SEO Tip #13: Is over-optimization bad for a website?

Matt Cutts: This is an interesting question and the example give was excessive use of no follow. First off if it is your website you can use no follow all you want. You don’t need to worry. There is no penalty for excessive use of no follow. You are not going in trouble because of that.

On the other hand, let’s look at over optimization. There is nothing in Google that we have an over optimization penalty for, but a lot of the times over optimization is kind of a euphemism for a little bit spammy, you know. Oh my keyword density is a little high, I’m over optimized for keyword density often means: Yeah I repeat my keywords so many times that regular users get annoyed and competitors are like, “erghh where did this content come from?”

So, there is nothing where we say, “Yeah this has the hallmarks of an SEO site.” But if you have over optimized often you end up with a site that people don’t necessarily like or that looks junkie, or skuzzy , or skummy, or just bad in some way.

So it is not as if we are going to say, “oh we detect signs of SEO with this site, but certainly you can go overboard and you know you have too many keywords or keyword stuffing or, you know, hidden text, that’s sort of.

So, if you’re worried about that, just come back a little bit, edge back, try to make it better for users but don’t worry about, “oh I have too many no follow tags” or anything like that. That won’t get you any sort of penalty.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.