Sgt_Kickaxe - 9:42 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)
Don't overlook anchor text, too. Google actually admitted making changes there last month, and I wouldn't be surprised if we're seeing some of the results from that now.
Since Google DIDN'T really explain exactly what changed I decided to replace many 'similar pages' links with images that had no text, just the alt tag. Nothing changed in terms of traffic so 'similar pages' links are ignored or whatever was changed didn't apply to my site. Who knows.
On the bright side my bounce rate dropped, people prefer the image links over the text links.
As for over-optimizing: To me that means constantly trying to get an edge by changing things you can control. Since I don't think Google trusts ANYTHING I can control on a site until it has proven itself over the years I'd love to stop but it's all of the changes Google is making that force me to continue. Talk about a run around!