The Optimization TRAP: When SEO Actually HURTS Your Traffic

Did you know that focusing too much on SEO, can actually hurt your traffic? Today, I'm going to go over the optimization trap, when SEO actually hurts your traffic.


Look, a lot of people think that you can keep optimizing the same page over and over on your site on a daily basis and I used to do this.

Yes, Google is making over eight algorithm changes per day on average, but if you're making changes daily, you may not know what's hurting you. Because not all changes, will actually help boost your rankings.

It doesn't matter how good your SEO, I guarantee if you're a good SEO, you're pushing the boundaries, not doing anything unethical, like buying links, I'm not talking about that kind of stuff, but you're constantly testing new stuff.

And when you do them, sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. But that's how you become a better SEO. And here's what people don't tell you. You need to wait until you can see the impact, of your optimization and what it's going to have. It roughly takes a month before you see optimizations, to start having an impact. So you don't want to just start making changes constantly, slow and steady wins the race with SEO. And that's why a lot of times it takes six months, 12 months to really get the optimal results.

The next way that people really hurt their rankings, is over optimization. I'm talking about keyword-rich anchor texts, whether it's for internal links or external links. And when you're doing these keyword-rich internal links, and you have, you know, let's say if I'm trying to rank for the word dog food, and all my links, point up page say dog food, both internally and externally.

What do you think Google's going to say? This page looks a little funny, they have way too much optimization going on, for that word, dog food. Normally other people rank for dog food, have some of their links saying, click here, learn more.

The name of the brand name, the name of the site name, right? And when you think about that, that's more natural, because everyone's not going to link to you, with the word that you want to rank for, being number one. So you got to rotate up your anchor text and be more natural.

Another over optimization technique, that people do over and over again, that's bad, is they only build internal links to the same page over and over again. Naturally the majority of the pages on your site, should have internal links, ideally, all of them, but that's really tough to do, when you have a really big site, but eventually majority of the pages, should have internal links and you need to do what's natural.

And also that's very useful, because as people link to some of your other pages, that you know, you may not think that we're going to hit, those pages will also pass juice to your other pages, because you have those internal links going.

Another strategy to avoid when it comes to SEO, is repeating the same keyword over and over again. I hear this all the time, oh, what's a cure density that I need to use. If I want to rank for the term online marketing, do I need to mention it five times in my first paragraph, three times in my second paragraph, six times throughout the rest of the article, and one time in my conclusion?

And if you optimize too much, what you're going to find is, you may be undoing good work. So think of SEO optimizations as tests, you optimize, wait a few weeks to a month and see what the outcome is. If the optimization works, don't mess with it, double down on what's working.

And the last strategy, that I want you to avoid, is building links too fast. Even if your competitors have 1,000 links and they're ranking at the top, you may be like, hey, I need 1,000 links too, if I want to beat them.

I'm going to get 1,100 and I'm going to go buy links, which you should never do. And I'm going to go and, or even manually build the links really, really fast and have 20 people focusing on my link building efforts and just doing manual outreach.

Well, here's the thing, if you build links way too fast, it's not as natural, and what you'll find, is even if you're doing them organically and you're just doing outreach, what you'll find is you don't rank as high versus if you just took your time, slow and steady really does win the race.

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    28 Responses to The Optimization TRAP: When SEO Actually HURTS Your Traffic

    1. Anil singh September 25, 2021 at 2:02 pm #

      Neil Patel Sir. any guide for Building Backlinks?✅✅✅✅✅

      • T Stamps September 25, 2021 at 3:13 pm #

        Write the most helpful and useful content that meets searcher intent and provides value and great experiences for the end-user. Backlinks are derived by emailing companies that link to your competitor’s works but it’s a numbers game.

    2. Ganesh Menon September 25, 2021 at 2:05 pm #

      How to have a one to one session with you ?

      • Harshit Verma September 25, 2021 at 2:25 pm #

        Book Consulting with Neil

    3. Organic Gallaxy September 25, 2021 at 2:56 pm #


      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:46 pm #

        You’re too kind 🙂

    4. T Stamps September 25, 2021 at 3:15 pm #

      Neil, you provide so much value in a short amount of time, it’s redonkulous how sharp you are.

      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:47 pm #

        Thanks, friend 🙂

    5. Prakash Huilgol September 25, 2021 at 3:23 pm #

      Sir I have one question means sir my domain authority is 1 means my site is now in progress.

      So sir what things I have to do that each and every post gets rank on google what will you give me the tip or what is your suggestions.

      Please reply me in detail that I should follow and get rank and get my first affiliate sale

    6. Docutainment September 25, 2021 at 3:26 pm #

      That’s exactly my professional SEO experience.

      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:47 pm #


    7. George Aguilar September 25, 2021 at 3:32 pm #

      Continue to optimize (content) but track your rankings. If the tweak hurts ranking go back to the way it was. KISS (keep it simple)

    8. George Aguilar September 25, 2021 at 3:34 pm #

      With links, think natural vs rankings. Does it make sense to a human.

    9. Pranjal Singh September 25, 2021 at 6:19 pm #

      No one can become like him but i can

      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:47 pm #

        Yes you can 🙂

    10. Pranjal Singh September 25, 2021 at 6:20 pm #

      Love neil patel he tellls there is lo more oppertunities whi i am unable to cover

      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:47 pm #

        Thank you! 🙂

    11. Pranjal Singh September 25, 2021 at 6:26 pm #

      Gonna open a blog much more stronger then yours

      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:47 pm #

        I believe in you!

    12. GigBag September 25, 2021 at 6:44 pm #

      Wow, this is really helpful! You are amazing.

      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:47 pm #

        Glad it was helpful!

    13. Dimitrije Jovanovic September 25, 2021 at 7:11 pm #

      Nice, thumbs up

      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:48 pm #

        Thanks for the visit

    14. Promothash Boruah September 25, 2021 at 7:19 pm #

      This video could be pinned to your home page of youtube videos. Excellent strategies in 5 minutes.

    15. Interior Designer September 25, 2021 at 7:51 pm #

      Hi Neil, I rank for one specific keyword from 4-11 in one page and I want to push it to be ranked between 1-3 on that page, What is the best way or practice to do that? How can I do that without repeating the keyword again and again because the fear of over optimisation or keyword density. Please advise

    16. Livio Antoine September 25, 2021 at 8:00 pm #

      Great 😉

      • Neil Patel September 25, 2021 at 8:48 pm #

        Thanks 🙂

    17. Thane's Business September 25, 2021 at 8:54 pm #

      you should stop advising people to use click here as anchor text as it’s bad for screen reader users.

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