Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Want Your Website to Rank Well for Years to Come? Follow the rules below to prevent your site from getting penalized by Google.
Why Does Google Penalizes Websites?
Google has the biggest market share when it comes to web search as of 2019, with over 87 percent of the market using them to perform an online search. As a matter of fact, 63,000 searches are performed per second each day using Google alone. It is something they worked hard to archive over the years and is something they want to continue to improve upon.
With all that said, Google wants to make sure their users are happy with the returned search results. Making sure relevant results are returned is the reason Google has implemented security measures, such as penalties, within their algorithms. Some webmasters try to manipulate the search engines using spammy tactics, which I'll talk about below, to game the system. This causes a lack of trust to the users, which Google wants to prevent.
3 Google Penalties Google Will Enforce
There are basically three main ways Google will slap a penalty of your website if they find out you are not playing by the rules. I named each one below and will go over each one in detail. Here are the three main penalties you will find:
Manual Human Evaluation
Panda - Update Targeting Low Quality Content
This update was officially released on Feb 23, 2011 and Google stated that is was a big improvement to their ranking algorithm. They claimed it changed 11.8 percent of its queries. The main reason for this update according to Google is as followed:
"This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on."
It is important more than ever to have content on your site that is high quality and engaging to the end-user. Most of the websites that were effected by the Panda update were only writing content for the search engines, by that I mean they were keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is the practice of repeating the same keyword abundantly, which is a spammy tactic that use to work in the past.
Penguin - Effects Sites Engaging in Spam Link Tactics
This web-spam algorithm was first introduced on April 24, 2012, which is a little after the Panda update. As noted above Panda's main focus was to target sites with low quality on-page content. Penguin's main focus is targeting off-page SEO tactics that engage is spammy practices. Some of the spam tactics that is penalizes sites for are participating in link schemes and keyword stuffing.
Link Scheme - Acquiring links from unrelated and low-quality websites. An example would be a painting company generating links from forums or blog comments with the link itself saying "best painting company in Chicago". Having a bunch of links like this is highly unnatural and will now penalize your website. Another example is that same painting company generating links from a website that is about basket weaving, which is completely irreverent from painting.
Keyword Stuffing - Keyword stuffing is the practice of using the same keyword an unnatural amount of times on a webpage. An example of this would a divorce lawyer in Chicago, using the keyword "best divorce lawyer Chicago" ten times on a 500 word page in an attempt to increase their rankings.
Here are some examples of keyword stuffing from Google's Guidelines:
"Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value"
"Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for"
"Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example: We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at email@example.com."
Manual Checks - Human Checks of Your Site
Another think that Google likes to perform is a manual evaluation of your website. Google will check your website to make sure that it is following their guidelines by using a human evaluator to catch things their algorithm don't catch. The main thing you want to keep up to date if your a local business, is your contact information. Google wants it users to be able to easily contact any business they do with business, otherwise it leads to a bad user experience. So be sure to have a clear way for customers, clients, or patients to contact your business.
If you want to be sure your website is up to date and adhering to Google's guidelines be sure to contact me at 312-529-8226 or by sending me a message.