How to Recover from Over Optimization
Over optimization is all about sprinting with your SEO in such a way that you’re already leaving your best partner behind – content and value. The internet is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. You don’t sprint until you’ve run a long one and the finish line is a few meters ahead.
Note: Sorry about the Boromir pic. It gave me a few laughs. I’m an LOTR fan.
You have to understand that all websites have a purpose – and that purpose is to get visitors coming in. If you want this purpose achieved, you have to have a website that hooks the visitors in and serves the visitors well in their experience inside your website.
Over optimization is not a big punching glove that Google simply just threw your way. It’s more like a balance sheet where Google compares if your content and site’s value is deserving of your level of SEO. If it’s not, and your SEO is way too high for the quality of the content that you provide, then you’re over optimized.
I won’t make it hard for you. The best way to get back from over optimization is simple but tasking.
Slow down the SEO and create more great, quality content.
This should bring you back on track.
I talked about what quality content is in my recent Google Over Optimization Penalty post.
So I’m going to talk to you how to create that kind of content in this one.
First, quality content should be something unique – either in its base idea, delivery, and/or form.
This is the concept behind the content. What is the direction of the content? What is its purpose? What is the content trying to achieve? What is it trying to teach your readers?
In the internet where information and data is everywhere, a ‘good idea’ doesn’t make the cut. It has to be a ‘great idea’ for it to go somewhere. And great ideas have to have great delivery or form – otherwise it will remain just that. A great idea.
This is who you are as you deliver your content. Are you a humorous intellectual? A teacher? Are you perhaps a concerned mother? How you deliver the content matters most to your readers. Using yourself as a voice is usually the most powerful way of getting a more loyal readership. Simply because of the authenticity behind it.
This is what you use in order to get your message across. Are you using an image? An infographic? A video? A story perhaps? How you deliver your content matters – and the form with which you deliver it matters too. Sometimes a different form attracts a different set of audience. Great content comes in different forms.
Second, quality content should be newsworthy – and if it’s newsworthy, it should attract attention. This is where social signals will catch up with your links – helping your linking strategies seem natural due to the social effect that your content is getting.
Spread the word out on the following social networks:
What better way than to have your friends Like your content? You can tag relevant people who you think are interested in our article as you post it in your status update or in your Facebook Page.
Tweet your content and make sure to mention influential Tweetizens and ask them if they can retweet your stuff to their circle of influence. As of today, Twitter is still my number one referral traffic driver.
This is arguably one of the best things that happened late 2011. Google+ simply drives in traffic as you tell a story about your content – using techniques like adding a title and formatting your update in the form of paragraphs.
This is a new one from Rand Fishkin and Dharmesh – it can drive in good traffic in your website but you need to post only really great quality content. You can login with your Twitter account and nothing else.
Stumbleupon can really surge your traffic up – but the best thing about it is that the surge doesn’t plop down. It gradually wanes. Stumbleupon has been a great source of traffic and social signal for me thus far.
Third, quality content should be linked to – over optimization is about links BUT getting a lot of deeplinks for quality content is ALWAYS natural – even if it’s exact-match anchor text. If you get a lot of great deeplinks for your quality content, this can neutralize your over optimized, exact-match anchor text linking problem.
Fourth, make sure that you have an author behind your quality content – AuthorRank improves the trust of your content and because of this, it boosts up the page’s PageRank score. Set it up by getting a Google+ account and link your pages to that Google+ account.
For example, my Google+ profile page is https://plus.google.com/113834493623295339552/about
I link to my Google+ profile page from my SEO Hacker website using this code for my name in my author bio after every post: <a href=”https://plus.google.com/113834493623295339552/about” rel=”author”>Sean Si</a>
This will tell Google+ that I am the webmaster of SEO Hacker because I was able to put my link in there.
Afterwhich, I will put my link in my Google+ profile page in the Contributor To section.
Wait a few days and when you see your Authorship picture (Google+ Profile Pic) on the Google SERP, you have successfully told Google that you’re responsible for authoring those articles.
Get these things right for your content and you should be back up in your rankings. Perhaps you won’t get all your rankings back at once but give it some time. There’s a Google quality score you’re trying to reach. Do everything you can to reach it.