Google penalties. What should you know about them and how to avoid them?

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Google penalties. What should you know about them and how to avoid them?

Your search engine rankings are the most important factor in determining whether your website will be successful or not. The higher your rankings, the more traffic you’ll get, and the more money you’ll make through advertising and affiliate marketing schemes. 

This makes it so much more important to understand how Google penalties work, what they mean and how to avoid them as much as possible. Google is constantly adapting their algorithms, which means that websites can get demoted in an instant without knowing what they did wrong. Together with iCEA SEO Agency we will tell you more about it.

The ugly sister of positioning: Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is the practice of using unethical techniques to improve a website’s position on search engine results pages. These techniques go against Google’s guidelines and can result in a penalty that drops a website’s ranking or even removes it from the SERP altogether. Black Hat includes practices like keyword stuffing, cloaking, and link farms. 

How does Google detect unfair tactics?

For this purpose, the search engine uses the help of algorithms and web robots. They are designed to search, analyze and evaluate web pages included in the Google index. Meet the Panda Algorithm, which deals with searching for low-quality content that does nothing for users; Penguin algorithm searching for spam and evaluating the linking profile, finding unnatural links; Pirate algorithm that cares about copyrights.

Types of penalties

The search engine divides sanctions into two types: filters and bans.

  • Filters are penalties imposed for a specific period of time – from a month, even up to several years. Its application means that the website can drop even by 70 positions in the ranking. They are imposed primarily due to the unnatural growth of external links with a specific anchor, unnatural links, the use of a link exchange system, spam.
  • However, the bans are much more serious. Their imposition results in exclusion from the search results. Although the website physically exists, it is impossible to find by Internet users. In extreme cases, you can even be removed from the index.

How are the penalties imposed?

The penalty may be imposed by a Google employee – in this case, we are talking about manual filters. When it is imposed on us, we receive information in the Google Search Console panel. Most of the time, we also get instructions on how to undo your mistake.

However, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes the penalty is imposed by an algorithm. Then we can forget about the information and the support package. What can tell us about its imposition are drastic drops in traffic on the website or in the search ranking.

There are a few different ways that you can tell if you’ve been hit with a Google penalty. The first is through your traffic levels. If you’ve suddenly seen a drop in traffic, it could be because your site has been penalized. Another way to tell is by looking at your search ranking. If your site used to rank for certain keywords but no longer does, that’s another sign that you’ve been penalized.

What to do to remove the penalty from the page?

If you’ve been hit with a Google penalty, the first thing you need to do is identify which type of penalty it is. From there, you can take the appropriate steps to remove the penalty from your page. The most general advice is: don’t cheat and play fair. But to speak more precisely, you can help yourself by:

  • Removal of doubtful quality elements (see the request for re-inclusion form in Google SiteMaps).
  • Improving site navigation.
  • Correcting links (internal and external).
  • Removal of those links that do not work.
  • Get rid of spam.
  • No keyword stuffing.
  • Not copying the content.
  • No redirect masking.

Call for expert!

If none of the methods works, it may turn out that the matter is much more serious and it will not be possible without the help of professionals. Cork SEO expert will find problems and solve them. However, you have to take into account the time and costs. Unfortunately, Google does not distinguish between deliberate scammers and unaware ones, which is why every mistake costs dearly.

Wrapping up

The bottom line is that Google penalties are serious and can have a devastating effect on your website traffic and visibility. However, by understanding what they are and taking steps to avoid them, you can protect your site from being penalized.  And if you do happen to get penalized, it’s possible to get out of it with some work. You just need to be prepared for the battle ahead.

Main photo: Simon/pixabay.com

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