Over-optimization – Something you need to be concerned about?

One of the recent updates Google endowed us with over the last few years included what became called the over-optimization penalty. This one is basically aimed at Webmasters who try and stuff their pages with keywords in the hopes of raising them in the search engine results.

This played out with folks being told to create their pages using a keyword density of between 2.5 and 5 percent for their primary keyword. The problem was, at least for many of us using WordPress and similar blogging platforms as our content management system, we now know that:

WordPress isn’t quite as “SEO ready” as we first thought!

It turns out that WordPress just loves to stuff your blog template with your primary keyword. Just by using many of the default and popular widgets you may have dozens of mentions of your keyword before you’ve even written it once! When you count up the times it appears in elements like titles, tags, categories, author links, archives and more, you’ll be amazed at how many times you’re using them. Google looks at the entire page of code, not just the article or blog post when determining how to rank your content!

So how do you avoid this?

Never fear, we’ve found some great tips to avoid over-optimization in WordPress.

  • Stop using tags – The use of tags and tag clouds grossly inflates the number of times your keyword is found on the page. Entirely not needed!
  • Take out the author link from your template – This produces another exact duplicate version of your post, which is duplicate content defined! Google how to do this.
  • Don’t use breadcrumb navigation – More keywords that aren’t serving a useful purpose.
  • Don’t have duplicate navigation menus – You see it constantly: a top navigation bar, with an identical version in the sidebar.
  • Do away with the recent posts widget – A staple in many WordPress installs that will only lead to poor rankings!

For more sound advice on how to avoid over-optimizing your WordPress content go see this awesome post!