SEO Overkill

Dec 8, 2005 - 2:15 pm 0 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2005

Michael Murray from Fathom. SEo is not a shopping spree. Yes, you need traffic but pace yourself. Even sound practices may fail if they're rushed. Domain stuffing; short domains are easy to read, multiple hyphens or forced capitalization looks like spam, visitors are suspicious. Managing too many keywords at once, pick your priorities, what are your profit margins, give main keywords enough attention. Folder and page name excess, yes keywords can influence rankings, make sure they match content, limit repetition to appease engines. Taming the title tag, long titles are useless. Meta description overload; avoid long descriptions, portion appears in the search results, laundry list of keywords may not match content. Over the top meta keyword tags; hard to avoid this traditional step, some search engines downplay this tag due to past abuse, limit to a few keywords. Meta bonanza, skip misc meta tag options, they do little for engines, dont waste your time. Overdone visible text, massive keyword repetition in a small space may annoy web site visitors. Heading tag misuse, dont overstuff, avoid overuse. Visible text is unusual places, looks like an amateur put the site together, text placed above the entire page should match design and read like a sentence. Watch out for sitemaps, don't pursue too many keywords and avoid major copy clusters. Watch out for the visible links blitz, links in content are useful, but too many may be viewed as spam. Anchor text gone wild, too many search terms in the same hyperlink dilute the impact of a favored keyword or phrase. Renegade programmers, know what your programmers are doing (hiding keywords). Link title attribute mess, prime example of overkill. Alt tag overflow! Be careful about getting too many links too fast. Hidden text. Micro sites, search engines hate duplicate content, add good content to your main domain. No frames tag, the no frames tag space is ideal for citing browser limitations, include a robust summary of the site and links to specific pages.

Matt Bailey from Karcher Group. Users scan content; 79% of users scan a Web page, 16% read word for word (from Jacob Neilson). You look at headlines, sub headings, bulleted lists, headers, content arrangement, and half the word count. Screen reader users scan by listening; listen to the first few words, list links, list headers, and skip navigation. He plays a screen reader of a keyword stuffed page. He shows that hidden text is shown also on a mobile device. Well designed pages and content = credibility. Over optimization; write for search engines versus write for conversions.

Heather Lloyd-Martin, President, SuccessWorks International (very peppy, in a good way). Title stuffing, think of titles like headlines, when they are stuffed, they look bad. Remember that the SERPs are your first opportunity for conversion (and that is where your title is shown), make that title as clickable as possible. Kooky copy to get clicks; its on thing to create headlines that grab attention, its an other when it has nothing to do with the ad, titles can be creative but make the content relevant. Linkorama losers, she shows a page with tons and tons of links on it. Lots of links isnt helpful, its confusing and will overwhelm your readers, think about the rule of three and use those links to pre-qualify powerful landing pages. Conversion confusion; she shows a page with tons of text but no way to convert on that page. Baby, don't stuff the keyphrases and shows an example... Bad, bad misspellings, she shows how Google has the "did you mean xxx" in the SERPs, customers will notice misspellings pretty easily...which makes your company look really bad.


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