The top 5 things that could get your website penalised by Google
Google can be a tricky beast to tame at times and if we push too hard the giant search engine will pounce on your website, chew it up and spit it out of it’s search engine results pages (SERPs) leaving it in the abyss of de-indexation.
Was that a slightly over dramatic and needlessly animalised portrayal of Google as a lion and your website as nothing more than a meerkat?
But one thing is for sure, if you don’t follow these 5 golden rules then your website will end up on a pile of spammy domains selling the product that starts with a V (I’m even too scared to include the word in my content for fear of a big G slap down) and other websites selling equaling unscrupulous products using even more unscrupulous methods.
Top 5 Tips To Avoid A Search Engine Penalty
Avoid Duplicate Content
Some people say that duplicate content is no problem and there will always be people who have got away with duplicate content for months and maybe even years. However, the fact remains that duplicate content is not going to rank as well as unique content and if Google does spot your duplicate content it will (in the best case scenario) devalue all but one of the duplicate content pages and in the worst case scenario will de-index all the duplicate content pages or the entire website.
This is not a risk that we are willing to take and I’d suggest you take the same approach.
Say No To Keyword Stuffing
Gone are the days when you can fill your YouTube videos or webpages with unnatural keyword density. This is definitely a good thing and ultimately adds more value to the websites that rank at the top of the SERPs. If you are caught to be keyword stuffing or have a longtail keyword repeated too many times then you are likely to be triggering some form of penalty – don’t do it! As a general rule, a longtail keyword should not really be repeated more than 3 or 4 times in a piece of content that is around 1000 words.
Avoid Links From Spammy Domains
Link building is still important and perhaps even more important than it ever has been. But… and this is a huge BUT… the relevance of these links is absolutely key and the authority of the domain that is linking is crucial. If you gain links from domains that are penalised, de-indexed or have lots of links coming from Russia or China (for a website based in the US or UK) then this is going to be considered spammy and it is likely to give the same tag of being spammy to your website. AVOID!
Plan A Strategic And Natural Looking Link Building Strategy
Time is the key factor with a lot of SEO and where a lot of people go wrong when attempting to do their own off page search engine optimisation is that they do it in bursts. Without a strategy or at least a basic plan, many people will spend half a day busily building links to their site and then leave it a month or two and then build another 10 in a day or two and so on. Imagine how this would look on a graph – this is how Google is reading this and the spikes of links being built and then nothing, followed by another spike is a warning sign.
A steady link building strategy over time that looks balanced and natural has to be the way to go.
Less Is Almost Always More (except for relevant original content)
When building out your web pages try and avoid being over optimized for your keywords. If your domain name has the keyword in it then you don’t need it in your URL – for example http://domainname.com/domain-name would be completely over optimized and be a negative for your SEO efforts.
In much the same way, having the keyword in your domain name or URL and in the page title, the H1 tag, the meta title, meta description and the content is also a no no. As a general rule aim for your main target keyword to appear once in the URL, perhaps in the H1 tag, once or twice in the content and then either the meta title or meta description – that should be the absolute maximum.
The same goes for your link building strategy. Aim for around 2-3% of your inbound anchor text profile to be made up of any keywords that you want to rank for other than your brand name.
If you are feeling confused then why not join our mailing list and receive regular hints and tips regarding SEO. You can also check out our SEO services if you are you want us to work with you to bring more traffic to your website.