I was just wondering if anyone had any experience of being penalised for over-optimisation and if so, what caused it?
The reason I ask is that my hotel booking site (http://www.swindon-hotels.org) is highly target for the key phrase "swindon hotels", including on-site, backlink anchors and even in the domain name. I used to also have the key phrase as the title a month ago and was even further down the rankings so changed it to "hotels in swindon" for experimental purposes. Yet, having spent an hour or so this morning looking at sites ranking way above mine for the key phrase at http://www.opensiteexplorer.com, I'm finding many sites ranking well above me despite having seemingly inferior backlink profiles.
For instance, consider this: http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/www.swindon-hotels.org/www.swindon.com/a!comparison
It would appear that my backlink profile is stronger and more relevant (I have sought as many relevant backlinks as possible), yet my site ranks lower for the key phrase (Swindon Hotels).
I'm not really an SEO nut, this is the only site I own that really depends on having a decent listing, but having put a months work in to build the site, I'd really like to get it ranked!
Do the SEO experts here think that I am guilty of over-optimisation? How would you recommend I improve the rankings?
Many thanks in advance,