Google Penalties and Common Mistakes

May 21, 2018
SEO Google Panda Penguin

Nowadays, a lot of mistakes are made in SEO as a result of wanting to attract more traffic to your website. Sometimes the reason can be misunderstanding of how SEO works or in some cases, the desire to improve very fast (which can’t be done when it comes to this topic) brings trouble so called-penalty.

It happens all of a sudden, there is no warning, and all of work is just gone from the internet. Your website is running smoothly, the number of visitors/subscribers and shares is increasing, the ranking is pretty high, but one day all of it disappears.

Your empire built with a lot of effort and time can crash down in seconds. Situations like this happen every day. Penalties are divided into manual and automatic. Google started checking website content and quality since 2000. The main reason why Google is giving out penalties is because they want to provide better user experience.

That means providing a fair marketplace to get better results and to enhance the user journey using their search platform. Since then, in 2012 Penguin update appeared which made some major changes so optimizers had to think over their way of working.

Penalties are divided as Penguin and Panda, with an addition of still unannounced ones, or manual and algorithm penalties. Penguin penalties are very often caused by over-optimizing and Panda penalties are related to quality and usage of the site. Panda is an algorithm penalty and Penguin is a manual one. It means Google is looking for a manipulative link activity. It is implied by people try to either gain links or manipulate anchor text.

There are many ways to manipulate links in order to boost a website traffic. Google penalties are related to some recent work on the site, but they can actually happen for a mistake done years ago. What is important to know, even if there is a single issue website can be penalized, but usually a mix of couple of them. Newbies but also experts in SEO can’t break into new Google algorithms which are made exactly for deleting low-quality content. In SEO you have to always be in progress with the newest technologies. A combination of the right strategy and technology is going to save you up from the penalties. These are most common ones…

Uploading low-quality content-Google searches are usually all into people who are looking for an answer or solution to a problem. The site has to give to the customers quantity and quality. If the answers on the page are not the ones that people can use, they will probably go off the site. Using scraped content will only harm you, as this content refers to a text copied from some other site. The answer to someone’s question has to be direct, described in understandable sentences, without equivocating. What is the right count for one topic? Top rated pages by Google are around 2000 words, or more, but not more than 3000.

If the content is shallow, telling the story reader possibly knew himself or if the same text is just copied from the other site, you will get a penalty. Customers/readers like when there are some useful, external links on the site, images and/or videos, the name of the author of a certain text and button for social shares or the number of them.

Keyword stuffing

If there are many repeating of the keywords on the specific site that will lead to Google penalty. Google explicitly said that massively repeating of the keywords is going to affect your site rankings as the customers would have negative experience. Try to find synonyms or simply make another context of the sentence. Not so often but there are some cases when authors want to be creative and show it off so the words they use are abstract for the readers who only bypass the link to the site.

Writers are also sometimes into excessive writing just to get a large number of words, but as we explained in the first common mistake, Google is about quantity and quality at the same time. If the users are not pleased with the content Google will react.

Anchor text mistakes

Anchor text refers to a text within a link colored blue. Google will search for any possible prohibited action or mistake among that text. Words used in the anchor text have to funnel to a specific topic, so it is very important to make sure that the text described explicitly, directly. If the used words are too general, blurred and can relate to many topics, you should narrow it, or the Google will know that you are trying to play hide and seek and it will penalize you. Irrelevant sources and links-When building a site, owners have to be specific about the main theme/topic.

Even if you are into one specialty, there can be something a little bit different from the main topic, but at the same time related to that one. Also, it is also fine to put some other close resources, making sure they lead to the relevant pages. In any other case, Google will think those links are paid or that some program you installed put them on the site itself. There is also great possibility that you would be offered some kind of partnership with other sites to promote each other, but this can only bring you trouble. What can you do about this? SEO agency you engaged has a network of contacts whom they can contact for a promotion.

You need good, quality sites and reliable contacts. These sites should be usually better than yours, but don’t let this confuse you. Weak sites don’t show much credibility and that is what is necessary for the start. Low quality links exist on every site and the percentage of them shouldn’t be bigger than 75% or more, but make sure if it is possible, to cut it down to 5-10% SEO optimization is still something unimproved and underestimated, even if it looks like totally opposite. Who starts earlier by applying this strategy, the better. The point is to be Google’s partner for a long time, which will affect your earning in a best possible way.

Entering the site, users want to see something they clicked on. If the click will only redirect to another page, it gives them negative experience. This is a very common mistake which would never be ignored by Google. Too many ads or banners take away attention from the text, so it is recommended to bypass putting those profusely. Very often it happens that some links are broken. Try to keep the track with the link on your website.

Putting too many links can look robust and unattractive to website visitors. Be careful with sites which are already penalized by Google. You should remove them as soon as possible.

High bounce rate

If users click on one site link only and then leave, that is called bounce rate. Google keeps track of the time users spend on websites. Bounce rate higher than 50% will always bring a penalty. This story is related to the low-quality content. If people don’t find what they are looking for they will come off the site very quickly. Average time users estimate the answer on a specific topic is about 30 seconds. That means a website has to attract customers very fast. If not, Google will notice average time of the visit is 30seconds or less and that will make the site disappear.

Goal is to attract quality users, who will come over and over again to your site. More times people visit, chances are more likely they will buy something. Give them a reason to click on your site link again.

Plagiarism content is very often a reason why users come off the site so quickly, as they find almost the same information and the answer is blurred. Try using helpful tools such as CopyScape, which shows if the same content exists somewhere on the internet. The content has to be unique to attract more visitors and make them stay actually.

New practices

Using new practice on your website gives users better experience. Everybody likes to see, for example, nice and quality design and graphics, that gives an impression of professionalism. Having both desktop and mobile version of a site is also a big plus. This affects your website rankings, so if the ranking goes down it can sometimes lead to the penalty. Important factor is website speed, as slow websites are always ranked very low. Visitors will expect that the site loads in a few seconds and if that doesn’t happen, they will exit the page even before loading.

Google has the same expectations also. The fastest loading of the page is less than one second and the slowest 4 or more seconds. Mobile users are willing to wait up to 10seconds for a page to load. What can you do to make the site works fast? Minify HTML, CSS and JavaScript, avoid page redirecting, make the visible content as a priority.

Unsecured sites

In 2017 Google started labeling sites as insecure. While entering a site, you will be informed whether it is not secure and that you are entering at your own risk. Of course, secured web pages have better rankings. For example, HTTP pages are labeled as unsecured, different than HTTPS which load pretty fast. They make 40% of overall websites.

Black hat techniques

is a manipulation of Google ranking, so the page appears higher than they really are. This is a short-term solution, considered as a severe mistake and it will guide to a Google penalty from which is very hard or almost impossible to recover. Very often these black hat SEO agencies send e-mails offering their services, so you need to be careful.

Here are some more tips how to avoid getting penalty and SEO techniques that can help: Contact team for marketing. Maybe they can react right away and fix the problem. Google Webmaster Tool is your friend. Use it to check if there are some site errors you didn’t know about. These errors can be big threat for the site as they prevent it from turning out in Google searches.

Problems that can result in penalty happen in 80% of the times due to some human error. Some examples of them: not maintaining plug-ins, which have to be consistently supervised, images on your site can be missing ALT tags and not be optimized for searches, always check website visibility and page titles. If couple of sites has the same hosting provider, sometimes those sites can all share the same IP address. The other sites can try to take advantage of that situation, so make sure this is monitored from time to time.

It is crucial to pick one of the best SEO strategies and stick to it. But be careful! Hiring SEO equip doesn’t always mean avoiding mistakes. Some of the SEO agencies will lead your website to a dead end, not even knowing what they are doing. SEO agency can either help you or ruin you. Don’t be lazy to do a little bit more of a research to find trusted and top-notch one. Awards and affiliations contribute to sending a message to the users that the site is trusted and highly recommended. Some review from time to time would be great. Users like to see reviews and impressions from other users.

Up to 70% of them get convinced to trust a site out of reviews. Reading all of this, it seems like maintaining site can be almost impossible. There are many catches that can occur without you even noticing, the exact way penalties happen. What is the best advice? Try not to play the Google and its algorithm for ranking. Take baby steps, publish quality content and put relevant and working links on the site. Also, it would be great to use some SEO tools, such as CognitiveSEO, URL Profiler, Scrape Box or hire SEO expert. If you are in a hurry a little bit, try improving your site ranking by giving some values for free.

The result would be becoming a great resource. It will attract more visitors, potential customers. Recommendations still function in everyday life. Try giving some free advice also. Maybe that wouldn’t bring you a customer at once, but you will be appreciated as someone who really knows the job. If people start talking and visiting your site, Google will notice that for some reason the site is getting popular and supposedly it gives users what they are looking for.

It will rank your site as one of the top ones in a short period of time. Google will label it as trusted site also. But some websites try play a game this way also. They make the content visible completely to Google as free, but on the other side to users it appears as locked. If user must go through registration, logging in, subscription or similar process, it is against Google rules and will cause a penalty.

And, what about the competition? Do you know what is your competition doing, which strategies are they using?

Probably you all have the same issues, or you can learn from them. Investigate a little bit, or engage a SEO agency to do it with their advanced software which functions great. The point is to take the best from each competitor and apply it to your site. These kinds of solutions are top notch as it is comprehensive and all-inclusive approach.

Reward for hard work won’t trail. Here is a little trick… It is called Skyscraper technique. Write the best possible article, then with SEO tools try to find people who are looking for same or similar links. Afterwards, contact them with suggestions to in towards your site as you are offering quality and useful content. Don’t hold back from doing some researches including creativity. The thing is, users sometimes don’t know what they actually want, but at the same time have some problems about which they are not aware of. Get out on the terrain and talk to them, write down answers, ideas, search for issues actively. Story will sell the product. This is a great way to publish unique content.

Compare results of the research and check on Google if there are some answers. If they are missing, you are having a clue to a hidden treasure.

All of this can become very simple if you are patient enough and always be on track with what is happening on your site. Tracking means knowing data about visitors-their location, number of new and old ones, average time spent on site, ones who come from another sites, exit and bounce rates. But, sometimes after applying all these SEO strategies and avoiding mistakes results will still trail. This is a sign of wrong way of harmonizing marketing channel, targeted audience and business goals.

This is not a reason to panic, some redesigning of the strategies combined with the right SEO campaign will pay off soon. Main goal is sustainable, long-term web presence.