internally and external, within your content is crucial for SEO success. But did you know that exactly how you word the text within the link matters to Google? Many, even professionals, do not. Here’s two examples that lead to the url

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Google much prefers the second option. Anchors that use the specific URL of the destination or anchors that use exact keywords are bad. Using keyword-rich anchors too much begins to ruin your link profile. Your link profile is the most important component of your SEO. Don’t ruin it by trying to be too exact; this is usually a tactic that low-quality SEO’s use to build links.

Changing Too Often

Even if you’re not doing anything else wrong, constantly changing your content or strategy is detrimental as well. Generally, there are two instances where you would want to revisit your title tags and meta descriptions. The first reason is if you have heard of an upcoming Google Algorithm update and you think you might be in danger of losing ranking due to not following the new guidelines. The second time is if you would need to update your title tags and meta descriptions for an update to your keyword strategy, to reflect new services or areas being targeted. It can be difficult to wait for success, but trying new keywords and changing every few weeks because you aren’t seeing positive results means you aren’t giving Google enough time to crawl and properly award your authority. Hubspot recommends giving a piece 3-4 months before deciding whether to refresh it with new keywords or not.

The dangers of over-optimization is just one reason SEO can be confusing and difficult for many entrepreneurs. But Impulse Creative can help! Download our free eBook Modern SEO today and get expert tips and suggestions.

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