How to Avoid Google Penalties
Google constantly updates which websites appear in its results, and penalises sites which don’t meet its increasingly high standards. Google penalties are bad news if you’re running an online business, but fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to protect your website.
Penalties are handed out for various reasons, from duplicate content to poor-quality links. They can cause your ranking and traffic to plummet, so it’s important to bear them in mind and act quickly if your site is handed a penalty.
Websites are penalised for malicious backlink campaigns which their competitors have created to reduce their ranking, and links to websites which Google considers suspicious. Scraped content, bad coding and broken links can also result in a penalty.
Google is uncompromising when deciding which websites appear in its results. Powerful algorithms are regularly run to identify websites that aren’t up to scratch. The search engine’s Panda hands out penalties for bad content, Penguin for bad links and Hummingbird for sites considered unnatural. Google penalties are generated by algorithm updates or manual reviews. They reduce targeted sites’ SEO ranking for a specific page, the entire website or one or more keywords. Google’s assessment is so far-reaching that protecting your website against penalties has become a challenge, but you can boost your site’s immunity with a few simple steps:
Make Sure Your Content is Up to Scratch
Google penalises for poor-quality or duplicate content, so it’s not worth cutting corners when it comes to the information on your website. Make sure your content is original, well-researched and error-free. Content which has been ‘spun’ by software is vulnerable to Panda, so taking the time to produce new, manually produced content for every section of your site is a smart move. It’s important to include keywords in your content, but don’t overdo it. Google can react badly to too much of a good thing.
Pay Close Attention to the Quality of Your Links
Links are important if you want to attract visitors to your website, but don’t make the mistake of using poor-quality links. Buying lots of links could leave you particularly vulnerable to Google penalties, and sharing too many links may be seen as an attempt to manipulate results. Make sure your links are clearly visible to your visitors. Hidden links are more likely to be viewed as suspicious. Take the time to monitor your outbound links and remove any which are out-of-date. Broken links worsen users’ experience and increase the likelihood of penalties.
Act Fast to Repair Your Website
Don’t panic if your site is penalised. Most damage caused by Google penalties can be repaired. By addressing problematic links and other flaws on your site, it’s usually possible to restore a penalised site’s ranking, although the damage is sometimes so severe that starting from scratch is the best option. If you’re losing sales because a Google penalty has caused a sudden fall in ranking, Google penalty recovery services could be your best option. An SEO agency with Google penalty repair experience will assess the damage and take fast action to restore your ranking, while protecting your site against further penalties.