Are You Guilty of Under-Optimization?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A little ways back we wrote a post titled, “Are You Guilty of Over-Optimization?” At the time, the Google Penguin update was somewhat recent and some website owners were seeing a huge dip in traffic and rankings. These sites were guilty of what Google believed to be “over-optimization” or going overboard with SEO tactics to try and gain an unfair advantage over the competition. Some ways in which website owners were over-optimizing were by using keyword rich domain names as opposed to the brand name, creating keyword rich microsites that had the sole purpose of ranking for specific keywords and then directing visitors to a separate website, writing content specifically for the search engines and cramming keywords in without considering how it looks to human visitors, and using the same keyword anchor text over and over, even in places where it may not make sense to do so.

Obviously, over-optimization is a big SEO “no no”. However, that doesn’t mean that SEO is dead or that SEO should no longer be a part of your online marketing strategy. By releasing the Penguin update, Google wasn’t telling website owners that they shouldn’t optimize their websites. Rather, it served as a reminder of the difference between good SEO and bad SEO. Google still expects website owners to optimize their websites and provide target audience members with great information that can be found in the search engines. Google just wants website owners to follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines and follow a white hat SEO strategy.

Unfortunately the Penguin update scared many website owners away from SEO. The thing is, “under-optimization”, or barely doing any SEO work or none at all, is just as bad. The search engines are extremely competitive spaces. The only way to be visible in the search engines is to spend a lot of money on PPC advertising and/or invest in on site SEO and SEO link building.

One of the big takeaways from the Google Penguin update was that Google was on to sites that were guilty of “unnatural linking”. Does this mean that you should avoid anchor text linking altogether? Absolutely not! Keyword anchor text linking, in addition to helping SEO, can also help from a usability standpoint. When creating SEO content if you hyperlink a certain word or phrase, the reader will understand that by clicking on that word or phrase they will be brought to a page of content that relates to that word or phrase. Google still wants your content to be user friendly. What Google doesn’t want is for the keyword anchor text linking to go overboard. If the same key phrase is used and linked to again and again (and even in cases where it doesn’t make sense) that’s when a red flag is raised. If you keep your anchor text linking natural and incorporate a variety of keyword variations, there is nothing wrong with that.

SEO is still a viable (and necessary) online marketing tactic. It’s just important to keep your SEO activities in check and consult with the search engine Webmaster Guidelines if you ever aren’t sure if you could be crossing the line into “over-optimization”.

Categorized in:

Like what you've read? Please share this article

Read What Full Service SEO Clients Say About SEO Firm Brick Marketing

"Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business"

“Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business. Through their expertise with the ever changing world of SEO, our web presence is as strong as ever. Our working relationship with Nick Stamoulis and Danielle Bachini has been outstanding. In collaboration with web designer Chris Roberts, we were also able to develop the perfect responsive website that truly reflects our business. Thank you Brick Marketing!​”

– Ellen Parlee, Parlee Farms

"Brick Marketing is levels above all integral part of my team"

“I have formed an invaluable marketing partnership with Brick Marketing. Nick Stamoulis and the rest of the Brick Marketing team are professional, timely, thorough and take time to, not only succeed at the tasks, but also educate myself and my team on the strategies in the process. Since my first encounter working with Brick, I’ve changed organizations and have taken them along with me…they are that good! In my experience in working with many outside agencies who over-promise and under-communicate, I can truly state that Brick Marketing is levels above all others and vested in our relationship. They are not just an SEO consultant, but an integral part of my team. I highly recommend Brick Marketing for any company looking to significantly increase search engine competitiveness and internet presence.​”

– Jodi Murphy, Marketing Director EUXmedia

"went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues"

“We hired Brick Marketing to manage our SEO, but they ended up also managing our company blog, social media marketing, helped us launch a pay per click advertising campaign, migrated our website to a new domain and so much more! Our SEO Specialist is always quick to respond whenever we had a question and went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues.”

– Mory Creighton, CEO, Pinpoint Laser Systems

"Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation."

“Brick Marketing is extremely valuable for feedback and advice in many aspects of marketing, not just SEO and I look forward to continuing to work with them over the long term to continually improve our business and increase sales. That’s what it’s all about. Just like their name implies, Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation.”

– Jeff Nicholson, President Freely Creative, Inc. /

"traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year"

“When we started working with Brick Marketing, we had just been subjected to a Google algorithm update and our websites both took substantial hits to traffic. Within a few months, Brick has taken both of our websites to pre-algorithm traffic and conversion levels, and for the CallFinder site, the traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year. Their expertise in SEO, responsive design, and content marketing helped us turn the situation around, and we could not be happier with the results we’ve seen in just our first four months of working with them. The team we work with at Brick Marketing is always available for off-the-cuff consultations and are at the ready to provide recommendations and suggestions to improve our site’s appearance and performance. They are truly a hands-on partner, which is immensely valuable to our business.​”

– Jeanne Landau, Director of Marketing |

"dependable, professional SEO company"

“Brick Marketing has been a dependable, professional SEO company that has helped us get results. In the last 6 months of using their services, visits to our website have increased by almost 30%. Our dedicated SEO Specialist was pleasant to deal with. Her suggestions for articles and press releases were industry specific. Brick Marketing always answered our phone calls and emails within an hour which made us feel valued as a client. I would recommend Brick Marketing to all businesses to handle their SEO needs.”

– JoAnne Loftus, Archival Designs, Inc.

"highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients"

“After working with many other SEO firms and not being satisfied I finally was introduced to the Brick Marketing President and Founder, Nick Stamoulis. Nick Stamoulis has educated me about SEO and has provided me with a well rounded SEO package, not only does he offer top quality services he also educates his clients and spends the time to explain everything and their SEO pricing is competitive. I will highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients. Brick Marketing is an A+ for SEO services.”

– Mike Cardella, Integrated Computer Services

"superior knowledge of marketing on the internet"

“I have had the good fortune to work with SEO expert Nick Stamoulis and his team at Brick Marketing and it was clear form the get go that Nick had superior knowledge of marketing on the internet. The SEO campaign and technical writing that Brick Marketing provides has been impressive, where in the past we struggled to find the high levels of competence in these two skill sets. Were only just beginning with Brick Marketing and look forward to growing with their expert guidance. Thank you Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team!”

– Craig Raubenheimer, President, Roan Solutions, Inc.

"Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased"

“The Brick Marketing team, was critical to ensuring that our new Web site is optimized to drive maximum traffic. Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased thanks to her assistance and advice. In addition, they executed a strategic link building program that helped further increase Web traffic.”

– Lauren LaFronz, Director of Marketing, enChoice, Inc.

"Brick Marketing is "solid" when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice"

“I had been impressed for a long time with the content that Brick Marketing was sharing in their informative blog posts and articles. I chatted with Nick Stamoulis a couple times and decided that he was the expert I wanted to work with. I have worked with Brick Marketing for about six months and they have helped us resolve several SEO related issues pertaining to our website. Our account rep is always just an email away with answers to any questions I have and suggestions for how we can improve what we’re doing. Brick Marketing is “solid” when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice. I definitely recommend them if you want to feel more secure about how your website is performing in searches and have the confidence that everything being done to improve your rank is white hat and legit.”

– Paul Rarick,

Contact Us about brick marketing Industries We Serve Case Studies

Need Assistance? Please Contact Us Below: