We are all familiar with overeating, over-spending, and oversleeping, but have you ever heard of over-optimizing a website?

Going overboard is not only possible for enthusiastic eaters or shopaholics. It is entirely possible to overdo website SEO (search engine optimization).

Implementing SEO tips is necessary to keep your website visible and attractive for all target users. Without SEO, your site may never reach the desired level of popularity. Search engine optimization refers to a site’s ability to attract a high number of visitors by ranking high on a relevant SERP (search engine results page). 

It is easy to assume that more SEO is always better for a site. However, overdoing SEO can result in Google, assuming that your website belongs to an SEO spammer.

An SEO spammer is a person who tries to fake his or her way into higher rankings. Yes, it is possible to cheat Google’s ranking system still, but getting away with those black hat techniques isn’t as easy as it used to be. In the days preceding the Penguin update, webmasters and marketers resorted to over-stuffing the target keywords, and link farming to trick the ranking system.

Do you know if you are overdoing SEO? 

Check out our list of the five factors that signify OTT (over the top) SEO efforts –

You are using the primary keyword everywhere

Using your primary keyword strategically is critical for the ranking and visibility of your site. 

However, what do you understand by strategically? Are you using the same keyword in your title, URL, SEO slug, meta description, H1, and H2 subheads, introductory para, and throughout the content? 

Imagine having a conversation where you use the same word around 20 times within 1500 words. That does not sound like a fascinating conversation or even a fluent one, does it? It is no wonder that overusing keywords is still one of the most prominent signifiers of Black Hat SEO in digital marketing.  

You need to focus on the secondary keyword, long-tailed variants, and hyperlocal variants that you can include in the content. 

For example, if your primary keyword for your Toronto-based company is “business SEO,” you should check out other variants that your keyword generator shows like “SEO for small business,” “business SEO tips,” “business SEO services,” “Toronto SEO expert” and “Toronto SEO service.”  

Your anchor links are all over the place

Anchor links are the snippets of text (2-3 words) that hyperlink to an external website. These are crucial for gaining Google’s as well as your reader’s trust. 

It was once advisable to include the primary keyword within the anchor text. However, can you even imagine that SEO has been the same for the last 20 years? 

Well, in that case, you need to be cautious about using the primary keyword. As we have already mentioned in the section above, primary keywords should not find their way everywhere in the content. 

Google considers the overuse of keywords as stuffing, and you need to open your thesaurus (whatever keyword finding tool you are using) to find synonymous keywords, LSI variants, location-based queries, and long-tailed keyword phrases for hyperlinking.

The quantity of your content trumps quality

Even the most experienced digital marketing experts make the mistake of generating content to meet the demands of accommodating specific keywords. 

Have you ever manufactured content to make space for specific high-volume keywords in your industry? Well, that is a signifier of over-optimization of a site, and soon, you might attract an over-optimization penalty from Google.

It is easy to understand if you have been overdoing your SEO. Simply think from the perspective of a potential user in Toronto. Do all your content pieces answer pertinent and trending questions from your target readers/viewers? 

Instead of spinning and manufacturing content according to keyword trends, consider the search trends in your field. Try to answer trending questions that your target consumers are asking right now. Invest in smart SEO and keyword research that considers the questions your Toronto-based consumers are asking right now. 

You don’t care about your outgoing links

The links that lead your consumers from your page to other sites determine how rank-worthy your website is. Sites with poor outbound links often receive penalties and lose ranking. You need to be careful to not link to spammy sites. 

Check your link profile using link browsing tools. Or, you can talk to your SEO Company in Toronto to check the authority of sites that you have used for your outbound links. 

Check for broken links and 404 errors. Running a whole website audit every couple of months can help you maintain a healthy set of outgoing links. 

You never worry about backlinks

Link building will dictate a lot more than the site’s usability. Backlinks determine the authority and trustworthiness of any website.

If you have been accepting sketchy backlinks with the hope of building a strong link profile, you have been making a cardinal SEO mistake. It is one of the OTT SEO mistakes that most webmasters and digital marketers in Toronto make even today. 

Go back to evaluating each backlink and find the ones that lead to spammy websites. Google does not view guilty-by-association lightly, and you should not either. Remove the unscrupulous backlinks, even if you remove a 100 spammy backlinks and receive ten new ones. Remember that the good 10 hold more value than the 100 bad ones.  

Ten years ago, it was much easier to fool Google’s ranking system and bots into thinking that these keyword-stuffed pages were worthy of high ranks. There was little consideration for user intent and user experience. 

Right now, there are only a few things Google algorithms consider more sacred than user intent and user experience. Therefore, if you are over-optimizing your site, albeit accidentally, you can attract a hefty penalty from Google. Speak to your SEO team in Toronto to find the signs of over-doing SEO that you should “fix” right now. Thankfully, the Google search engine algorithm keeps updating, and it provides each website the chance to redeem its reputation and ranking.