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Can SEO Have a Negative Effect?

September 30, 2019 / Roger Montti

In a recent Webmaster Hangout, Google’s John Mueller stated that overdoing the keyword phrase can cause Google to become wary of a web page. Is it possible that adding keywords to title tag, H1. etc. could work against you? That formula is the traditional SEO best practice going back to at least 2000. The formula was to add your keywords to the title tag, H1, content, in the URL, and then put the keyword in the anchor text in a link to to a .edu or .gov website, add it to the content and bold it, add it elsewhere and italicize it, grease it up then slap it online. Instant rankings. Obviously, query expansion plays a role in ranking web pages that do not feature the keyword in the title tag. Query expansion is a method where a search engine will find web pages that answer the search query, even though the keywords aren’t on the web page. Search engines do this by adding synonyms, using stemming and other methods to identify more pages to consider.