Are you overusing SEO to boost your website content? Recently, I found this headline on one of the Site Promotion websites I visit periodically. It said, “Google Plans to Penalize Sites That Overuse SEO.” That’s definitely an eye catcher especially when you have worked so hard to get your website listed at the top of Google’s search results. Let me tell you, it is frustrating keeping up with all the advice out there about search engine optimization (SEO). One SEO “Guru” tells us to inject numerous keywords into web page Meta tags. It doesn’t matter if it’s exactly like your business. Another says that the benchmark algorithms have changed and Google no longer looks at keywords. Therefore, leave your meta keywords out of the equation.
So, we sit here staring at our computers, scratching our heads in this virtual tug-of-war, not certain who to believe!
When managing websites, I work hard to get them onto the first page of Google search results. I get numerous emails from different SEO companies; each has their own theory on how to get the best results. I’ve tried them all too. I want my clients to get the best rankings they can. However, let me just say, these “researchers” have my head spinning.
Let me tell you what I have found that works. I don’t stuff meta keywords or phrases. I do use them, but I’m very careful with what I put in my meta tags. First thing to remember, Google is NOT the only search engine out there! It is, of course the biggest one out there, and many smaller search engine companies do follow Google’s lead. However, don’t be afraid to use your meta keywords and phrases. What I do is take focus points from the content of each page that I write and publish. I insert those page specific focal points into my meta tags. Be careful how many times you use the same keywords and key phrases. Search engines will throw out a page from its results if the same keywords are used on multiple pages.
Here’s one more thing to think about. Check out your competition! Sure! Why not? You can bet they’re checking you out! Go to Google’s search engine and type in some of your keyword/phrase choices. Who comes to the top? If it’s you… Great! If not, don’t worry. It takes time for the search engines to do a proper crawl of your website. Assuming you are not at the top of the search results, look at who is. Is it a direct competitor to you? If they are, you’re in the right ball park. If they are not similar to your business, perhaps a little tweaking and fine-tuning of your keywords is in order.
Remember this! Search engines are NOT looking solely at your keyword meta data! Search engines are looking for content! They are also looking for links to other websites within your content. If you link to other websites that have similar content, then you get a higher ranking. Pretty cool huh? So, don’t be afraid to link sources of your content. Now, I’m NOT talking about going hog wild and joining some “Link Exchange” or “Link Farm.” No, you want to link to sites where you know their business or product. Their business or product is similar to yours. Your content on THAT page that you are building is similar to that other website. I hate when I go to Google and I type in keywords that I am searching on, and I come up with results that have NOTHING to do with what I need. This is why you want your content keywords to be organic, representing the material on your website.
I also believe that you give credit where credit is due! If you’ve learned something from a website and you are using their material in your page… credit them! Link them! You’ll find your page ranking will grow stronger and you will begin to see better search results.
Here’s a video that I found useful. Of course, this is what inspired me to write this post.