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    after reading over the over optimization penalty, I was aware of this. But I thought of it as keyword stuffing. I am guessing what happened, is when I cut out a lot of the other keywords, the density for the 12 that remain went through the roof. So it may have appeared to google that it was over-optimization. I also read that density for keywords shouldn't exceed 2%, is that still the benchmark? There aren't many words on our main page, mostly links to internal pages. So I am going to go back through and make sure they don't appear too often, so the page doesn't appear spammy to Google.

    Before I go back through and make these changes, is there any sort of ramifications that can happen if you constantly update the on-page SEO? I'm wondering if I should just take the page back to where it was before. It was clunky and heavy, but at least it was working.
  2. #17
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    There's NO SUCH THING as keyword density anymore. Sometimes, some sites repeat it, not always for %, but because it's how a user/reader of that niche expects or follows text. Each site has a different 'appropriate' level. Some more, some less.

    You want to know how many times to place your keyword on a page? The amount of times it appears natural and easy to read for the end user is the right percentage to use.

    You want good, quality, easy to read content.
    Check your title tags
    Check your internal linking
    Check your code and image compression
    Check to see for any poor external links

    At the end of the day you can do everything you want to the page itself, but you're not going to make great progress without powerful links.

    Comments on this post

    • realityhack agrees : And then have someone check the content for readability, spelling, grammar - humans who might share your page look at that stuff. (sorry no rep Joshz)
    • Dr.Marie agrees
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    Seriously, you have to evaluate if you are qualified to be messing with their site. If it is their main business, you are talking about messing with their livelihoods. To me, a professional seo consultant is someone who is reading about developments a few hours a day, has a track record of satisfied clients, understands what should and should not happen after changes are made, or knows enough not to make any changes.

    I'm not writing this to be cruel, but you are playing with fire practicing on a live business where money and jobs are at stake. The fact you didn't immediately recognize what over-optimization means indicates you are not in the seo game at all. How many SEO conferences have you attended? How many posts in the forums? How many clients? If your answer is zero you should hand off the task to someone else (unless it is your own site, then go for it).

    I've been doing seo for my own site since 2004 off the side of my desk so to speak. I got spanked by the Google animals and hired an seo pro. He knew a lot more than me because he eats and breathes this stuff (I don't) and after a couple of months, SERP improved a lot. Small site tweaks, advice on link baiting articles, a few powerful links, some xml mapping issues, etc., and that's all it took.
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    Then I added our company slogan in our title tag, which was only 5 words.
    That'll change your serps

    Comments on this post

    • realityhack agrees : LOL Almost as good as a link from google's home page right?
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    The changes you described should not have caused the site to drop out of the SERPS completely. While keyword stuffing is not a good thing to do, that on its own is not going to get you banned. The meta keywords tag is pretty much ignored by Google. Stuffing it is not going to get you penalized and removing it is not going to make any difference in your rankings.

    As an aside, Bing mentioned a while back that they did use stuffed meta keyword tags as an indication that a site could be manipulating the SERPS but it was a small factor.

    Any chance that you have accidentally noindexed the site? Is it Wordpress? If so did you set the privacy settings to private by any chance? Did you make any changes to the robots.txt file?

    When you changed the titles did you remove anything from them or just add the 5 word phrase?

    What date did you drop out of the SERPS on? Any chance it was January 22 or Dec 21?
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