Until recently, Google had always adopted a negative approach when penalizing websites for violating quality guidelines. Those websites that did something illegal or manipulative were penalized. On the other hand, websites that resorted to over optimization were not punished. Google preferred those websites that struck the right balance between optimizing for search engines and optimizing for end users. A perfectly optimized website will be ranked the highest. A website that is optimized but where the webmaster has gone in for over optimization will be ranked lower. The website that tries to manipulate the system will be ranked the lowest. This is how the system worked.
The updates released in April 2012 have changed everything. As of now, even over optimization is being penalized. Submitting hundreds of ordinary quality articles to article directories will not be enough to attract traffic to your website. In fact, this reason is enough for Google to punish your website and reduce its rankings. Posting five top quality articles is preferable to posting 100 ordinary quality posts. This has now become the norm.
So, what steps should you take to ensure that you are not penalized for resorting to over optimization?
Take a long and hard look at your keyword density. The general consensus is that keyword density between 2% to 8% is considered acceptable by Google. Anything above 8% will result in penalties for keyword spamming. However, many persons took this rule to the other extreme and focused on uniform keyword density of 7% throughout the website. They figured that this would be the best way to ensure that their content is linked and ranked high by Google.
The filters that have been introduced recognized instances of unrealistic and theoretical keyword density. The fact that a particular keyword has been repeated again and again just for the sake of link building is enough for Google to penalize you. On the other hand, using the right keyword at the right place in the best manner possible is enough to improve your rankings.
Stop Keyword Spamming
Stop writing for search engines. Using a keyword once or twice in the article is enough for an intelligent reader. You do not have to use the keyword 35 times in a 500 word post just to make sure your site is ranked high anymore.
There is nothing wrong in determining the keywords before writing your content. However, the keywords should be introduced in a sensible and natural manner. In many cases, it is evident that the article has been constructed just to highlight a particular keyword and for no other reason. In many cases, SEO experts resort to excessive internal linking to increase chances of high rankings.
This is not going to work anymore. If you want good results, then you will have to write for an intelligent reader and do your best to make sure that your content is shared with others. Simply having good intentions and resorting to White Hat techniques will not work any longer. You will have to resort to intelligent SEO instead of defensive search engine optimization. Make sure you keep this factor in mind when choosing a SEO expert for your website.