Avoiding a Google Penalty is Key to Success
To ensure your website’s success, you need to pay careful attention to search engine updates. It seems like Google is always changing something up on website developers, and to avoid a Google penalty, it’s vital you are paying careful attention—or are at least investing in a team of professionals that can help ensure that your site is staying compliant with algorithm changes and other updates.
What is a Google Penalty?
To avoid a Google penalty, you need to know what a Google penalty is.
Yes, Google and other search engines do penalize websites for not meeting their requirements. For example, if a website is full of broken links, it can result in Google labeling the site irrelevant and choosing not to rank it very high, if at all.
Other Google Penalties include:
- Violation of webmaster guidelines—such as cloaking redirects, cloaking images, unnatural linking.
- Hacked sites—when Google notices a site has been hacked, it will label it as such, resulting in the demotion of organic search results until fixed.
- Black hat SEO—attempting to take advantage of SEO best practices with tactics such as keyword stuffing/duplicate content.
- Thin content—Google won’t rank content that is considered “thin” or that has no real value to it.
The good news is that there are many ways to remedy these situations, especially in the cases where penalties occurred accidentally or in a manner that was out of your control (such as website hacking).
3 Ways to Avoid a Google Penalty
Sure, while there are many ways to remedy Google penalties and begin drawing in organic searches once again, your best bet is to avoid a Google penalty altogether. The good news? Avoiding a Google penalty is a lot easier than you may think—especially if you are practicing proper content and SEO best practices as part of your digital marketing strategy.
That said, here are three ways to avoid a Google penalty:
1. Revisit Your Backlinking Strategy
When you’re building your linking strategy, you want to make sure you are doing it right. You should never “buy into” a linking program or choose to link to random websites in an attempt to build your online presence. When Google goes through your website to index pages and ranks them, the crawlers check each link to see that it not only works but checks to see how relevant they are to your industry/niche. If they spot links that serve little to no purpose (aside from linking to an external source), Google may penalize your site for including irrelevant or incorrect information to consumers.
2. Keep Content Relevant, Detailed, and Updated
Thin or duplicated content is a big no-go when it comes to Google’s guidelines primarily because it, again, doesn’t provide searchers with answers to inquiries or provide any other value to them.
Instead, focus your content creation on relevant, detailed content that serves a purpose. As for your previous content, don’t neglect it. Take the time to regularly update old pieces to reflect current trends and statistics so that they remain relevant to searchers.
3. Don’t Neglect Your SEO, But Don’t Abuse It Either
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in your website’s success; however, if you are attempting to abuse it through black hat SEO practices, Google will penalize your site.
For example, while keyword optimization is crucial in helping your content organically rank and be seen by your ideal audience, if you aren’t adding those keywords naturally, you are actively participating in keyword stuffing—something Google doesn’t approve of at all.
Unfortunately, keyword stuffing is a practice that can be done without even trying. It’s vital that you are being mindful of how you are using keywords, and if you feel you are using them too frequently, switch them out for synonymous keywords or keyword phrases.
Avoid a Google Penalty with a Website Audit Today
Ensuring your website is running correctly and meeting the many demands put forth by search engine updates can be quite challenging. Instead of playing a never-ending guessing game, why not invest in the help of a skilled team of professionals?
Here at CadenceSEO, our team of digital marketing and SEO experts are all up to date on the latest search engine updates and know what to look for when trying to avoid a Google penalty. Our team can give you a list of actionable tasks to get your website up to snuff with a simple website audit.
Contact us today for your free website audit!