Google 'over optimisation' penalty

12 replies
Hi guys,

Just wondering if anyone has ever been hit with an over optimisation penalty by Google? I have been building backlinks for a while to a page on my website, however had 95% of the backlinks with exactly the same anchor text. I knew before doing it that it wasn't going to help my backlink profile look natural, but took the risk.

Google has obviously noticed how unnatural the links were and has penalised my site. I know it's a penalty due to many different reasons such as not being able to rank for my domain name (minus the .net), the keyword I ranked for on page one has now dissapeared in to oblivion, I don't rank for my page name and when put in quotes, rank DEAD LAST and I have used a Google penalty checker that states I've been slapped.

So I'm certain the penalty is for over optimisation, but has anyone else here experienced this and if so, how long after making your backlink profile look natural, did it take for the penalty to be lifted?

Any advice or comments are welcome.

Edit: this was meant to go in to the SEO subforum, apologies.
#google #optimisation #penalty
  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    What in the world is a Google Penalty Checker, and how do you know its not just trying to blow smoke up your ass?

    If you are on the dead last page, don't stop building links. You need to flesh out your link profile. Do a press release to get a link from authority like sites and start getting links from web 2.0 properties.

    Do a couple press releases actually, and you should see yourself start to dance again.

    Source: Personal experience. I've sent many sites packing to the lonely 500+ range. It's actually kind of easy to get them back dancing.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I have heard that if too many links have the same anchor text, then it is obvious to Google that you are "making links" instead of "earning links", and that can be used as a strike against you.

    It makes sense to me, and if I ran Google, they would be looking at that as a negative strike.

    When people are giving you links, they are going to use dozens of anchor text variations to describe your URL. So why would Google look at it any different?

    If your anchor text is weighted 95% towards one anchor text, that is unnatural and worthy of a red flag.

    But GOOD NEWS!!!

    If Google is penalizing your website, you can take off your horse blinders now and start looking at other ways of getting targeted traffic to your website.

    Now that Google hates you, you have no choice but to look beyond Google for your traffic, which is a more sustainable business plan than only relying on Google!
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    • Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      I have heard that if too many links have the same anchor text, then it is obvious to Google that you are "making links" instead of "earning links", and that can be used as a strike against you.

      It makes sense to me, and if I ran Google, they would be looking at that as a negative strike.

      When people are giving you links, they are going to use dozens of anchor text variations to describe your URL. So why would Google look at it any different?

      If your anchor text is weighted 95% towards one anchor text, that is unnatural and worthy of a red flag.

      But GOOD NEWS!!!

      If Google is penalizing your website, you can take off your horse blinders now and start looking at other ways of getting targeted traffic to your website.

      Now that Google hates you, you have no choice but to look beyond Google for your traffic, which is a more sustainable business plan than only relying on Google!
      I think I've been making this mistake for a few weeks now. Oh well, live and learn
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post


      But GOOD NEWS!!!

      If Google is penalizing your website, you can take off your horse blinders now and start looking at other ways of getting targeted traffic to your website.
      Thing about that is that Google penalizing your site if it was at any time ranked should give lasting traffic in return visitors. So the problem is not merely that people get slapped and their traffic therefore dries up. Its that they don't have the kind of sites people want to return to again. That means ANY traffic system they have will end up with high bounces and low return traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author ladywriter
    What I'm curious about is whether this penalty applies to articles as well. I have had a few clients request keyword stuffing to a level that is unnatural and almost laughable. I know that a healthy keyword density is.....healthy, but at what point is it too much?
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    Google penalty checker... hmmm Did not know such a tool exists.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaverickUK
    tpw I knew I could rely on you :p

    Steven, all it does is check obvious stuff that I stated in my post, or at least I assume so - if you can't rank for your website name, something is definitely wrong
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      With the newest updates from Google, one of the things they are examining is anchor text. As mentioned earlier in this thread, a consistent pattern of the same anchor text is something they are looking out for and will also penalize a site for.

      Writing in such a way that your sentence structure always has the exact same anchor text back to your site is very contrived and easily caught by Google.

      Mixing your anchor text should come naturally if your writing naturally. You'll end up using LSI and other variations which will look natural because it will be natural.

      Some blog networks are going to find if they haven't already, that they will suffer due to the same anchor text being in the syndicated content that their users publish.

      Change is here and more change to come. Those who do not change will just end up being left out of the index. = /

      Pretty smart move on Googles part, these changes basically weed out the lazy content producers and reward those that change or who have already been producing content that Google wants to see.

      Also I might point out that the Panda changes basically shut out any one who speaks or writes in English as a second language who does not have good mastery of English, so this pretty much targets many overseas countries that market in predominately English speaking countries. I fully believe this was intended by Google as well. = )
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by MaverickUK View Post

    Hi guys,

    Just wondering if anyone has ever been hit with an over optimisation penalty by Google? I have been building backlinks for a while to a page on my website, however had 95% of the backlinks with exactly the same anchor text. I knew before doing it that it wasn't going to help my backlink profile look natural, but took the risk.

    it may have nothing to do with anchor text and everything to do with the kinds of links. Google last month and this month has been sending out notices to people with unnatural links pointing to their sites. Now if you are not using their webmaster tools then you may just have been hit with no way to send you a notice.
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    • Profile picture of the author MaverickUK
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      it may have nothing to do with anchor text and everything to do with the kinds of links. Google last month and this month has been sending out notices to people with unnatural links pointing to their sites. Now if you are not using their webmaster tools then you may just have been hit with no way to send you a notice.
      Nope, I'm not. Is it safe to assume that even if I did add it now, it's all too late to receive or see this messag if it was submitted in the first page?
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  • Profile picture of the author MaverickUK
    Mike, why would someone want to return to, for example, an affiliate sales page? Truth is, they wouldn't. If you're reviewing a product and suggesting the reader may want to invest money in said product, they'd never have any intention to return to the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Heavenstorm
    I had a site which rank #13 last time and I was building exact anchor text all the way. All my backlinks were high quality and I had way more than the top 10 sites but it just will not move up for months. So I tried build links using my website address as the anchor text and poof~ it went to page one.
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