Google’s Over Optimization Penalty
So you’ve been working hard at getting links for your website and watching links increase! WoooHooo! But then.. all of a sudden.. Penguin update and WHAM your website begins to slide because of the Google Over Optimization Penalty! The first thing you want to do is panic.. but don’t! It can be fixed, although it may take some time.
First, start looking into what the spread of anchor text links are for your website. There are a few tools out there that you can use, my favorite being Open Site Explorer. Look and see where your anchor text is the heaviest. If it seems it is the heaviest weighted toward your key phrases, you may well have experienced the Google Over Optimization Penalty. Break it down into 3 categories: Branding, Random and Key Phrase. Most professionals get a little deeper than that, but if you were ranking on your own, I’m fairly confident you can get away with just these. Try to get the spread to be around 40% Branding, 40% Random and 20% aimed at your key phrase(s).
Now this is just my personal opinion, but the recent changes have made me realize that my job is to Professionally Optimize a client’s website, without looking too much like it is being done professionally. I think this is one of the reasons Bruce Clay predicted that Google will begin losing market share to Bing and others during 2012; I have to concur.
But again, do not panic, and do not lose hope. It may take time to fix your percentages, but it is not impossible. Remember, your competitors may have experienced the same results. They may not be willing to put in the time to win, but if you are, you will conquer. Go for it, and Happy Seo’ing!