Over Optimization

Posted by | February 11, 2014 | Digital Strategy | No Comments

he purpose of search engines is to provide the fastest and optimal results to any inquiry.  We simply type a word or phrase and more than often we find the websites we’re looking for.  The search is that simple because the answer is right in front of you.  Anything after the second page of Google is practically irrelevant.  Perhaps this is why so many sites run the risk of Over Optimization, fueling the ceaseless competition for the No.1 ranking of search results.  Sure, there are websites that pride itself on its concealment, but for business owners, you’d want to be on that first page of results when you type “DSLR” or “owl neck scarf” in the search box.  If you’re selling a product online, you wouldn’t want your customers to have to go through five pages of Google results to get to your site.   Search Engine Optimization is the effort to make a website more exposed on search engine results for its ease of access.

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For any company, the awareness of its site is important.  Among many other criteria, having more links to your site on other web pages increases the chances of holding a higher search engine ranking.  However, the fine line between Search Engine Optimization and Over Optimization is drawn when there is an excessive amount of internal links on the site, which is considered as a “black hat” practice, more specifically known as “spamming.”  In fact, such companies exist, in which their service offers to increase recognition of a site on search engines by embedding links into numerous other sites.  Having a high keyword density within your site is also considered as Over Optimization.  This is the practice of overusing a specific keyword to improve search-term performance.  These methods may provide a short term solution until the spike in the rankings flag the search engine, but to achieve long term optimization is to acquire it naturally by analyzing the content and making it user-friendly.

Although it is not illegal, Over Optimization is considered unethical and does get penalized by search engines.  You might be thinking, “How could a search engine possibly harm my company?”  Simply put, it will make a site disappear.  Depending on the severity of the situation, Google will demote the ranking of a site, making it more difficult to find in a search.  Google considers black hat optimization as a form of cheating and will take action to reprimand the practice of it.  In 2010, J.C. Penney held the No.1 position for Samsonite carry on luggage for months.  It held a higher ranking than the manufacturer itself!  Although the major retailer claims to have been unaware of the black hat techniques that were utilized to increase their search-term performance, J.C. Penney was downgraded from being the No.1 search result to No.71 in just a matter of hours after it had been spotted by Google.  In 2006, BMW was also found using black hat strategies to promote the German website, BMW.de.  In consequence, the site was removed from Google for a temporary period.  Clearly the effects of penalization can be detrimental to a company, especially if the business highly relies on the sales it makes through the site or if it contains valuable information.  The efforts to create a reliable site will be an enormous waste if the approach of Over Optimization is taken.  If anything, Over Optimization has the potential to ruin a company’s image.  Not only does the branding reek with unprofessionalism, but it also exposes the lack of integrity.

If you have any questions about Over Optimization or SEO services, please feel free to contactWebConnection.

 

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