If You’re Not Careful with SEO, You Could Face Google Penalties

By on December 20, 2018

If you have a website, you obviously want it to rank higher. Whether you’re an eCommerce business or a fashion blogger you want more traffic on your website. Now SEO is a very powerful tool and it does wonders for your website. However, the only problem is that Google keeps changing and improvising its algorithm for refined search results.

Google wants to provide the most authentic and the most refined results to its users; This is why SEO exists today, for improving the user experience.

SEO algorithm allows Google to rank websites according to:

  • Content optimization
  • Page speed
  • Responsive website
  • Accessible URL and links 
  • Domain and page authority

You can ethically utilize these factors to benefit your site, this is commonly known as ‘white hat SEO’. But then again, there are the bad guys; webmasters that unethically use SEO tactics for greater rankings. This is commonly called ‘black hat SEO’.

So in order to tackle the bad guys, Google decided to take action and penalize sites that were going against the SEO guidelines.

What happens when Google penalizes your website?

Google aims to provide the best search results to its users, so evidently, websites that try to trick the Google’s agent (SEO algorithm), will have to face Google penalties. Here is how Google penalizes your website:

  • Website banned:
    Google can entirely ban your website if you’re involved in abusing the system. This can be due to extremely violent content, malware distribution, racism and any other type of unacceptable acts.
  • Lowered Rankings:
    Google’s algorithm will lower your websites rankings and your site will cease to appear in its original position.
  • Drop In Traffic:
    You will notice a sudden drop in your website’s traffic, this is mainly because your site will cease to appear in search results.

Except for the bad guys, not everyone deserves a penalty. You might wake up in the morning and realize that you no longer appear in search results or your site is no longer driving any traffic. In that case, it’s best to be aware of the Google penalties and make sure that you follow the ‘white hat SEO’.

Save Your Website from Google Penalties

You can use the following guidelines to make sure that your site stays clear of Google penalties.

  • Keyword Stuffing:
    Using keywords to improve search engine rankings is the oldest tactic in the book. If you’re using the good old ‘white hat SEO’ method, you select a keyword and decide an appropriate keyword density for your content. Not only this, you utilize the keywords where they make sense and suit the context. But people that don’t know any better will use excessive keywords in their content. They would probably repeat those words or use too many to rank at the top. Sadly, your efforts will be of no use. Google will ultimately flag you out if you go to such extremes.
  • Cloaking:
    Cloaking is a devious method used to trick search engines into seeing a different version of a website. The content shown to users might be entirely different as compared to that revealed to search engines. The reason why developers utilize this method is to add links or keywords to increase search engine rankings, whereas these elements add no meaning to the users. Cloaking does not happen unintentionally, it’s considered a deliberate attempt to trick the engine. Once caught by Google’s crawlers, you will have to suffer the consequences.
  • Plagiarized content:
    Copying someone else’s work and passing it on as your own has always been a contradiction in terms of SEO. Make sure that your content is fresh, unique and SEO friendly.
  • Slow Website Speed:
    If your site fails to perform well and hinders in providing visitors a good user experience, it could be removed from search results.
  • Non-Responsive website:
    A responsive website is able to function on all types of devices such as desktop, tablets and most importantly smartphones. A responsive eCommerce website design is an important ingredient for website traffic and it’s just as important for search engine rankings. If your website is not optimized for all types of devices, then it fails to aid users; Google will point you out and your site will have to suffer Google penalties.
  • Paid Links:
    Google does not entertain the idea of purchasing links and gaining search engine credit. Google has penalized Washington post, J.C penny and even Google Japan for taking part in this crime. It just comes to saying that big or small, Google will not spare you.
  • Too Many Advertisements:
    Do you ever visit a site and have a hard time finding what you came for, mainly because of the numerous ads that cover the content. Incorporating ads on your site is okay, just as long as you don’t go to extremes. Excessive ads complicate your site and give users a hard time; so ultimately Google will flag out your site.
  • Hidden content and links:
    Keyword stuffing didn’t work out, so why not blend in keywords with the background? Search engines will never figure it out; Well actually, they will. Any type of hidden content and links are considered suspicious and spammy. Google’s search engine crawlers will be able to detect hidden content and flag you out for trying to trick it.
  • Unnatural Links or Link Spam:
    Any type of links that add no value to your site and are intend to manipulate page rankings, will be flagged out by Google’s algorithm.

Conclusion:

Following SEO best practices can get you the rankings and the website traffic that you desire. Fail to follow the rankings and use black hat SEO practices, then you will have to suffer the consequences. If you want a productive online presence you will have to follow Google webmaster guidelines, try not to cheat, keep it fair; It’s as simple as that.

About Rameeza Yasin

Rameeza Yasin is a Digital Marketing Executive for Appverticals. Her expert writing skills enable her to convert complex information into content that anyone can read. Her technical educational background, combined with a know-how of content marketing, gives her an edge over others in a variety of blog posts.
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