Over Optimization and the OOP - Does a Penalty Exist?
If you have questions about whether or not the Over-Optimization Penalty (OOP) exists or not, then you obviously haven't pushed the limits enough with your own website optimization or organic SEO efforts to have experienced the joys of running into the OOP (Over-Optimization Penalty).
I'm sure you're probably thinking: "prove it". If that's what you're thinking, let me tell you about a specific example of what I call the Over-Optimization Penalty, or OOP:
Over-Optimization penalty because of too much anchor text.You decide that your site is not ranking well. So, you change the navigation on your site so that all the home page links say "keyword keyword home" instead of "home". A few days later you lose your rankings, which is a serious blow to your traffic. Since that was the only thing you changed on your site you change those links to your home page back so it says, "home" instead of "keyword keyword home". BINGO! All of your lost rankings and your lost traffic comes back a few days later.
If that's not proof of an over-optimization penalty then I don't know what is--I would call that an OOP: you do something to try to boost your rankings by over optimizing some element of your website, something that backfires and causes a loss of rankings.
I personally can name tons of other examples just like this that prove that there's an OOP.
One more thing--I think that you can over-optimize a web page or site without going as far as actually spamming. In the example above, I truly believe that having too much of the same anchor text isn't spamming, it's just over-optimization. Spamming, in my book, would be something like keyword stuffing or something like repeating a keyword over and over again. Over optimization is different than spamming.
White Hat, Gray Hat, and Black HatWhether or not you think the OOP (an over-optimization penalty) exists depends on what type of "hat" you wear.
If you're a true "white hat" SEO that won't dare test the limits then you're going to believe that the OOP doesn't exist. After all, you'll never experience any over-optimization penalties because you won't dare do anything that would possibly have a negative effect on search engine rankings.
If you're a true "grey hat" SEO then you've definitely experienced the OOP, just like I've described in a previous post. For example, you've gone a little too heavy on your anchor text so you have to "back off" on using your keywords in the anchor text. Or, you realize that your keyword density on a page is too high--OOPS! you've just experienced the over-optimization penalty (OOP).
If you're a true "black hat" SEO then you definitely know that there's a difference between an over-optimization penalty and being a spammer. If you've never had a site banned in a search engine then you're not a true "black hat" SEO. And if you've experienced rankings that have suddenly vanished because of too much over-optimization then yes, you probably believe in the OOP, just like I do.
There is a very big difference between over-optimization and spamming. Spamming will get your site banned. Over-optimization will not. The "penalty", if you will, is a loss of search engine rankings due to over-optimization. Thus, that's what gray hat and black hat Search Engine Optimization Specialists call the OOP.
Bill Hartzer is a successful writer and search engine marketing expert who has personally created hundreds of websites over the years. Bill created his first website back in 1996 to help promote his former database software business. It was then when he learned about the power of the search engines and web search, which helped potential customers find his business online.
Bill Hartzer has over 15 years of professional writing experience. He has survived stints as a writer for television, as well as a technical writer for several computer software companies in Florida and in Texas. Mr. Hartzer combines his writing and online skills to create compelling and useful websites for corporations worldwide. Mr. Hartzer focuses on the optimization in the business to business arena, but applies these optimization skills to business to consumer websites, as well. He currently is the one of the Administrators at the Search Engine Forums website.
How To Indirectly Get To The Top Of Search Engines
There are millions of web sites trying to get listed in the top 20 spots of the major search engines. That amounts to a lot of competition! Even if your website can't get in the Top 20, you can use indirect ways to get it there.
The Golden 5: Steps to Google Success
The Dream: You wake up one morning and notice your website appears on the #1 spot for your chosen keyword. The traffic is enormous, the business is huge and you are rolling in cash. How? Well...
The Business Case for SEO
It's interesting how potential clients have preconceived notions about which aspects of search engine marketing have the most value. In fact, they tend to fall into two camps that are 180° apart. The first camp believes completely in the value of pay-per-click marketing (PPC). It's easy to understand why. PPC provides immediate and measurable benefits. The ROI of PPC marketing is obvious. This group doesn't understand why it's necessary "to bother" doing SEO. The second camp believes the only way to go is SEO. Clicks are free and the branding benefits of high rankings have been well documented.
Design A Spider Friendly Site
To be successful in the search engines it's important to design your web site with the spiders in mind. Using the latest in web page design is not generally the best way to go. Spiders don't view web pages like humans do, they must read the HTML in the page to see what it's about. Below you will find tips on how to best design your web site with search engines in mind.
Forget SEO ? It?s All About Conversion!
Which SEO hat do you wear? Is it white or black? Or perhaps it's a subtle shade of gray. Well, wherever you are on this spectrum, if you are like 99% of the SEO-fixated webmasters out there, you are doing all you can to get visitors to your site. Where you used to optimize your keywords meta tags, you now worry about anchor text and XML site maps.So, you finesse your site, schmooze the algorithm du jour and begin to climb the slippery search engine rankings pole. But this is where you have to leave your SEO tricks behind and start thinking conversion.Whoa there! Conversion? That's all about making sales on shopping sites. My site's a forum! I don't sell anything. What has conversion got to do with me?Everything, my friend. Everything?.SERP ConversionYou want visitors to come your site, right? That's why you climb greasy SERP pole, after all. (And why you lay awake at night wondering when the next Florida, Hilltop or Bourbon algorithm earthquake is going to hit.) But what does it matter if you reach the peak, but no one clicks through to your site anyway?The fact is that you have to convert prospective visitors even before they arrive. You have to pique their interest, tweak their curiosity and make sure they click your link and not the other guy's. And all you have to use are words. No technical tricks will help you now ? your only tools are plain ol' words.The SERPs will show words from two of three places. Two of these you can control and one you can't:1.Your title tag.2.Your meta description tag.3.A directory description.(For example, Google is known to use DMOZ descriptions in their SERPs, and Yahoo uses their directory descriptions in theirs.)Now, there's not much you can do about how Yahoo or DMOZ editors describe your site, so don't worry about number 3. But do what you can do: Place your value propositions clearly in 1 and 2, and use them to lure searchers into your website.So you have to convert people before they even get to your site. But that's not all?. You want them to stay, right?Flash ConversionNo, this has nothing to do with being blinded by bright lights on the road to Damascus. Nor am I telling you to go and make a 100% animated website.This "flash" is that split second, that tiny window of opportunity that opens up when a searcher arrives at your site and decides whether they have actually found what they are looking for? or not.Typically, you'll have a couple of seconds to persuade the new visitor to stay and hang out. That's all you get. It's the ultimate in speed-dating. So, how do you wow your "date"? Do you show him a page of scraped "content" interspersed with Adsense ads? Not if you want this to be a lasting relationship.Follow these tips and be sure to impress your "date":1. Have a clear themeRanking high for "blue widgets"? Then be sure your visible title, copy and images are clearly focused on them.2. Have a clean designImagine you are taking a first date to a movie. Do you pick her up wearing your pajamas in a dirty, trash-filled car? Or do you clean the car, wash your face and dress to impress? Of course you want to impress her, so you make sure you look (and smell) good. It's the same with your site: Clean design, a nice text size and pages that don't scroll from here to eternity are going to float your first-time visitor-date's boat.3. Write clearly and focus on your "date"Waffle on about yourself and your date will get bored. She wants you to be interested in her. And in terms of your site, that means giving her what she wants to know as quickly and succinctly as possible. This comes down to your ability to write and communicate. So, if you are like Steve Martin in "Roxanne", make sure you get a someone else (a copywriter) to compose the lines to wow your "date" for you.OK, so let's say you have successfully wooed your first-time visitor date. He's here and he has decided to stick around. You're going steady, getting to know each other a little more. That's all you want, isn't it?No, it isn't! You want to pop the question, of course!Getting hitchedYou've made all this effort and spent money on getting your "date" this far, so you want to get the most out of your investment, right? You want to hear those sweet words, "I do":I do? want to click your Adsense ads. I do? want to become a forum member. I do? want to buy that cool digital thingy.So how do you turn a whirlwind romance into a successful proposal? Try these ideas for size:Have clear navigationYou want to make your date dizzy with excitement, not frustration! Make sure you have clear, consistent, well-labeled navigation and make your visitor-date's time with you a pleasure, and not a reason to reach for the Advil.Have a clear propositionWhat do you want your visitor to do? Buy something? Sign up for something? Join something? Whatever the point of your site is, it does have a point, right? So don't beat about the bush, and don't hold back waiting for the right moment: Make your "proposal", and make it clear and direct.Happily Ever After?You thought that was the end of the story? Wait a minute, it's not over yet! I thought you were in this for a long-term relationship, not a one night stand? I know, you were thinking that having made all that effort while you were dating, you could ease off now that you're "married". But don't you know that the real rewards start here?So what are the secrets of a long, blissful relationship with your visitors?1. Feed them!You convinced him to come visit once. But how often will he come back if all you give him are the same old leftovers? Cook him up something juicy and delicious, and have him salivating for more:Enliven your content with new, relevant pages and, not only will you set the search engine robots drooling, but you will also find you have a hoard of visitors coming back for seconds. And in this age of fast-(visitor)-food creation tools called blogs, there's really no excuse anymore.2. Shower them with giftsEveryone likes a gift - and not just on birthdays, anniversaries and at Christmas:Money talks, and if you are selling anything through your site, then discounts and other offers to previous visitors and customers will draw them back like magnets. Throw in tempting freebies as well and you will have a potent marketing mix.3. Send them "love" lettersAnyone who has been in a long-distance relationship (like my wife and I were for a year and a half), knows that if you can't be together, the next best thing is a letter or email. For your website, this means an interesting ezine that is light on sales pitch and rich in information.4. Start a family!Not literally! But you can create a "family" atmosphere by adding a forum where your visitors can interact with each other ? not just with you and your site. People are social animals, so use a forum to keep them coming back.OK, so perhaps I overstated it a little in my title. SEO is not dead, so don't forget about it quite yet. Just remember that it will only get you so far: If you want to actually achieve anything with your site, then you need to focus on conversion like a laser.
9 Ways to Keep Google Happy
A recent Google patent application has the SEO community buzzing. At a bare minimum this document reveals the direction Google is taking its future search criteria. Changes in the way Google will be evaluating pages for search rankings are intended to address two major problems:
Future of SEO - Making Money Online from Your Home and Building Homes from Making Money Online
Everyone seems to want the benefits from working at home: more time, more money, and theoretically less work. But the later of the previous list seems to be the problem. No one wants to do work! When it comes to getting your site highly ranked on Google, Yahoo, MSN, or other search engines the only way to do it fast and effectively is to put a little time and effort into your cause. Links are the way to do this, and the theory is not complicated; the more links that you have to your site with keywords relating to your site, the better your ranking.
Google PageRank Explained
PageRank - an exclusive technology developed by Google which can have a major impact on the success of your website. This article will attempt to explain the concept of PageRank and how your ranking can be improved without spending any money at all.How is PageRank beneficial?Google refers to the technology as a way of evaluating the usefulness, importance, and quality of a website. The PR of a webpage can mean different things for different people.For a webmaster, a high PR is a sign of accomplishment. It shows that your website is moving in the right direction and has the potential to become successful. PageRank also directly effects your Google search engine listings. Acquiring a higher PR than your competition could mean more traffic for you, and less traffic for your competitors.Visitors to your website probably won't care about the page's rank (most surfers have no idea what PageRank is). However, visitors who understand PageRank may use your PR as a sign of how credible your content is. Would you rather use the information from a website with 0 PR or a website with 5 PR and hundreds of other websites linking to it?How is PageRank determined?PageRank is basically determined by backlinks. A backlink is when another page links to your page. For every page that links to you, that page is "voting" for you. The more votes you get, the better your PageRank will be. However, it gets more complicated than that because some votes weigh more heavily than others. The weight of the vote is determined by the PageRank of the page linking to you. This means that a couple links from pages with high PR could be more beneficial than hundreds of links from pages with low PR. But it gets even more complicated - each page can only transfer so much PageRank. The set amount of PR that the page can transfer must be split up between each "vote" that the page gives out. This means that a PR 7 page could actually give out as much weight per vote as a PR 3 page if it had too many outgoing links.How can I improve my PageRank?There are many different methods to obtain quality backlinks to your website. You will find that some methods work better than others depending on the subject and popularity of your site.DirectoriesSubmitting your website to directories is one of the best ways to increase your PageRank and even get some traffic at the same time. But submitting your site to just a few directories won't be good enough. You need to sit down and spend the necessary time to submit your site to a large amount of directories. This may seem like a painstakingly long process, but you'll be glad you did it when you notice results. I have taken the time to make a large list of free directories with high PageRank which you visit here. Although directories with low PR may seem like a waste of time, you should submit your site to them too because it still helps and they could eventually become a high PR site which charges money to submit to.Link ExchangesA very common practice to improve your PageRank is a link exchange. This is simply where two people link to the other person's website. It's best that you only link exchange with someone who has at least as much PR as you and the subject of the two websites are similar. If you receive a link from a website with a subject which has nothing to do with yours, you'll find that very little if any PR will actually be transferred to you.Forum SignaturesIf you are an active user on a forum or message board, it would be wise to put a link to your website in your signature. This could help improve your PageRank if the forum has a high PR, it could help improve your traffic from the forum members seeing your signature, and your site could get spidered more often because it is linking to a forum (forums generally have a lot of new content every day and search engines love new content).Buy AdvertisingAlthough it isn't the best of choices, many webmasters will buy text link ads on websites with high PR. Although this can be effective, it can be very expensive and only a temporary thing. If you purchase text links for just a couple months, after the months are over you won't have the backlinks which were giving you the "votes" you needed to keep your PageRank. So you have now spent a large amount of money on text links, but in the end you're right back where you started.ArticlesThis is a method which not many people know about. Basically, you write articles about the subjects you know a lot about. You then let other people use these articles as long as they provide a link back to your site. If you wrote a quality article, you'll find many websites will want to use it, thus giving you plenty of backlinks. This method can work well with anything which you develope and give away for free such as scripts, web design, etc.Stay On Google's Good SideThe most important thing to remember when trying to increase your PageRank is to not cheat and to always follow the rules. The people which run Google aren't fools and they have many ways of catching cheaters. Don't even think about using any of the "link farms" or trying to hide keywords on your pages. If caught, you may not get unbanned for many months.Make A Quality WebsiteIf you have a quality website which your visitors enjoy going to, then you will receive backlinks without having to do anything. Websites will link to you with the intention of informing people of a helpful resource, or showing off a cool new website they found, or any other reason other than trying to increase your PageRank. If you build it, backlinks will come...
Do the Robot!
Everyone should realize that the search engines (sponsored ads aside)are not tools for advertisement, they are meant to be tools for everday web users. Users who search the web are looking for information, thats it. They may want information on how to buy something, or they may simply want to what the weather will be later that day, but the fact is they want information, and search engines are out there to help them find the information!
How Ive Maintained 7 Top Ten Google Rankings For Nine Months
Back in November 2004 I discovered a way to get a top 10 ranking in Google. I tested the technique for 3 months before I shared my findings with the world.
The Reality of Search Engine Submissions
Over the last few months, search engine submissions have changed dramatically. Now is the time to analyze the way we're submitting our Web pages and to rethink our submission strategies.
So, Where Has Your Search Engine Been Today?
Visit Google, Yahoo, MSN or one of the lesser search engines, and you get a few million results for just about any search term. Despite this impressive depth of results, most users consider only a few of the WebPages being pointed to. A lot of research indicates that most searchers exit search engine result pages to visit one of the top three results. That raises the question: What about the remaining million plus results?
Search Bots, Crawlers, and Spiders
If you are a webmaster and you review your logs, often you will see a bunch of really strange hits. They aren't humans, you can't tell their operating system or their browser! Who are these pesky little creatures who rummage around the internet all the time?
Is New MSN Search More Precise? Just Ask Google
MSN finally unleashed its new search technology to the world on Monday. The official announcement coming from Bill Gates introduced the New MSN Search engine, ending with a personal invitation to visit www.msn.com and â??type in your question.â??
How To Use Google As A Niche Website Builder
The popularity of weblogs or blogs has gotten a lot of attention from the media recently. In fact, "blog" was picked as the word of the year by Merriam-Webster, a U.S. dictionary publisher.
All You Need to Know About Your Website Traffic is Contained in 5 Key Stats
You built that content rich web page optimized for your Keyword phrases but is it really working? By looking at these 5 Stats readily available from your CPanel you will quickly learn what you are doing well and what you need to improve on.
One Way Linking Campaigns II
There is a way to generate links with the content that you have not as yet created. For this contact the established authorities (writers, publishers ) in your domain area & let them know that you are available as a resource for researching & writing on any topic from the chosen domain. When they will use you they will credit you for it. Also submit your articles to them. If they ever quote you they will link to you & the added advantage will be that their articles will get published in good places. Imagine an incoming link to your site from TIME or NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.
Search Engine Optimization for Everyone
There are many facets to SEO and the search engines continually change their methods of indexing sites to help prevent the same sites from staying up in the ranks all the time.
Dynamic pages and the Search Engines By Clare Lawrence 10th March 2003 Clare is the CEO of Discount Domains Ltd a leading UK Domain name registration service.
The Easiest Way to Your Google Sitemap
Google Sitemaps is a new tool for website owners and publishers, released by Google themselves. It allows you to submit a sitemap (a document that contains links to every page of your site) from your own homepage in .XML or in plain .TXT format that will help Google to spider your pages. This again should result in a faster indexing process of your site and could therefore even result in better search engine placements. You can learn more about the program and sign up for a free account here.
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