Google has two types of penalties that could potentially harm your website. They are called algorithmic penalties and manual penalties (or “manual actions” by Google). The algorithmic penalties are automatic and occur as a result of the Google algorithms. They are usually caused by Google panda or Google Penguin because of low quality content, duplicated content, and/or the presence of a lot of suspicious links pointing to your site. Google wants to “clean” the web based on these two updates and other criteria.
As for manual penalties, they occur as a result of manual review of your domain performed by a specialist at Google. These punishments tend to minimize a site’s efficiency and can even make it disappear on specific queries to the Net surfers. Google favors sites that have precise and positive characteristics like the speed of its loading time, the size of its optimized images, etc.
Google diminishes the visibility of sites that are viewed less favorable based on penalties they acquire as a result of manual and algorithmic penalties a site might receive. So in order to maintain visibility in search engine results, you must do everything to avoid these penalties.To check whether your site has been punished manually or not, simply visit your Google Webmaster Tools account. To avoid penalties altogether, below is a helpful and essential guide to ensure the positioning of your website in search results.
Preventing Google Penalties
Google Panda and Google Penguin are most concerned about good practices in SEO. Indeed, Google Panda, published in 2011, penalizes poor user experience, like delayed loading times on a site, high bounce rates, errors 404, and of course duplicate content. As for Google Penguin, which was created in 2012, it penalizes spamming techniques, i.e. the quality of link anchors, the number of incoming links from a suspected referral site, the nature and origin of the links, etc.
The bottom line is quality content is paramount. When you want to optimize your site for SEO, you will have to take into account Google Penguin and Google Panda in order to adhere to Google’s guidelines and maintain your website rank and visibility.
Content is king in SEO, so you must give a lot of importance to these factors:
- The content must be unique.
- The editorial line must be clear and coherent.
- Articles or pages should not be over-optimized.
- Automatically generated content is prohibited.
- Know that you have to write your content primarily for users before even thinking about the search engines.
Operating A Quality Site
Owning and operating a quality site is as simple as adopting a clear architecture and paying attention to the internal so that you don’t duplicate content. Links can make or break your site. Netlinking is a great way to get quality links on your website, but be careful to avoid abusing it to try and stay natural with Google’s guidelines. Limit the number of links per page, whether internal or external. As for backlinks campaigns, you should spread them out over a long period of time to avoid getting links at the same time as this might sound suspicious.
The majority of links to your site should be sites with the same theme. Do not over-optimize the anchors for SEO. You must vary the anchors on long phrases and not necessarily on the main keyword of your site. The list of what to do to avoid Google penalties is not exhaustive as it seems. The most important thing to remember is not to cheat in order to make your way up the website ranking through unsavory methods.
Behaviors To Avoid For Good SEO Practice
As you all know now, most behaviors that are banned in SEO are practices prohibited by Google and behaviors that Google will penalize you for if you use them. Here are some examples of practices that should be avoided to maintain good SEO practices that will not be flagged by Google. This practices are more commonly known as Black Hat SEO:
- Cloaking, or generating, different HTML content depending on whether it is a user or a search engine that accesses it
- Duplicating content or copy and pasting an already existing page
- Spam comments
- Over-optimization of keywords
- Purchasing inbound links of poor quality
There are many other practices that are considered Black Hat SEO, but those were just a few of the most common ones that will quickly get your website in hot water with Google if they pick up on it with their manual or algorithmic penalties. Earn your ranking the right way and develop a quality site where your content is key to establishing SEO.
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