How to ensure you don’t over-optimise your website

SEO is something that all websites are having to think about these days if they actually want to rank in the SERP’s and get their fair share of traffic. Unfortunately, great content just isn’t enough and although it is by far the most important thing when it comes to running a website, you will need to apply a lot of SEO techniques to really get the traffic you deserve.

However, it is quite easy to over-optimise a website and apply these techniques too much. If you do this, you will run the risk of being penalised by Google and other search engines and you will also find that you are wasting your time with your efforts as the techniques will stop delivering SEO value. So how exactly do you know when to stop optimising a website? And what will Google see as an over-optimisation? Well, here are a few things to make sure that you keep note of in order to avoid over-optimisation.


Keyword stuffing

"Keyword" stuffing

This is something that is commonly known in the SEO world now and most people will not stuff keywords in to their content. However, this is something that is pretty easy to do some of the time and it is something that you should be aware of.

Basically, keyword stuffing is when your keywords (the words you want to rank for ) appear too many times in your content on a page. This will then be seen by Google as an attempt to manipulate the SERP’s and they will more than likely penalise you for it.

So how can you ensure that you avoid this? Well, the best thing to do is to not worry about keywords in your content at all. You should always be writing for human visitors rather than the search engines so if you find that you are adding keywords in to your articles, this is something that should be stopped. Just write the article how you would if you didn’t care about SEO and you will more than likely find that keywords occur naturally.

Yes, you can include the keywords a couple of times if you like, but we really do mean a couple of times and like we said, this should happen naturally. Google DOES NOT pay attention to keyword density.


Anchor text over-optimisation

Anchor Text

So, you’ve implemented a link building strategy for your website and you’re getting some really great, high quality links. This is excellent but you still need to be careful. If you are doing things like guest posts, you might find that you are able to control the anchor text of the link with in the article. This is really good as it means that you can allow your website to rank for certain keywords. However, if you use the same anchor text too much, this will appear as an over-optimisation technique.

When it comes to link building, you need to make sure that your anchor text and links look as natural as possible. If you were getting links naturally, not every website would link to your website using the exact same words or phrase so if you are using the same phrase, this will appear spammy. In order to combat this, you need to mix up your anchor text in your links. You can do this by using different keywords or even just referring to your brand name in some links. You can also just include a url link, although this won’t really help you when it comes to ranking for keywords, although it will allow you to build up some authority on your domain.


Too many low quality links

One of many business directories

A lot of people hear the words ‘link building’ and they will start building links as fast as they can and from anywhere they can. This is something that is not good at all and can be classed as over optimisation. If Google see’s that a new website has come along and within the first week, it has managed to gain 1000 link from pretty poor sources, it is going to see that you are over-optimising your website.

This is where a little bit of patient comes in. If you have a new website, you need to be adding content as much as you are link building, if not more. If Google see’s that your website which has just 3 pages is getting 1000’s of links, it will be able to see that you are trying too hard. This will not appear natural at all.

Another thing is that quality matters a lot more than quantity. It is much better to have one great link that has a lot of authority/social shares etc than 100 links from poor sources such as low quality directories or other similar places. You need to take your link building slow and ensure that it looks natural.


Over-optimisation of meta tags

Meta tags include a lot of important information about your website. For example, the title tag is a meta tag that is used a lot by the search engines in SEO which is probably one of the reasons that it is often over-optimised. A lot of the time, people will put their keywords into these meta tags far too much. For example, they will put the keywords in the meta title, meta description, and meta keywords tag. By putting the keywords in all of these, you are over-optimising your website.

As with your content, you need to make these title tags for human users rather than search engines. This means they should be readable and not just a bunch of words related to your website. Do this and you will have no problem.



People often get carried away when it comes to SEO but sometimes, less is more. This is an important thing to remember and often, it will set you apart from the crowd and ensure that your website ranks far better than the competition.

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