I'm sorry to use other peoples stuff to point out how easy it is to over optimize an Amazon Hub but I have just spent a lot of time de-optimizing my own so I can't use them.
These are from some of the people who have complained of traffic loss and all show common trends in over optimizing.
The commonest thing is using the actual words that appear in the Amazon Ad as an H1 header.
IzzyM creates beautiful pages but routinely uses the exact phrase with two H2 headers.
'Halloween Seat Socks Toilet Lid Covers Glow in the Dark' is the exact text in the first Amazon ad and it is used in two H2 headers. This practice is repeated five times on the same page.
IzzyM does the same thing on many other pages.
On this page she also uses the exact phrase in a picture caption:
Hovalis only has two Amazon hubs but uses H2 headers with the exact text used in the Amazon ad
eg this page hxxp://hovalis.hubpages.com/hub/The-Best-Stainless-Steel-Electric-Kettles
mscheivous uses the exact ad phrases in H1 headers here a few times:
I was doing something similar in my second account that got hit.
On a different track DebbieCook uses very long, keyword heavy titles for most of her pages
Galaxy Tab 10.1 Keyboard Dock - An External Keyboard and Charging Station for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet
GPS Trackers - Track Pets, Hunting Dogs, Outdoor Activities and Everyday Items
HP Touchstone Wireless charging Stand for the HP TouchPad - Accessories Extend the Convenience of a Web Tablet
Mutiny92 drifts that way too and uses a lot of H2 headers in association with his Amazon ads- though no exact matches that I noticed.
Randy Godwin writes genuinely original and high class hubs but uses a huge amount of italic and bold. I don't know if that is enough to pick up a penalty or trigger something in the latest Panda but it is commonly associated with spam.
I have a simple question about keywords in the header. I'm not sure, unfortunately, which titles are H1 headers and so forth. In my product focused Hubs, it's not unusual for me to have something like "Internet Radio Players" as the title of the hub, with a URL that includes internet-radio-players. So in this scenario, I assume from what you are saying I shouldn't use the words Internet Radio Players in any of the titles to my individual hub modules?
Oh Will, you might at least have hyperlinked our hubs and given us a nice backlink
So, yes I do tend to use the exact Amazon titles, just in case someone wants to read more about them and puts in the exact title (I often search for opinion on products by using the same titles Amazon do).
Maybe it is overdone?
One thing Will's missing is that you said some of your Amazon Hubs are still doing well - so if that's the case, it can't be a problem, can it?
However, I just read that the latest Panda seems to be targetting "spammy" headings.
For instance, if you're writing about keyboards and use the word "keyboard" two or three times in a heading instead of just once, you'll be penalized. The reason being that when you're writing naturally, it's highly unlikely you'd ever need to repeat the same word twice in a heading. So they're taking repetition as a sign of keyword stuffing, even if the word isn't overdone in the rest of the article.
Of course it's just speculation but I can see how it makes sense. Google would have to be dumb not to be aware of all the advice about optimizing your headings for keywords, so naturally they're going to take steps to counteract that.
I don't know for sure what has caused some hubbers to be hit by the latest Panda but I reckon Google is targeting any characteristics it finds commonly associated with content farming.
The only reason to learn SEO as far as I am concerned is to avoid any blackhat practices you might accidentally stumble into. After Panda,I reckon you also need to avoid any spammy content farm practices you might stumble into, too,
I've read a lot about having quality content, not over optimizing pages, and removing excessive outgoing links to Amazon / other affiliates, but it doesn't measure up with my experiences.
For starters, post Panda updates, I still see very spammy looking sites ranking quite well; sites that have excessive outgoing links to affiliates like Amazon and the likes.
My traffic on HubPages has absolutely tanked over the past two weeks. I'm not saying it's related, but I've been slowly working to remove Amazon capsules from my Hubs since I'm an ex-CA Amazon affiliate. I have a Hub that, by many counts according to other Hub experts, would be considered over optimized, yet it has received 17k in hits since the end of February. However, in the last 30 days it has received 837 hits, and over the past seven days, only 24 hits. Since I've started removing Amazon capsules and trying to remove excessive optimization on my Hubs, I should be, according to the current conventional wisdom, seeing better traffic. The exact opposite has happened.
On a final note, I recently started writing over at Squidoo and the lenses that I would consider to have much more unique content don't perform as well as lenses loaded (I mean loaded!) with outgoing affiliate links. Essentially, since I can no longer use my CA Amazon affiliate account and have not been accepted into the eBay affiliate program, I've created "shopping" landing pages on Squidoo to monetize traffic (using Squidoo's affiliate IDs) coming from personal blogs that used to directly monetize visitors. Again, many of these "shopping" lenses outperform (in sales and unique search engine visits) lenses that have a lot more unique content.
I've only been doing this type of writing online since the beginning of the year so I'm merely sharing my personal experience and not making these comments pretending to provide any level of expertise as I don't have much of the SEO figured out whatsoever!
You'll see several links around the forums to a Hub by Ryankett which debunks the myth that Amazon's the problem.
Amazon is not the problem. I know plenty of people with Amazon-laden websites which haven't been affected at all.
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