So, what’s the problem?
Nothing, if you haven’t been massively over-zealous about how well optimised your website is. Being vigilant and up to date isn’t a problem, the issue Google is trying to fix relates to those link-fiends who have over-used their ‘white hat’ so much so, that is has turned a miserable shade of grey (In case you’re confused, I refer to this post).
Okay, so what is ‘over-opimisation’?
In a nutshell, it’s the act of doing everything that is possible to optimise your website, in a non-human and bot-like way.
Sure, over optimisation can include (and will probably be identified by inclusion of ) any of the following:
- Scraped, copied web content
- Too many ads on the page & not enough original content and copy
- That fact that your website loads faster than the speed of light
- When all links that are inbound and have identical anchor text
- Infinite forum links
- Hidden text (in a colour that matches the background, so it can’t be seen)
- Sites linking to you that are dodgy or malicious in any way
This list is not exhaustive as there are many more examples of things Google might suspect & then penalize you for.
Below, I’ve included a helpful video from SEOMoz’s very own Rand Fishkin that does well to explain what changes should be made to save your site from dropping in the ranks and possibly fading into obscurity online after Google’s next update:
The pleasure was all the greater given that no PR effort had been made to get a write up.
“Wine merchant Yapp Brothers is celebrating its 40th year in the business with a suitably swish revamp of it’s online home. The fresh design combines a stylish layout with a pleasantly personal tone, and offers several useful new features. These include an ‘easy wine selector’, which makes selections based on the colour, style, grape and price of your choice, and a food-and-wine matching facility that tells you which tipple goes best with specific meals.
Yapp Brothers specialises in wines from the Rhone, Loire, and Provence regions, many of which you won’t find anywhere else, and sells a great deal more besides”
Not sure what we had to do to get 5 stars
Its always nice when a client emails to tell you how things are going. I have removed the clients details to ensure their website visitor numbers remain confidential.
September site report summary
Bumper Month with record number of Site visits and Page views
During September 08 we had 141,000 visits to our 4 sites which is the largest ever in one month. It is also a 91% increase on September 07!
During September 08 we also had 430,000 page views which, again, was a record and was a 62% increase year on year.
xxxxx.co.uk had 93,000 visits in September 08 â€“ the biggest ever â€“ beating the previous record of 77,000 which we got in July this year. Year on year we have doubled the number of people visiting the site.
Looking at page views we had 273,000, another record and 57% up on Sep 2007.
We also had 1,600 new registrations in the month which is the largest monthly figure, outside of a period where were spending money to generate new members.
xxxxxx.co.uk had 44,000 visits in September 08 â€“ the biggest ever â€“ beating the previous record of 35,000 which we got in March this year. Year on year we have increased the number of people visiting the site by 91%.
Looking at page views we had 129,000, another record and 59% up on Sep 2007
We also had 1,390 new registrations in the month which is the largest monthly figure, outside of a period where were spending money to generate new members.
With this particular client one of the largest problems was the size of the sites, running into the tens of thousands of pages. Initially we concentrated on the site structure, making sure that the page optimisation was good as possible – ensuring each page had unique page titles and meta data, improving the page structure, URL formats and internal navigation.
Once we were happy that the site would rank as high as possible we concentrated on ensuring all of the pages were indexed and raising the overall profile of the site through an ongoing like development program. The client was very easy to work with during this entire process, taking information on-board and acting on our recommendations – of course now they’re benefitting from the results!
I am pleased to announce the arrival ofÂ Adam Miller.Â Adam will join our growing online marketing team.Â Adam was head and shoulders above other interviewees for this position.Â HeÂ showed passion for the subject area, an ability to communicate in clearÂ english, Â and he has a string of projects already under his belt that demonstrate his ability in promoting sites online. I am confident that our clients will be well looked after by him.