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Google’s latest algorithm update is now starting to be called Penguin. At first it was an unnamed update that Google said was necessary to combat webspam. It’s interesting that now they’ve decided it needs a name.

There is a huge difference between an overoptimized website and a website that relies on spam for rankings. You can be one without being the other. I’m sure Google knows that.

But that doesn’t mean that overoptimization is excusable. You may have crossed a line, but it wasn’t a big line.

So what is overoptimization, exactly? In my mind, an example of overoptimization would be too many keywords. It’s when you focus so heavily on keywords that you end up chasing the keywords and therefore include too many on your web page. Maybe you didn’t go so overboard that you are a spammer. Maybe you just went a little overboard.

Overoptimization happens when fairly innocent Internet marketers try to hard to achieve the right rankings.

Sometimes overoptimization can simply be an aggregate of a lot of small errors. Maybe you have too many keywords in your domain name and too many on your web page, plus your inbound links are all using one keyword so you have no link diversity. The key is to scale back on your use of keywords and use a level head where your content is concerned.

If you write content for human readers rather than robots, you shouldn’t have an overoptimization problem. And you definitely won’t have a spam problem.

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