If you observe a sudden drop or decline in your rankings, there is a possibility that you are receiving a penalty from Google. When this happens, it can be a disastrous for blogs, especially for e-commerce websites as it prevents users from finding their site.
A penalty may come from an algorithmic or manual action. An algorithmic penalty is determined when the site has triggered a safeguard belt or filter imposed by Google. A manual penalty, on the other hand, is when someone from Google has manually reviewed a website and determined that it has violated one or more of their guidelines.
Google penalizes a site for one of two reasons. First, when the website resorts to on-site or off-site manipulative methods to increase their rankings. Second, when the site does not provide a good experience for their visitors.
Here are the common mistakes that you must avoid.
Poor Quality Backlinks
Backlinks help you grow your rankings. But when you have too many backlinks coming from a site with no content, poor link profile, or have low domain authority, Google will deem your site as “spammy”.
Although they know that the backlinks of a website are out of the webmaster’s control, they have a way of knowing if the backlinks are the product of manipulative tactics. If you are building SEO backlinks for your site, make sure that quality trumps over quantity. One link from a high authority site outweighs hundreds of poor quality backlinks.
Years ago, webmasters approach to link building as inserting as many hyperlinks as possible in every post. Some would even contact other websites and offer reciprocal links as well. Because of this tactic, it has resulted in hundreds and thousands of irrelevant links – which now Google considers unfavorable.
Today, links should only be used when needed – for linking to a related area of focus or to other sites that would extend the knowledge of the webmaster’s content. If you think you have linked your content to unrelated sites, you need to review your content again and remove them as soon as possible.
The idea of comment spam is building links by going to other blog posts, commenting on them with a link to your site. If you acquired your SEO campaign from an unreliable vendor, there is a great chance that they have added comment spam links in the mix of links you were guaranteed on. This used to be a conventional practice in gambling and pornographic sites.
Today, blogs have counteracted this by moderating their own comment feed or using a nofollow attribute for the commenter’s links. Make sure to check if you have any comment backlinks. If you are hiring an SEO vendor, check back with them to ensure that they do not give you links like these.
Search engines like Google put a lot of weight on the backlinks you receive, and the best strategy here is to build a profile of organic links. Achieving this is slower than simply paying for them, but it is a secure way of protecting your site from a Google penalty.
If you choose to join a link-building scheme, there is a great chance that you will be receiving a link from an unrelated page filled with irrelevant links. Even if the site’s overall domain authority is high, this contains no value to the eyes of Google.
It is clear by now that content is king when it comes to rankings. Sites that produce duplicate or thin content will get penalized by Google. It is critical to your ranking to produce good quality content. This means your post should be informative and valuable to your readers.
It is recommended to check your site for plagiarism and see there are any duplicate content issues. If you found a content that is similar to yours, it is vital that you edit your existing articles or remove them completely.
Avoiding the mistakes above should help you steer clear of Google penalties. But if your site ever does get hit, it is still possible to get your site back. Once in a while, review your backlink profile and remove the poor links you have.
Make sure that you are posting valuable and original content so as not to get dinged for content quality. If you choose to outsource your SEO to a provider, request for weekly updates to stay on top of everything.