Before we jump into the main topic, let us take a moment to refresh our memory. Website optimization for search engines (SEO) is an ongoing process whereby a series of activities take place over time to improve a website's search engine rank. Some (not all) of the activities included in website optimization include:

-adding links to internal pages
-adding links to external pages
-creating content that has a specific keyword density
-utilizing meta tags to get your website seen and 
-putting the same content over various web pages to create a network of revenue-generating websites. 

Prior to the Penguin Update by Google, keyword, link and meta tag optimization was an effective way to get more traffic and drive revenue. However, ever since the Penguin update, a lot of websites have been penalized foir what is termed "over-optimization". Now, the Penguin update wants to see unique and original content on websites that is helpful to visitors. Google is more interested in the strength of your content and can penalize you for over-optimization which can inlude too many internal links to drive traffic and external links that are not relevant to website content. Furthermore, Google also wants to put a stop to websites repurposing the same content over multiple web pages just to generate traffic. A lot of tactics that website owners could get away with before Penguin are now considered to be dangerous. If your site uses such tactics to gain traffic, then it is highly possible that it is over-optimized. 

One of the first things that you can do to help prevent Penguin from considering your website to be over-optimized is to continually add fresh and relevant content. If you don’t have a blog on your website, add one to it and if you already have a blog, start adding new content regularly. If your website goes for too long without new content, then Google may start to drop it in the rankings. Fresh, new content that is relevant to your website's subject matter is very important in keeping your rank up. You will also need to remove any content that is written based solely on keyword frequency and keyword placement – content must be written for the human reader and NOT for the search engine crawlers.

As you continue to re-tool your website, you will want to update internal links and you wiall also want to make sure that your external links are relevant and active. Analyze the anchor text that you are using for your links and make sure it is part of content and that it flows together and makes sense for a human reader. Your website must avoid repeating meta tags.

The bottom line: original content for your websites will help you avoid becoming a victim of a possible over-optimization penalty.

Have you been a victim of over-optimiztion?

Rajeev Ratra is the CEO of Arnima, a Search Engine Optimization Company based in Tampa, Florida.