While search engine optimization (SEO) best practices are powerful tools for improving a website’s online profile, Search Engine Watch’s Eric Enge warns that applying them in an overly enthusiastic way can actually do more harm than good.
Enge writes that techniques like optimizing H1 tags and page titles can look uncomfortably similar to keyword stuffing, "if subheadings on the page also repeat the key phrase, or if all the internal links to the page use anchor text that exactly matches the page title."
Additionally, Enge says, too many internal links on a given page – particularly if those links don’t point to contextually relevant information – can harm a site’s search engine optimization (SEO): "Certainly, you can take your 10 most important pages and link to them from nearly every page of your site. But when the list of cross links grows too large (even 25 is getting there), you’re beginning to push your luck."
Search engines, according to experts, can easily misread overly optimized pages as cheap attempts to improve search ranking without providing quality content and penalize websites accordingly.