Google reserves the right to apply penalties to the websites which it finds in violation of its webmaster guidelines. Manual spam actions can have multiple effects on your organic search results ranging from barely noticeable to utterly disastrous.
Since 2012, Google has started to communicate with its webmasters through Google Search Console, previously known as Google Webmaster tools, about website issues that relate to how a website would appear in the organic search results. In this guide, we will talk about how to prevent or deal with the warnings that Google issues to the webmasters.
The warnings may or may not be triggered by the black-hat SEO techniques but also due to an omission of certain guidelines set by Google webmaster. Google has also begun to identify the technical issues that a website faces. These issues may impact the search visibility but do not violate the guidelines set by google webmaster. Having said that, notifications that appear in the Google Search Console should be taken and dealt with seriously.
Let’s talk about a detailed guide on how to prevent your website from Google Penalties.
Keep a track of your backlinks
Backlinks still remain one of the most important ranking factors on Google. The reason for 99% of the penalties are backlinks towards your website. Either these backlinks are unnatural or of low quality. In order to avoid getting hit with a warning or a penalty by Google, you should keep a track of your existing backlinks as well as the new ones. This is surely a time-consuming process but can be done through several tools available in the market.
There are cases when your website can be penalized even without you building unnatural backlinks. The reasons for these are:
· You outsourced your SEO work to a company that built backlinks violating Google’s guidelines. That is why monitoring your backlinks is extremely important and if the backlinks that are being created are not of great quality, they should be removed immediately.
· Negative SEO- this is a proper blackhat technique that is used by the competitors against your website. Several low-quality backlinks are created for your website and it will increase the risk of your website being penalized.
As soon as you notice something like this happening, create a disavow report and submit it to Google.
Improve your content
The content on the website is of extreme importance and it is not just limited to the blog section of the website. The product descriptions, the home page content. Privacy policies, shipping, and return policies and about sections of the page should contain unique and quality content. Especially for the e-commerce stores, make sure that you add a lot of description to the content.
Some e-commerce store owners use the product descriptions sent out by the manufacturers. This is NOT the way to do it. The stores that offer drop-shipping often tend to use the descriptions provided by the manufacturers. This would mean multiple stores using the same descriptions and Google ending up filtering the duplicate content.
Below is an example of how to get it done by Shoes.com:
As you can see, a thorough description is provided for the visitors and it would make your site appear more user-friendly in the eyes of Google.
Don’t offer pirated content on your website
This one is pretty simple and obvious, if you are offering pirated content on your website, you’re basically begging Google to penalize it. Google is a software company and like all the software companies out there, it does not want its content to be stolen.
Google also tries to identify what other software companies have protected their software by intellectual property laws. Please do keep in mind that all the pirated content is taboo according to Google. So if you’re offering your visitors a chance to download the latest Netflix show for free, think again!
Below is attached picture of Google’s anti-piracy principles. Take a good look at these before you even mistakenly offer something on your website that could count under the term of piracy.
Offer rich, useful and unique content
Google does not penalize a website for duplicate content but some of the content types are in violation with the Google policies. Google considers the following as poor or thin content:
- Automatically generated content
- Thing affiliate pages
- Scraped content or low-quality guest blog posts
- Doorway pages
If you have any of the above, your site could get penalized for violation google webmaster guidelines. However creating rich, useful and unique content can help your website rank better.
A good example of it is the blog run on the website of the fashion e-commerce store Sophie and Trey. The type of content generated at this blog is something that Google truly likes and it would help your website rank better.
Don’t use sneaky mobile redirects
Sometimes, the website owners try and play a trick with the visitors by redirecting the mobile traffic to another totally unrelated URL. The desktop traffic is not redirected. Google penalizes the website who try and play this trick with the visitors. It is essential that you avoid this at all costs and keep it by the book.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing used to be the ultimate SEO practice back in the day but now, it isn’t anymore. The practice of stuffing keywords everywhere is penalized by Google as it appears unnatural. This is penalized under the Google Panda penalties.
We’re not trying to imply that you shouldn’t use keywords anymore but optimize your content for what people are searching online. The keywords should be present in the content but added according to the content so that they appear natural, rather than overdoing it and repeating the keywords multiple times. Optimal keywords density is also a myth and does not matter anymore so keep the quality of the content natural and your website would do fine.
Below is an example of a good SEO done on a product page of Renogy:
In conclusion, remember, break no rules. Also, Google will like what the online audience will like; whenever you create content for your website, keep the audience’s likes and dislikes in mind. Good luck!
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