Yes it can, just like excessive partying before our mid-terms did. If you over-optimize your website (by doing too much SEO) for the sake of improving its visibility, chances are Google may see your content as ‘trying too hard’ and might not rank it at all.

What happens when you overdo our SEO?

Google may become wary of your website.

The easiest way to come under Google’s radar is to overstuff keywords, link to irrelevant websites, or go for irrelevant keywords just to get more page views. It won’t be long until Google starts seeing your website as ‘fishy’ and surveil your content closely.

It may flag you as an SEO Spammer

Once it confirms the spammy practices being followed on your website, Google may restrict your content’s visibility. Because of its ‘No compromise’ policy, it wants its users to be exposed to only the most relevant and accurate information. And while your content might be appropriate, your measures to promote that content may not.

Your ad position may slip back to page 2 or further

Slowly over time, Google may refrain from showing your ad for search queries relating to your business and prefer going for other websites similar to yours, leading to diminished ad position.

Google may remove your website from Search altogether

God forbid! But it can happen. Using too much SEO may lead to your website being taken down from SERP. Alternately, your ads may rank so low that no one would ever find them.

How much SEO is too much?

While the goal is to get as many website footfalls as possible, the way to do that shouldn’t be going all-in with the SEO tactics suggested online. It is important to understand which methods are useful for you. Below are some common SEO mistakes that may cost you your site traffic.

Excessive keyword stuffing

Let’s make one thing clear, it’s okay to start small when it comes to keywords. Google’s algorithm is smart enough to show your ads for keywords similar to what you have chosen. So no need to pack every possible variant of your product (like cake and cakes, it’s the same). So focus on 7-10 keywords closely related to your business, with high traffic and moderate to low competition. To find out which keywords would work for you, go for keyword planning tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz, Semrush etc.

All links (external and internal) leading to the website’s homepage

While adding links to your website’s homepage is great, it’s important to understand that users are interested in your content more than you. So when users click on a link promising vegan pasta recipes, they want to see those recipes the moment they click on it, instead of being directed to the homepage of a blog on veganism and then navigate to recipes. The more accessible you make your material, the better.

Overlinking to spammy sites

When it comes to SEO, the content on the sites you’ve linked is as important as your own material. Directing users to spammy or irrelevant websites can hamper your own credibility. Furthermore, avoid overlinking like keyword stuffing. Go only for a few links (in single digits preferably)  to suitable websites.

Choosing SEO over content quality

It’s easy to get lost in the technicalities of SEO when trying to reach a large number of people through your site. But the truth is, no amount of SEO can help you in the long run if your content is not what people are looking for. So always work on your brand before working on its marketing, focus on what your customers want from you and deliver accordingly. After all, what you want to promote has to be promotable.