Having your website penalized by search engines like Google can have more implication than feeling terrible. It might go on to finally have a severe impact on your business bottomline and many businesses have had to shut down as a result. For many of the entrepreneurs out there, the website happens to be the bread and butter and a Google penalty might lead to complete loss of investment.
What is Google penalty?
A Google Penalty is defined as a negative impact on a website’s search rankings ranked by Google Search Algorithms / Google’s Manual Review system. A penalty can occur as a result of algorithm update or intentional manual penalty for use of Black-Hat SEO techniques to buff up page rankings. As such, there could be several reasons to Google Penalties including link-based penalties and negative SEO.
It is very important to follow Google webmaster guidelines and if your website is already panelized, don’t panic; there are a ways to get recover from Google penalties. You just need to understand the reason and follow given instructions and wait for Google refresh.
Every day, millions of pages are created on the internet and most of them are spams. Search engines like Google try to fight these spams using unique internet algorithms and strenuous manual review. The idea is to provide the end user, the average web surfer with suggestions and links those are authentic and suit their needs.
How to recognize Google penalty?
If you have ever received an email from Google Webmaster stating that your website has been awarded with a “manual spam penalty” or reported to having “pure spams”, you are in for trouble. Penalties from Google can come in the form of both manual and automatic reviews. In case of “pure spams”, you probably have been involved in some of the most egregious spam actions.
The reasons could be duplicate or thin content, spam links or something that you have cautiously integrated into the site to higher its rankings. Many of the Google penalties are the reason of changes algorithms and search processes, wherein webmasters need to update and reinvent in original content. There are also cases when you don’t get an official statement from the Webmaster but notice that:
- Your website/page isn’t ranking well
- Page positions are slipping backwards
- The website has been removed from Google’s cached search results all of a sudden
- Tools like site:yourdomain.com keyword gives no result
- Your eventual page listing is other than the Home Page
Reasons for Google Penalty
Google has been continually updating and tweaking its search engine algorithms in an effort to provide its users with more targeted, helpful and authentic results. Google already published list of Quality Guidelines which website/blog must need to follow to rank higher in Google result. There could be several reasons that you weren’t aware of attracting a penalty but have done so with a new update. As such, you need to stay constantly updated with the likely reasons.
1) Auto generated content
Many webmasters use programmed tools to auto generate content and spin articles to be used in their websites. This doesn’t do any good to the end user/visitor. The automatic generated content often generates paragraphs which contain random text with search keywords.
2) Spam penalty
Spams could be of several kinds, but if you have been using your website to create maximum backlinks and integrate irrelevant keywords, you are adding to the trouble. Google really hates spam and after the penguin update Google penalized maximum website which contains any spam activity to improve rankings or traffic. Black hat SEO activities & Spam reports also violets Google guidelines.
3) Duplicate content penalty
Content copied from another website and used in your site attracts penalty. After the Panda update Google strongly focus to give ranking boost to those blogs or website which have unique & quality content. If you copied content from another website/blog then you indirectly invite Google to penalize your website. Google allows website/blog owners to file a DMCA request if they found any content which is copied from their website/blog.
4) Irrelevant keywords
If you have been using irrelevant or excessive keywords that are ruining the content, you are in for penalty. If you really try to boost Google ranking by using number of keywords on webpage then it is against the Google guidelines. Website/Blog really need to focus on rich content rather Keyword stuffing. Irrelevant keywords will not give boost in Google ranking but it definitely harm your website/blog rankings so watch it carefully..!
5) Link schemes
Inappropriate addition of links in the content or comments amounts to spamming. If any website/blog manipulates Google guidelines by using negative linking to boost page rank or Google search rank then Google will take action against it.
Link Schemes guideline includes:
- Buying Links
- Link Exchange
- Hidden links
- Links to suspicious sites
- Malicious Backlinks
- Low Quality Directory Links
6) Hosting service
Hosting abnormalities like slow speed or unsecured servers will adversely affect visitors and are thus penalized. Google strongly recommend securing your website by SSL certificates that can also help you in organic search result. It is very simple and easy process to go over HTTPS; there are many providers like ssl2buy who offers free ssl certificate for content based website.
7) Cloaking and Doorway pages
Cloaking generally defines the 2 different URL’s or content to visitors and search engines. It strongly hurts Google webmaster guidelines because it gives different result to Google bot when it going to crawl the page.
Doorway pages are those typical large set of pages which are specifically designed or optimized with specific keywords or phrase to rank in Google. Google always takes actions against doorway pages by removing them from Google’s index.
8) Affiliate Programs
Basically Google don’t have any problem for affiliate programs. Google is against those website/blogs which have the copied content from original seller, too many product links without relevant content, cookie cutters, old content, etc. Good affiliate marketing adds values in Google rankings but one poor affiliate programs only invites Google penalty.
9) Improper website structuring
Improper design too can attract penalties. As such, websites that use too much of internal linking or advertorials are looking for trouble. Google is against the advertorials which passes links with the page rank via paid articles. Recently Google penalize interflora for the excessive advertorials.
Apart from these, there are numbers of reasons your website may get panelized. The thumb rule to get success in online business is to create your website/content or product for your audiences.
Be it content, images, material, and products or anything, just ask one question to yourself; will this information be helpful to my target audience? If the answer is yes, promote them. Google will definitely love it!
If you have any more reasons to share, please do in the comments below !