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Search Engine De-optimization For Over Optimized Content
As much as every marketer pushes SEO, handling it wrong can cause more hassle than it is worth.
Too much SEO optimization can cause your content to de-optimize, which in turn could affect your website’s Google rankings and decrease traffic.
But what is over-optimized content?
Over-optimized content takes SEO to another level. This content is more often than not keyword overkill with so many links that it becomes hard to read and comes across almost like email spam.
Believe it or not, about 10 years back over-optimization was praised by search engines and their rankings.
However, Google changed everything when it tightened its rules in April 2012 and introduced a penalty for those who were trying way too hard to manipulate Google rankings.
Websites that added too many links and non-relevant keywords were quickly put straight to the bottom of Google’s pile.
Yet the times continue to change, and now over-optimization is treated much differently by the search engine. Any content found to consistently use more than one H1 header on a page, link to low authority sites, or use links in the footer of articles can now also be easily seen as over optimized content.
Why does this backfire?
Over-optimization can be easily detected by Google’s algorithms, Panda, and Penguin.
Google studies all of the keywords used on a site before ranking relevant queries and content. Too many links or keywords unrelated to the site and its purpose will automatically weaken it in the eyes of the search engine.
In addition, linking to low authority sites will start to push your site down in search results rankings as well..
Evidence also shows that Google does devalue sites with links at the bottom of an article. That’s because the number of people who read all the way to the bottom of a page are so few that footer links have little to no SEO value.
Anything resembling these elements will not comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
It is a real shame when so many people choose the long haul process of SEO over SEM that, sometimes, it simply isn’t worth it.
There are quite a few benefits of choosing to leverage both SEO and SEM that you should read about if you are currently stuck in the mud.
Step-by-step guide on how to de-optimize content
There are a few tips and tricks you can use to de-optimize your site - all of which start by accepting the fact that you may have taken your SEO prowess a little too far.
Find the content you need to optimize
It’s hard to tell yourself that your content is to blame for its lack of search engine traffic, and much easier to blame it on the mysterious ways of Google.
However, if you plan to fix your website from an SEO perspective, you need to face some harsh truths.
Search through every page of your website to find the culprits behind your low search engine ranking. They should stick out like a sore thumb - full of keyword anchor text, lots of backlinks to low authority websites, and a footer with far too many keywords.
Simply looking over the text will give you a pretty good idea of what you need to do next.
When it comes to analyzing your faulty content, lists are everything. Note down every page that needs fixing so you know exactly where you stand right from the start.
Once you’ve done that, go back over the text, decide on just two keywords that you would like to emphasize for each article, and research them using Google Adwords to make sure you are on the right track.
Now is also a good time to familiarise yourself with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to ensure that you will be a pro at knowing exactly what the search engines want by the time you come to fix your content,
Start the de-optimization process
Depending on how much over-optimized content you have, this part may turn out to be quite a long slog.
Keep in mind that once complete, your site’s ranking will start to rise, traffic and conversion rates will increase, and your business will be all set to boom.
After all, SEO is known for being a great long-term investment when compared to paying for ads, which is more of a short-term fix.
There are a few ways to go about this - you can either decide to scrap particularly bad or outdated work and start again, or use Google’s guidelines to fix and boost your articles to where they belong.
You could, of course, choose to do a little bit of both.
Start by removing low authority links and replacing them with high-traffic, well-written sites that rank well on Google. Use tools like Moz or AHREFS to judge the quality of a domain you’re linking to.
You should also footer keywords and links, preventing overuse of keywords that match a link’s anchor text and ensuring all your content is relevant and up-to-date.
Check your website’s progress
All that hard work shouldn’t be for nothing, right? To make sure you’ve done enough and your de-optimization work is paying off, you should really make sure to check how your website is doing.
Use the tool Fetch as Google directly from your Search Console Account so Google can see exactly what is happening with your website and move you up the rankings.
An easy way to submit new content all at once is by submitting a site map, in other words, a model of your website’s new articles as a .xml file.
To see how your website is doing, track your keywords. The easiest way to do this is by using a rank checking tool. If your search is visibility soaring then great, your work is complete!
However, if your site is still struggling, it may be worth revisiting or even getting in touch with an SEO specialist.
The bottom line
Reading this article, you may have realized that the makings of a great SEO strategy are a lot more than meets the eye.
Having a low ranking website can be very damaging for business nowadays, so it is important to act fast using our tips above.
Make sure to watch out for poor links, irrelevant articles, and keyword overkill that will ultimately kill your revenue. Fix it fast to stay on track.
Nipping teething problems in the bud as early as possible is the best way to prevent a ranking catastrophe.
However, you need to remember that SEO is a lot of hard work that never really stops coming your way.
It isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, and everything that goes onto your site really should be vetted first to make sure it fits Google’s requirements.
If you don’t have the capacity to be constantly checking how your website is doing and looking for what could be going wrong, then it may be time to ask a professional team for help.
After all, spending the extra money will be worth it for the amount of revenue brought in by a business with a well-ranked website.