Too Much SEO? 3 Ways to Avoid Being Penalized!

Services for Real Estate Pros with RealSupport Inc.

Search Engine Optimization has been at the forefront of many real estate agents minds the past few years since staying on top of sites like Google has been a great avenue to growing small businesses.  And, while as Real Estate Virtual Assistants, we’ve seen the tremendous benefit of SEO, the question of over-optimization has been circulating.  


Is there really such a thing as too much SEO? 


At a recent South by Southwest conference, Google spokesperson Matt Cutts hinted at the idea of sites being penalized for over-optimization.  While nothing has been established by Google yet, the goal would be to cut down on sites that focus too much on SEO and contain no real content.  Some triggers that Google might see as a red flag are “too many key words on a page” and pages that “exchange way too many links.”


So, you might be wondering “where’s the balance?”


You may have worked hard to bring your real estate website and blog up to speed with great SEO, so it can be frustrating to hear it may actually work against you.  In working with real estate agents on a daily basis, we often get the question of SEO and are asked if hiring an SEO company is a good idea.  


The answer that we always give is that it has to be organic.  Content has to be the first priority, so you don’t want to pay tons of money to a company that is providing hidden SEO, but no substantial information for your audience. 


Here are 3 ways you can keep your SEO in check:


1. Content- Make sure you’re writing content on your blog and website for your audience; not just for a high ranking.  Content that is SEO focused can be difficult to read and your audience will quickly see through your agenda.  If they know that they are secondary to a ranking; they’ll write off your site.


2. Quality- Buying profile links from sellers will give you quantity, but not quality links.  Google will view this as over-optimization which could put you at risk!  Make sure the links on your website and blog are quality links that make sense and point back to appropriate sources on your site. 


3. Accountability- Google released a list of 23 Questions that provide guidelines for quality content and the best SEO ranking.  While they’re not telling what makes up their Panda algorithm for pushing you to the top of rankings, these guidelines will help you get there without being penalized.


The bottom line?  If you’re providing your audience with quality information and working on organic SEO; you’re doing the right thing!  


We provide web copywriting and real estate blogging for our clients so they can rest assured they have well researched, pertinent content that’s filled with natural SEO.  If you have questions about SEO or would like us to give you feedback on your website and blog; let us know!  We’d be happy to help get your SEO up to speed and help you avoid any unnecessary penalties!

Allie Coyle
Blogging & Copywriting Specialist 






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RealSupport, Inc.
RealSupport Inc. - Schaumburg, IL
- Virtual Real Estate Marketing

Hi Corrine,

You're so right! People have gotten caught up in SEO optimization on their sites and have definitely been focusing less on providing great content. It's important to have your keywords somewhere one each page, but you don't need to overdo it! We think it's a good move by Google to penalize sites who are over-optimizing because it gets rid of the spam and junk that can show up higher in the search engines than the legitimate, good quality sites that provide great content that's informative.

The need for instant results is also an issue. In order to get to the top of Google, you need consistent content that is well-written and informative, not a page on your site that is a one-time shot. You should always be making updates and thinking of ways to make your site look fresh. We like your sentiment about "never really got going." This is SO true. These things take time!

Thank you, as always, for the comment Corrine! We love hearing from you and appreciate your participation on our blog.

Apr 11, 2012 07:34 AM #2
Aaron Eden
Tucson, AZ

Now, your post made me think of someone saying that if content is king these days, everyone would have become great writers and that each website would have reached its ROI.  I think, context is king... and sadly, there are still black hat practices out there that tries to outsmart the searches.  A few months back, I've had to deal with a scrapper site whose website's content copied mine, verbatim, and worse-- posted it as an original work under someone's name.  But the ugliest part of it is that all of the site's content is a copy of someone else's.. so I did my due diligence in informing the other victims and a dmca takedown was in place.  What's funny is that site outranked our post for a few days and after we've taken action, the site was taken down - for good. 

Apr 12, 2012 04:21 PM #3
RealSupport, Inc.
RealSupport Inc. - Schaumburg, IL
- Virtual Real Estate Marketing

Hi Aaron,

Were glad that site was taken down! What a dishonest and unethical thing to do. With Google's new policies about over-optimizing a site, I think that their primary goal IS to get rid of sites like the one you described in which there is over-optimization and duplication on certain sites. Whenever we have clients who want to post complete blog posts in more than one place, we always discourage them because there should be custom-written content everywhere. Unfortunately, you are correct in that people will always find ways to work the system and get around it, but all we can say is that the best thing to do is keep your content fresh and interesting and do the best you can to comply. Those scrapper sites will get what's coming to them. ;)

Apr 18, 2012 07:26 AM #4
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