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So there has been a little bit of panic recently regarding potential over-optimization concerns, and to be honest– a lot of it has been much ado about nothing. There have been some cases where I have seen removing these over-optimization issues to be hugely beneficial but, that’s not all too common. For the most part, they tend to have some positive effect, but don’t expect them to take you from nowhere to the top. However, if you want to be on the safe side of things and are looking to protect the longevity of your campaign, then this is a quick checklist of some of the most common offenses that I tend to see on a regular basis. For the most part I’m going to try and keep this to things you can change pretty quickly.

1. Overuse of Bold/Strong tags on keywords: It’s an old tactic, and now it just looks a little spammy. I recently saw a case outside of the gambling sector where removing ten of these on a landing page resulted in a 23 place lift for the targeted keyword.

2. Titles, H1’s and H2’s: Contrary to some beliefs, you don’t have to get a keyword into each and every single one of these. Make them work for your users and not the search engines. Do that and they keywords should fit in their naturally anyway.

3. Spammy internal links: This one is a two parter.

  • This could be the big one and to be honest, I know for a fact a lot of affiliates are guilty of this. This could be in your sidebar, footer, nav bar or content. If you’ve chosen anchor text for the benefit of the search engine really look at it and see if it will help a user, as a rule of thumb if you’re not sure ask a non tech savvy friend or family member to click it and if it isn’t what they expected to see then you need to rethink your layout. Also over linking to particular landing pages much like offsite SEO is again something you don’t want to be doing.
  • Footers: Use your footers properly and don’t just fill them with spammy links to pages that you wouldn’t expect to find there. This is a common flaw. Footers are for privacy policies, T’s and C’s, Contact pages, etc. They’re not for links to reviews that you want to rank well.

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