As part of its commitment to providing users with the best search experiences possible, Google constantly updates its ranking algorithm. Consequently, Google will penalize sites or pages that violate the Webmaster Guidelines.
If your website is not properly optimized, there are many chances that Google can negatively penalize your site or sometimes your pages or could remove the entire website from the search results.
Let’s go over how we can prevent our web pages from being penalized by Google to save our traffic. We shall discuss various penalties like Manual and Algorithmic, how to fix them and some more Google penalties. This guide will help you increase your rankings by following the right method to optimize your pages.
What is the Google penalty?
When we don’t follow the Webmaster Guidelines properly, our targeted keywords’ ranks drastically fall, or sometimes the users can no longer find your website in the search results. It is what is meant by Google Penalty, and there are two types of penalties that are similar to each other in reducing the ranks and traffic of your web pages.
Google constantly keeps updating its algorithms to serve the best results for its users. Some important Google algorithms are Panda, Penguin, Pigeon, and Hummingbird. Each algorithm is designed to check for a few violations in the web pages. Panda algorithm is designed to see if any websites have poor content, keyword stuffing or grammatical errors, Penguin is used for checking black hat linking tactics. Pigeon, on the other hand, helps pages with prioritized ranking factors; and lastly, the Hummingbird algorithm is responsible for checking mobile-friendly and responsive pages.
Once an algorithm is updated, we can either see an improvement in our page ranking or sometimes a drop. If pages are ranked well, we have followed the correct ranking factors. On the other hand, certain Google rules have been violated if the rank drops or the site is not aligned properly according to the ranking criteria.
To fix this issue, check your web page content alignment and make the necessary changes to improve the rank.
Manual penalties are not given by any algorithms but through Google employees. These penalties are imposed depending on the quality of the content, security, or manipulation of the Google algorithm using black hat SEO tactics. Such types of penalties can be viewed easily and fixed.
You have many tools such as Google Search Console to fix such issues. In the security & manual actions tab, you can view the policy you have violated and make the required changes. Once done, submit it for the Google employees to review the changes and reindex your page.
Let’s check the reasons for Google’s penalties
Keeping Text and Links hidden
If you try to write a text using a smaller font that only Google understands and not the users, it is against the Google webmaster rules. Instead, You can use any of the following ways to hide text and links
- Trying to hide text behind an image
- Use of White color text
- Try to link in the background
- 0 font size
- Manipulation through CSS to place the text off-screen
- Placing the links in the same color similar to the background color.
- Also Remember that Following such tactics won’t lead your page to a good ranking position. It is always a good way to check your affected pages in Google Search Console for any hidden links or CSS.
When writing content, we tend to focus more on quantity, thinking that writing huge content brings more traffic. We need to understand that the quality of the content is also equally important. Many tools have come into the market to generate content for articles, blogs, and web pages. Google can easily detect if the content is original or plagiarized, which will lead to poor business and a drop in the rankings.
To prevent this, you can
- Perform proper research on keywords to be used in your content, keeping the topic intent.
- Try to create pillar pages for a more easy way of writing content and linking the related keywords with links.
- Instead of writing small content, write a long one using one keyword.
There are many ways users can generate bad links or spam to your site. The spam links come from inappropriate, poor pages from other users. It is good to allow guest postings or enable comments on your blog page, but it also welcomes spambots and bad users.
Some will make irrelevant comments on your blog to get a backlink from your site to increase their domain authority.
You can use many free tools to filter, delete, and ban such spam comments. To prevent this from happening, Review the comment once received before they are displayed on your site for public view.
Excess Keyword Stuffing
Googlebot can better understand the content of a page with keywords added to the title, headings, body, meta description, and alt text. Intentionally stuffing your content with keywords results in a Google penalty, however.
To prevent this, you could make sure that you place keywords naturally in your content. Try to incorporate long-tail keywords, keywords with synonyms and single keywords you choose to write. It will help save you from excess keyword stuffing, and you can easily convey your message to the users. You can use keyword research tools to get more ideas on a single keyword.
Getting backlinks from high-quality websites is an excellent SEO strategy for increasing your page authority. However, these backlinks must come from organic sources. As part of its Penguin algorithm update for 2016, Google sought to detect unnatural link-building practices.
To prevent unnatural links, just:
- Do not link to Blog comments
- No selling or buying links
- No Article directory links
- Do not try to create more connections in a short time.
- Try to perform backlink audits using free tools like Google Analytics, search console, SEO tools, etc.
Every day we see many websites getting hacked by hackers. They gain access to your site and tend to infect it by placing virus code or irrelevant content or redirecting the pages to spam. If such an issue is not detected early and stopped, your ranks will come down, and there are chances of your site being delisted for not following Google Penalty rules.
To prevent such a situation, you need to regularly keep changing your password and try to use strong passwords. One important thing is to implement SSL certificates to avoid such users and seeing that your hosting services are reliable.
Please take a backup of your website data regularly. You can detect website hacking by using malware software. Try to limit login times and hide the login URL to avoid such attacks.
Proper Data Structure
Google uses code such as structured data markup to tone and display your site more attractively during Google search results. It tries to show the star ratings given by the customers, displays the reviews of a certain product, etc.
Nevertheless, if Google detects you are using structured data that doesn’t relate to your content, you may receive a manual penalty.
To prevent such a penalty:
- The first thing is not to add fake reviews. Get proper Google reviews by following the right method.
- Whatever content you are marking up, make sure that it is visible to your readers.
- Do not use structured data for all of your content. Plan the pages that require this flow and then place it.
If you receive a penalty from Google, algorithmic or manual, it will hurt your ranking and traffic. You can implement Fixes to remove the sentence but may not restore your traffic. It is why it is so critical to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
For more information, contact Ahbiv Digital Agency; we are here to help you with more valuable information.
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