How to Optimize without Over-Optimizing

April 13, 2012 7:00 am

Ranking Without Over-Optimizing – Writing Content

There are a lot of people who are getting scared of the over-optimization penalty that Matt Cutts of Google mentioned recently. That’s right, if you try to optimize your site for search engines too well, you’ll go lower in the rankings. If you don’t do anything, you probably won’t rank well in Google search results, but if you do too much, you may not rank too well either. So how do you find the spot that’s just right?

The best thing that you can do is write good content. Yes, it sounds like we, and numerous other people, say that a lot (in fact, just this week we gave five content development tips to get more exposure). That’s because it’s true. The best way to avoid the over-optimization penalty is to not go crazy overworking the mechanics and write good content instead. It’s one of the best things you can do for your rankings.

Here are three reasons why Google loves when you write good content:

  1. Writing good content is hard to do: Sure, if you’re writing about a topic that is familiar, it may not be all that difficult for you. The idea behind this is that you cannot just automate the content. Anything that is easy to do typically doesn’t provide as much value in SEO. If it’s easy to do, everyone’s probably already doing it so there’s more competition, and Google recognizes that it’s probably not that significant. In fact, Google has been taking downlink networks and heavily devaluing spun content that is taking minimal effort and producing something of volume. When you write content, you’re going above and beyond, doing things that not everyone is doing. This means something to Google.
  2. Writing good content keeps your site fresh: Google’s primary objective in search results is to provide content that gives the user a good experience. New content is a good thing for the end user. New content by default appears more relevant and does not look like dead content from five years ago (Pro tip: if you link back to old content on your site, it helps to show that the content you are linking to is relevant too). So, keep your site fresh by writing regularly. If you’re looking for a frequency in blog posting, at least twice a month is a good rule of thumb. If you can write more, it can only help.
  3. Writing good content increases the number of pages…and opportunities: If you have a small site with a small number of pages, you are very limited in what you can effectively target. You may have a well-designed site that has good content, but the number of keywords you can reasonably put in are few. Writing new content allows you to target long-tail keywords, receive multiple links from various sources, and provide more useful information for your readers/customers.

Writing good content benefits everyone. So, do your best to optimize your site. Use the keywords you want to rank for, be smart about URL’s, and use good title tags. Just don’t do anything that seems unnatural. When in doubt, don’t stress about the mechanics, stick to writing good content.

Of course, if you want help, our NJ content writing team can write great content for you too.

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About The Author

We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!