google seoWhat the heck is over-optimization? As a newbie in the SEO world, you may be more confused than ever. Not only do you need to focus on creating quality content and building links, but now you have to be concerned with “overdoing” things.

Earlier this month, Google announced an upcoming change to its algorithm. In short, the search engine giant is releasing an over-optimization penalty that is meant to even the playing field. As confusing as this sounds, it can actually be a good thing for those just breaking into the industry.

The primary goal of this change is to reward people who put value on high quality content, while avoiding the excessive use of traditional SEO tactics.

5 Potential Over-Optimization Indicators

As a new affiliate, you may be concerned that your site is overly optimized for search engines. In true Google fashion, the company is not releasing much information on their definition of over-optimization. However, here are five signals that your site may be pushing the limits.

  • Keyword stuffing. Let’s face it: every affiliate typically has a target keyword for each page on their site. However, this does not mean you should stuff the content on the page full of this keyword and its many variations. How much is too much? Google isn’t saying, so make sure you err on the side of caution.
  • Heavily optimized title tags. Much like your on-page content, you may be tempted to stuff your title tag full of keywords. While there is nothing wrong with including your main keyword, make sure you don’t overdo it and that your title in general explains what the page is about.
  • Overly optimized internal linking. Does every internal link on your website use a targeted keyword as its anchor text? Don’t fall prey to this potential disaster – mix things up, instead. There is nothing wrong with using generic anchor text, it appears more natural.
  • Too many inbound links with your target keyword(s) as the anchor text. In Google’s eyes, this is a telltale sign that you have been building links. In the future, your link building profile must appear as natural as possible.
  • Keyword stuffed domain. There used to be a time when an exact match domain would help your site reach the top of the search results. Those days are long gone. Although it will be difficult for Google to differentiate between a keyword stuffed domain and one that pertains to a brand, it appears that they have already made progress in this area. To be safe, stay away from registering these domains.