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Thread: I really hope this doesn't happen...

  1. #1
    Registered Mike's Avatar
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    I really hope this doesn't happen...

    Read on another forum that google maybe penalizing those sites who target a keyword too much...

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/18402-47-15.htm

    1. Google is depreciating pages/sites that are over-optimized for certain keywords or keyword combinations. It does this by looking up search terms in a dictionary of target keywords or keyword pairs that it has compiled. This dictionary is Top Secret, because if you knew what was in the dictionary, you could avoid these words in your optimization efforts.

    2. If the search term or terms hit on a dictionary entry, the search results for that user's search are flagged. This means that before the results are delivered, the order of the links, or even the inclusion of links, are adjusted so as to penalize pages that have overoptimizated for those terms. Most likely the title, headlines, links and anchor text are examined. It's possible that external anchor text pointing to that page has also been pre-collected and is available for scanning, but this is much less likely. (Besides, external links are not something within your immediate control, so don't worry about it right now.)
    Now I know it's only a rumour, but I really do hope that this doesn't happen...

    Mike
    Don't you just love free internet games ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member chromate's Avatar
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    Hmmm. I'd like to know the source of these statements. If it's a google employee, then fair enough. If it's just a roumer then it should be taken with a pinch of salt.

    I don't think this is the case anyway. I can't really see how it would work effectively. Too many sites that are genuinely "on topic" with respect to the search term and that have had no SEO would be penalized as well. It would result in a lot of bad SERPs. But then, we're getting those anyway, right?

    ... who knows ...

  3. #3
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    Every update results in another theory from WebmasterWorld. People post their ideas who no proof, no empirical evidence, and only a couple days of observation.

    I'm not saying it is is impossible that Google has some sort of "over-optimization" filter now. But anyone who makes up specifics that would be impossible to know just brands themselves an idiot.
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  4. #4
    Resident smart a$$
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    This does seem to go beyond the usual knee jerk, post update reaction you get on some Google forums.

    At the risk of spreading gossip, there's an article about it on the subscription site searchengine-news.com and being discussed on the few Google forums I've seen - more over that Google have started (no doubt been going for longer ) dropping specific pages that are over cooked (anchor text, h1, title, strong etc.) for an exact phrase.
    Last edited by Best.Flash; 11-22-2003 at 09:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    Just because something is in an article doesn't make it true.

    For every time you could chalk up a site dropping due to over-optimization you can find another site equally as optimized that is still ranked well.
    Chris Beasley - My Guide to Building a Successful Website[size=1]
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  6. #6
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    True its a theory, like almost all things SEO related

    From my own experience (and this seems to be mirrored by several other posts i see, excluding WW) is specific pages that previously had long term high rankings for competitive terms have dropped without a trace for the SERP's - PR and other pages on the site are unaffected - only the page(s) that are optomised for an exact phrase are dropped.
    Last edited by Best.Flash; 11-22-2003 at 09:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    Yes... but those are the symptoms, not the cause.

    Some pages are inexplicably immune as well.
    Chris Beasley - My Guide to Building a Successful Website[size=1]
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  8. #8
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    Some pages are inexplicably immune as well.
    As far as a potential cause - from my own observations the page in question used only that term for all external and internal anchor / alt text and the term appeared once within the pages <title> and <strong> tags and a link within the page.
    Last edited by Best.Flash; 11-22-2003 at 10:35 PM.

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    LOL Chris. I agree -- people on WW are so full of sh** sometimes. They are more speculative than any other kinds of people on this planet.

  10. #10
    Freelance Web Designer KeithMcL's Avatar
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    A very good read on this subject: http://www.searchengineguide.com/llo.../1125_bl1.html

  11. #11
    Senior Member chromate's Avatar
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    Totally agree with what's been said. It's not the fact that they've made observations, the problem is that they come to a conclusion and it suddenly becomes a "fact" in their head.

    Just passing along my observations... I have a site that was very heavily optimized for a key phrase. It has a pretty high keyword density and lights up like a Christmas tree when the highlight button on the google toolbar is clicked Since this last update the page has completely disapeared from the SERPs. However, all the other subpages that are less optimized are still showing up just fine.

    That site's pretty new though, which may have something to do with it. Like I say, just an observation - not drawing any conclusions. Just something to think on.

  12. #12
    Chronic Entrepreneur
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    More anecdotal evidence:

    If I do a search for my target keywords: Northeastern State University, and limit it to my site only:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site:...UTF-8&filter=0

    You'll see that the first two results are
    www.nsuforum.com/index.php and
    www.nsuforum.com

    If you look at Google's cache (google's cache, not the current content of these pages) for these 2 pages, you'll see that www.nsuforum.com is littered with keywords in the body, and in the alt and link title tags, and has a higher pagerank. www.nsuforum.com/index.php has fewer keywords and lower pagerank.

    Yet www.nsuforum.com/index.php is ranked higher.

    I know that many other variables come into play here and this doesn't prove anything, but maybe this example and more like it will help everyone figure out what's going on. In the meantime, I'm going to reduce the number of keywords on my homepage, resubmit to google, and see what happens.

  13. #13
    Senior Member chromate's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to aswell, but I'm not sure to what extent to decrease the kw density. I'll probably just wait until the next update before doing anything. We'll have a clearer picture of what's going on then.

  14. #14
    Registered Mike's Avatar
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    If it is to do with how many times a keyword is mentioned, I for one do not think it is right.

    Say if your doing a big review on a product, your gonna have to mention the keyword a lot aren't you?
    Don't you just love free internet games ?

  15. #15
    Senior Member chromate's Avatar
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    Yeah. As I've said before, I can't see how it would work without google inadvertently dropping perfectly good on-topic sites that haven't even had any SEO.

    I don't get how the divide would work between "a site that's had lots of SEO" and "a site that is naturally very much on topic"

    I would think the two are too similar for any heavy SEO discrimination to work realistically. Maybe that's what google are now discovering.

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