Is Your Site At Risk For Being Dinged By Google?
Just recently I was having a fun conversation about effective websites, search engine optimization, and conversion optimization with super friendly, super knowledgeable SEO expert Jim Kreinbrink.
At one point I asked, "Out of curiosity, Jim, what would you say are some of the top things you're seeing people getting dinged for by Google these days?"
Jim smiled and immediately answered, "We are definitely seeing more and more penalties for on-page over-optimization since Google's "Penguin 2" changes."
Title tags x3 + hidden comments
Here are four of the over-optimization problems Jim singled out. Interestingly, the top 3 are related to title tags.
- Title tag repetition hell. When many (or worse... all) of your web pages' title tags are identical or nearly identical, you're immediately decreasing your chances at higher Google rankings.
- Title tag repetition hell, part 2. Hoping to get their point across even more emphatically, people often repeat their keywords multiple times in their web pages' title tags. This is a definite no-no. Keep keyword repetition out of those title tags, folks.
- Title tags that're too chatty. Jim mentioned he's seen many websites run into problem lately when their pages' title tags were too lengthy, and rambled on and on and on and on. A best practice tip: do your best to keep your title tags somewhere in the vicinity of 60 - 69 characters in length.
- Hidden comments aren't hidden treasure. Sometimes webmasters comment out code. In the old days, this technique would sometimes be used to try and stuff keywords into the code that actual website visitors wouldn't be able to see (but the search engines could). Sometimes webmasters comment out code with the intention of un-commenting it in the future (but never do). Google wasn't born yesterday though. If you're trying to show Google keywords that you're hiding from your website visitors through hidden code comments, you're definitely over-optimizing and at risk for being dinged by Google. You may wish to have your webmaster review your code to make sure you don't unintentionally have any hidden comments hiding from you.
The great news today is that all of these problems are very, very easily reversed.
A review and refresh of your title tags and a review of your site's code (especially if your site is older) can go a long, long way toward ensuring your website's search engine rankings don't end up being dinged by something that's very easily avoidable.
And of course, if you have questions about your keywords, title tags, or search engine marketing and Google rankings in general, don't hesitate to contact us. We help our clients boost their sites' search engine rankings, and we'd be happy to explore whether we'd be a great match to work with you to do the same.