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Penalty for Over-optimization

The penalty for over-optimization is a definition used in reference to a change in the Google search engine algorithm, as a result of which websites can be penalized for excessive SEO measures, including being downgraded in ranking or even being excluded from the engine's organic index search. This poses a risk of loss of traffic that is caused by search engines. The Penguin update, which was intended to penalize over-optimization, was released by Google on April 24, 2012.

Penalties for algorithm changes

In recent years, the search engine Google has repeatedly updated its website ranking algorithm to put off Sites in your index that are of little relevance to users and / or of low quality. Therefore, websites that contained spam or whose content was hidden from view of the user were banned from the index in the past. Examples of these changes to Google's algorithms were the Florida update and the Vince update.

What is over-optimization?

In connection with the Penguin update, over-optimization refers to the excessive use of certain optimization measuresonpage and offpage. With the excessive use of certain SEO techniques, the search engine becomes aware of the web page and imposes a penalty on it.

The following examples of SEO optimization measures could be penalized:

Keyword stuffing

For years, some webmasters have used keyword density as a yardstick to measure page optimization for specific search terms (keywords). According to keyword density logic, the more keywords that are placed on a page, the better it will be placed in search engine results for that keyword. For Google, however, hyperlinks played a bigger role, with keyword density gradually declining in importance and now represents an irrelevant metric for search engine optimization. If you put too many keywords on your website currently, you can expect it to be excluded from Google ranking due to over-optimization. Instead, Google relies on valuable content that is of particular relevance to the reader.

Link exchange

Link exchange has become one of the most popular link building tactics in recent years. This is basically a link exchange after the agreement of two or more webmasters. This technique has been used more and more in search engine optimization and has had some far-reaching consequences. Were built massive link networks to support artificial link building. An over-optimization in the area of link building through link exchange can be a reason for a penalty. Google is warning about unnatural links from anchor text keywords and link networks and is increasingly focusing on brands, because brands are always getting new mentions and therefore backlinks.


To avoid penalties through Google algorithm updates, it is recommended that any webmaster focus on their users, and not basically seek to artificially fabricate the visibility of their web portal. Measures such as conversion optimization, content marketing or usability testing can significantly improve the quality of web pages. It is better to do without forbidden techniques and spam attempts. The permitted SEO techniques are found in the Google Webmaster Guidelines.