Google’s long anticipated over-optimization penalty is now live. So Google released another update on April 24th, 2012 being called by SEO’ers as Google’s “Over-Optimization Penalty”. Except Google is calling it an algorithmic update that’s targeting web spam.
“Panda change affected about 12% of queries to a significant degree; this algorithm affects about 3.1% of queries in English to a degree that a regular user might notice.”
It’s not clear the damage this may or may not of caused sites. Personally I am seeing ton of strange stuff. I have seen some of our client’s get hit by this recent update. When looking at which ones, it looks like it was clients who have over-optimization on their anchor text backlinks. Those clients who have a well rounded backlinking profile with an aged site didn’t seem to be harmed and a few even look like they are doing better.
Tips to Make Sure Your Site Does Not Get Penalized By Google
- Create useful content that can be considered linkable assets (do this and links can sometimes come on their own ;))
- Use only unique content on your site
- Don’t keyword stuff your pages
- Don’t have a bunch of silly footer links
- Build a robust backlinking profile (social, directories, guest posts, comment links, press releases, etc)
- Deep link to your site (don’t just build backlinks to your site)
- Make sure backlinks have varied anchor text (don’t google bomb your site)
- Build links naturally and slowly over time (don’t expect to win the race in 30-60 days)
- Focus on the long tail and providing real value
Whatever you do, don’t go chasing Google’s algorithm. Successful SEO is not derived from trying to game the search engines. SEO success comes from hardwork to build linkable assets that bring value to the web and by building a real audience. If you do that, most of your links will will come naturally and you can focus on just being a really great publisher of content.
If you think you are victim of the recent update – Google does have a feedback form here. Maybe submitting might bring back your rankings (doubt it), but may not hurt. What we plan to do with client sites that have been penalized with this last update is probably remove some of the spammy links (where possible) and focus on building out anchor text links (not from blog networkds) with a varied anchor text: phrase match, brand names, and even generic terms like “click here”to try to balance out the anchor text backlinking portfolio. Hopefully this will do the trick. We’ll see and I’ll leep you posted of the results.
Some Good Advice From SEOMoz too About Over-Optimization:
Some Other Great Posts on Link Building and Google’s Recent Over-Optimization Penalty
- Open Letter to Google
- Google Update Destroys 1000’s of Online Businesses
- Google Praises SEO, Condemns Webspam, and Rolls Out an Algorithm Change
- Google “Bad” SEO Update – A first earthquake on the short-head
- Ask Yourself These 23 Questions if Panda Impacted Your Website
- Inbound Link Optimization: Interview with Guru Eric Ward
- Penguin Analysis: SEO Isn’t Dead, But You Need to Act Smarter <- Read this one for sure!
Be sure to let us know your initial thoughts (in the comments below) on this most recent over-optimization penalty and be sure to let us know if your small business website was affected by it.