Is Your Website Over Optimized?
Over optimization is when you take SEO to the extreme. You are trying to get a great spot in Google and other search engines by focusing more on how you can control the ranking process rather than how you can create good and useful content for your visitors. There is nothing wrong with SEO and it will be very difficult to rank high in the search engines if you do not have any SEO strategy. But there is a fine line between good SEO and over optimization. You may think that what you are doing is completely fine, though in the eyes of Google your site may look really spammy.
So how to know if your site is over optimized?
There are many different things you can look at to see if your site is over optimized or not. If your have a Google account you can use the Webmaster Tool to help give you a picture of what is happening on your site. Below are three examples of over optimization.
Anchor Text: in the Webmaster Tool you can see how many times other sites have linked to you using a specific anchor text. If you find that almost all of your backlinks are very keyword targeted and uses the same anchor text over and over again, this is characterized as over optimization and will not help your ranking, especially not in the future where there will be focused a lot more on this issue.
Keyword Stuffing: Read through the different pages on your site. Does the amount of keywords you use through your site make your content seem less fluent and natural? You must focus on creating good content and sometimes that can be difficult if you feel like you need to mention your keywords on every other line. So delete some of those unnecessary keywords and stick with a few instead.
Hidden Content: If you are trying to fill your website with keywords or links that are only visible to the search engine, you are violating the Google Guidelines and could get penalized. So remove all the hidden content you have on your page, since it will not improve your ranking. If you do not get a manual penalty you are sure to get hit by one of the algorithm updates Google is frequently releasing. These algorithms can be difficult to recover from, so make sure not to get hit in the first place.
There are many other ways your site could be over optimized but these are some of the typical examples. So improve your site and make sure to use SEO the right way.