Why Too Much SEO Can Hurt Your Website

Too much of anything can’t be a good thing, as the saying goes — this simple reminder can be applied even to the subject of building quality websites that are meant to provide value to Internet users who browse the virtual world constantly to find products, services, information, entertainment, and other things. Websites serve to create online presence for individuals, organisations, small and large businesses across all industries, and brands from the newest to the most established; by complementing their physical stores or offices with the launch of a website, they are ensuring that they can reach and interact with their customers both offline and online.

But while employing search engine optimisation measures to enable Internet users to find their websites easily is a common and accepted practice, there is a tendency for some website owners to go overboard in their SEO marketing campaign. In the pursuit of higher search engine results page rankings and greater traffic, some site owners involuntarily (or even voluntarily) concentrate their efforts on certain optimisation aspects that can result in compromised site quality or relevance.

Google, arguably the most popular search engine among Web users across the globe, has already rolled out a number of algorithm updates for the purpose of helping high-quality sites achieve improved rankings over sites that do not necessarily offer valuable content, but are more successful at employing SEO tactics. Here are examples of common over-optimisation practices that you need to mindful of to ensure that your website remains to be a valuable resource for your business’s target audience.


1. Keyword stuffing

Some site owners may think that a generous sprinkling of keywords over their textual content is healthy, but that’s not quite the reality. Keywords mentioned once in the title and once in the article body can be sufficient, and site owners should be careful about how they appear in the text. If there are too many keywords, and if they are peppered indiscriminately so as to affect the overall sense of the article (for example, the key phrase “payday loans” mentioned several times in an article about gardening), search engines can penalise your site.


2. Duplicate content

You might have heard that content is king, so you post as many articles as you can on your Web pages. Unfortunately, you posted the same exact article over and over instead of providing different ones. The key thing to remember is organic quality; write original articles on topics relevant to your business — topics that your visitors will find useful and want more of. Fill your pages with text that will actually draw readers to your site for the value they provide.


3. Spammy links

Dropping numerous links on other websites (especially suspicious or blacklisted sites) that direct readers to your site is not a good practice. Likewise, creating too many outbound links (which take direct readers on your site to other sites) will do little to improve your ranking. Avoid automated links, links that have very specific keywords, and paid links as these can create problems for you. Encourage your readers to share your content and link to your site, which is the more natural effect to work toward.

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