Is too much SEO really bad?

Hi All,

I have a friend working in an Internet marketing company as Sr. SEO. There is a rule in his company that every SEO person or a link builder must build or get 500 backlinks per day and I hear that they are still providing better results and delivering projects on time and before time. They do target competitive keywords and less competitive phrases.

An example of a keyword would be “Electrical Installations” and “Electrical Apparatus NewYork”.

They mostly work on Directory submission, Social Bookmarking and Articles. Prioritized in order.

My question is: Is over optimization really a problem? I am sure what these guys do is something called “Over Optimization”

[FONT=verdana]I don’t know if it’s a problem. I suspect it isn’t, but nobody outside Google knows that for sure.

What I can tell you is that it’s not the best use of these guys’ time. Things like directory submissions might be of some use, but they’re not going to propel a site very high up the search results. Certainly not enough to justify the effort involved.

You say that they are “providing better results and delivering projects on time”. It would be interesting to know how that is measured. If the success rate is based on an increase in the company’s sales, then that’s an excellent outcome. But if it is just based on the number of backlinks they achieve, that would be completely pointless.


Thanks Mike, for your response…

I agree with your point that the guys time is wrongly utilized.

Actually, the results they provide are the keyword SERP on specific. Indirectly it implies that client gets organic visits to his website. They do guarantee complete money back incase the results are not delivered.

[font=verdana]The two questions to consider are

  1. Is the SEO process itself ‘safe’, and the answer is that anything that isn’t strictly in line with Google’s guidelines has a risk attached, and that risk is that when Google Polecat or Google Puffin or whatever the next update is called comes out, you might find that the tactic you’ve used becomes worthless, and could potentially harm your site. From what you’ve said, that sounds unlikely, but you can’t rule it out.

  2. Is the SEO work bringing home the bacon? SEO should lead to your site being higher up in the results pages, which should translate into more visitors, which should give you more sales (or more of whatever metric you consider most important). That’s where you need to measure your ROI to see if you’re getting good value. If every $100 you spend brings in $75 in revenue then it isn’t worthwhile, and that’s when over optimising your site can be a bad thing.[/font]

Yes. Over optimizing can lead to bitter results but then you need to quantify “over optimization”. Now, this quantification changes from time to time depending on the guidelines of search engines, majorly the google. As the guidelines shift to more transparent and legit optimization, the older techniques such as directory submissions, article submissions etc do not weigh much and only add to the so called “over optimization”.

Over optimisation is never good, and especially artificial linkbuilding is risky. If Google decide it is artificial/blackhat, they can give you a manual penalty; standards seems to be 50 places down. Apart from that, you can also clash with their algorithms and be picked up as blackhat that way.
It seems that you have to go pretty wild before that happens ( at the moment ) so more a matter of potential waste then direct risk. However, the importance of links has been going down for a while, especially if the links are for a large part from unrelated sites and even more so from blogfarms and the likes. This trend was much emplified with Penguin and is likely to be increased again with the next major shake up due in the next couple of months.

What is your corebusiness? Are the sites in your signature yours?

Here is a link to a post from SEOmoz explaining it all.

Thanks for your response…

Do you even include the top 10 or 25 web and article directories into your “do not weigh” category? If yes, then I guess you are completely wrong. Top websites on all categories are worthwhile.

Thanks for your response Bob…

I agree with your fact that over optimization is never good and especially this amount of link building. I would say its JUNK. But I am really exited how Google gives value to their SEO perspectives at this stage. Was just curios in discussing this with forum members and trying to find an answer.

FYI, this is the situation in a company where my friend works.

Sometimes getting too many links might be called over optimization and sometimes it does not. The real status of the websites affected too can be very important indeed. For example, for an aged domain which already has been on front page of Google for a long time and having many links, if you quickly add even hundreds of new links to that in one day, probably nothing might happen and it may even get better ranks.

Newer sites which still are behind some filters or are struggling to get found might reveal other things if getting optimized too much. Usually number of links might not be a great measure of telling how websites are doing. Some directory links can be very strong but trying to submit web addresses to as many portals as you can found might not be a sound strategy towards building links, especially for new sites in hot niches.

500 backlinks per day is a large amount in terms of backlinks pointing on a single site, and in return can raise signal to big G that you are manipulating your rankings, that’s why penguin is released to filter out artificial links, and for on-page you have the Panda for over optimized keyword website pages.

It gets dangerous when you try to quantify it like “500 backlinks a day”

Why not have them focus on quality than quantity?

500 backlinks back links per day would be putting yourself at risk for getting google slapped! I think there are better ways to optimize your website.
Google really do sent want you to do seo optimization but concentrate on providing good content . The rest of the web masters duty to rank well in search can be found at Also directory submissions and Article marketing are some menthods which have helped people get links and improve their rankings on search

Nope. The top 20 to 25 article directories of the pertinent niche/genre do count and are worthwhile but web directories are not much used these days and are only of little importance.

It is actually not a problem. They might be doing as per the demand from their project owners. But am not sure on your saying for 500 backlinks per day. This is bit surprising.

Too much SEO is not bad if it is relevant to the business niche but if some one is doind too much SEO and irrelevant to business niche then it is bad for the business website. So one has to avoid too much SEO.


Too much of anything is not good. 500 backlinks for a website in a single day can definitely be treated as spam. That too with links only from directories, directories and bookmarks, you cannot achieve any result. They cannot get results with this link building technique. It is unbelievable.

As per new Google guidelines too much optimization is considered as spam. Performing 500 backlinks daily may be treated as spam, in my point of view get quality backlink is much better than quantity.

I would say that yes, over optimization, as you described it, is a problem. Google has said that they use a number of algorithms to detect paid links. It’s likely that your paid links won’t yield good results, and it’s even possible that your site will be penalized for it. Of course you can try to find new ways to game the system, but remember that your adversary is Google itself.

If you want a good search ranking, Google has consistently told us how best to achieve that: “A well-structured and regularly maintained site with original, high-quality content.”

EDIT: I should have checked the dates. This thread was well answered over a week ago.

Thanks for your response…

I disagree with the fact that Web directories are of little importance. I see some websites ranked well in Google for their target keywords with only links from directories. Nothing is waste in SEO, only factor we must remember is that Page rank and top websites does have value on SERP.