Google's Over-Optimization Penalty - How to Avoid It - Underground Marketing Society

Google’s Over-Optimization Penalty – How to Avoid It

By Chik Quintans | Search Engine Optimization : SEO

Nov 30
over-optimization penalty

Google’s Over-Optimization Penalty – How to Avoid It

One of the recent updates Google endowed us with over the last few years included what became known as the over-optimization penalty. This one is aimed at Webmasters who try to stuff their pages with keywords in the hopes of raising them in the search engine results.

Many of us were advised to have a keyword density of between 2.5 and 5 percent. Many optimized their content to this percentage and thought they were in the money. Not so fast. If you are using WordPress as your CMS then you may want to rethink your numbers.

WordPress isn’t quite as “SEO ready” as we first thought!

It turns out that WordPress just loves to stuff your blog template with your primary keyword. Simply by using a number of the default and popular widgets you could have dozens of mentions of your keyword before you’ve even written it once! If you count up the times it appears in elements like titles, tags, categories, author links, archives and more, you’ll be surprised at just how many times you’re using them. Google looks at the entire page of code, not merely the article or blog post when deciding where to rank your content!

So how can you avoid this?

Here are some tips to avoid instant over-optimization in WordPress.

  • Don’t ever use tags again! – Tags and especially tag clouds inflate your keyword density beyond belief. Get rid of the habit!
  • Remove the author link from your template – That little link simply generates another duplicate version of your post, inviting trouble.
  • Sweep up the breadcrumbs! – Breadcrumb navigation is another useless addition of keywords injected into the mix for no apparent reason.
  • Don’t duplicate your navigation – Often times we’ll have a top nav menu along with the same thing duplicated on the sidebar. You don’t need both, unless you’re partial to over-optimization penalties!
  • Kill the recent posts widget – Another demonstration of your template contributing to your ranking demise!

For more great tips on how to avoid over-optimizing your WordPress content go see this awesome post!


About the Author

Chik Quintans is a Digital Marketing Strategist with a passion for helping sales teams and businesses grow. As the owner of UnderGround Marketing Society LLC, creating a strong online brand and building a broad footprint online for sales teams and businesses are he and his company's areas of focus. Whether that be leveraging marketing channels and approaches such as social media, reputation, search engine optimization (SEO), video marketing and more. Chik Quintans can be reached on LinkedIn where you are invited to connect.