Have you ever think of why sometimes your site’s rankings dropped? Imagine how puzzled you’d be if you opened the Google analytics dashboard and found that traffic has decreased? This is not a common issue, it can happen if the search engine giant hits your site with a penalty.
We all are scared of Google penalties. There’s one misconception in people’s minds that Google penalties only happen when Google changes its algorithm. Well, that’s a myth.
There are multiple reasons for this unforeseen situation:
- A reduced volume search of primary keywords
- In case of the absence of backlinks
- Google launches a new update to improve search result
- Or, your website is not redesigned
If none of these issues is at your site, then it is easy to conclude that Google has penalized your site. And this is more than a nightmare for business owners and webmasters.
In this article, we’ll tell you how you can make sure that your business website is safe from getting penalized by Google. And also, why did you receive the penalty?
What is a Google Penalty?
In simple terms, when your site is removed from the Google index either partially or entirely, this means that your website has been penalized by Google.
A website is penalized automatically by Google’s web spam filtering algorithms (i.e. Penguin), it is done manually by the webspam team. Google Penalty leads to a drop in the rankings of the whole site, or some pages on the website if they are found to be.
The same happens with spammy keywords too. A website’s dropped rankings affect its online presence and credibility and conversions.
For example, do you remember the famous BMW Google penalty? When the search engine giant found that site from its index for spamming practices. BMW used a technique commonly referred to where a website presents different pages to search engine bots that it displays to visitors.
In that, a keyword-filled page was presented to Google bots, which gave a page high ranking as a result. Hence, Google removed the entire site.
It doesn’t mean that all penalties are a result of potential spammy practices. There are multiple reasons to like due to duplicate content, buying links, overusing H1 tags, internal 404s, and many more like keyword-stuffed content.
A penalty could also happen as a result of negative search optimization, where your competitors target you. Before we see how to protect your site from Google penalties, let’s first see what they are.
Types of Google Penalties
1. Manual Penalties
This is the first type of Google Penalties. Some Google penalties are imposed in an automated way, while others are imposed by the search engine giant’s human reviewers.
When it hits manually your site, you’ll receive an alert in your Google Search Console dashboard. You’ll get alerted by an email too.
2. Algorithmic penalties
This happens when Google introduces its algorithm updates, and this happens every time. As Google’s algorithms are running all the time. This means sites that breach Google’s guidelines keep getting penalized.
Algorithm penalties are tricky to identify because like manual penalty they won’t send an email alert. The only way to know is to keep a record of your traffic. If you notice that your traffic has dropped out suddenly, it could be of an algorithm penalty.
Now, we have a little bit idea of how Google penalties happen, so let’s look at some ways to protect your site from them.
How to Identify a Google Penalty?
1. Observe Your Link Profile
Too often, people got a manual penalty to do a link profile audit. Well, you should play safe SEO by brushing up your link profile. It’s not tough as you think.
One of the major factors that Google uses when indexing your site is the quality of your link profile. A link profile is a bunch of links you’ve created. The algorithm ranks your site on two features of these links, the quality of the source and the anchor text used for the links.
What are the spammy link-building practices for Google?
- Buying links.
- Selling links.
- Article submission.
- Excessive comment posting.
- Massive guest posting.
2. Fight Black Hat SEO
This is the second practice of identifying Google’s penalty. Well, your not so close friends (competitors) can hurt your SEO practices and can even get you penalized by Google by doing Black Hat SEO (It involves the use of malicious tactics on your site to tarnish your reputation with Google and steal ranks for important keywords to be used on a competitor’s site). The ideal and common practice that is used in this SEO is to get a lot of spammy sites to link to you.
What are the different forms of Black Hat SEO?
- Website Hacking.
- Building tons of spammy links to your website.
- Copying your content and sharing across the internet.
- Creating fake profiles and destroying your image.
- By removing quality backlinks from your website.
If Google caught you with this, it might think of your site as low-quality. This can affect your rank and increases the chance of penalty. So if you notice such spammy sites linking to you, deny those links. Fighting Black Hat SEO is an essential step to secure your site from Google penalties.
3. Including Ads that makes it difficult to navigate
This is for the people who show heavy ads on their websites with lots of content. Well, this is the favorite thing of Google. Means Google is always in search of such sites that are filled with content that frustrate visitors. Meanwhile, websites that have top-heavy ads, which means that Google penalizes pages that have lots of content at the top of their pages.
What you can do is make use of ad banner extensions that are designed by Mconnect Media. With the help of this, you can create your advertisement banner on the storefront and can position it anywhere on the website.
4. Content with “NO VALUE”
In Google terms, duplicate or thin content, and Google takes it very seriously. There are two things. First, it tracks pages that contain similar content on multiple pages from being index altogether. Second, if you post the same content in multiple places such as guest blogs with content that’s copied from the website, then you’ll be penalized for that.
What are the types of duplicate or thin content for Google?
- Content that’s generated automatically.
- Content from other sources.
- Doorway pages.
If your site has content from any of these sources, chances are high that you will be penalized by Google. What Google expects and likes is unique or original or quality content.
5. Follow Google’s Guidelines
Well, there are many gurus (so-called influencers) in the market who believe that what they said is right not Google. So the most important thing is that to what Google tells you to do. Whether you like it or not because they make the rules and you have to follow them.
Google has already told you that follow our guidelines. So if you want your site to not be penalized by Google, make sure that you follow the rules and use strategies made by Google. Create quality content for your audience and dodge tricks and unauthorized methods.
Playing smart with these tactics can help you win the search engine. You’ll start getting what Google wants, how it works, and what you need to do. And that’s how you no need to be scare of the Google penalty.
Google penalize hundreds or thousands of website every month. So it’s normal but what you can do is not giving chance by incorporating these tactics in your daily practices. Just follow the mentioned areas and reduce the scope of your website being penalized.
However, if you still need help in protecting or removing google penalties, Consult our eCommerce Expert in no time.