Google penalties have always been a huge concern for webmasters. They are now new and their impact to SEO of websites is something hard to avoid. Such is the extent of these penalties that it can wipe out organic search traffic of a website overnight.
Worse still, sites that get hit by a penalty might find it difficult to survive from even a hugely profitable position. That’s why you should think twice, or thrice before violating Google’s guidelines, else your site will be slapped with a penalty which can make all your SEO efforts go in vain in quick time.
Sadly, the risk of a penalty will always be there even if you have put in your best efforts and complied with the guidelines, suggestions and recommendations. Because, there are some penalties which strike due to factors not in your control, such as negative SEO attacks.
And yes, Google does penalize close to half a million websites every month, which is not a small number to feel relaxed about. But yes, irrespective of the cause of the penalty, it’s always better to know how to diagnose it and fix it.
Rather than fearing of a penalty, it’s good to know the remedy and be in a situation to overcome the problem as and when it strikes in true sense. Plus, knowledge is always the key to keeping you ahead of the curve come what may!
Here are things to know about Google penalties –
There are multiple algorithms
• Introduced in 2011, Google’s Panda Update is concerned with stopping sites with poor quality content from gaining mileage with SERPs. It mainly deals with on-page factors and is updated from time to time and when update happens, sites are bound to get hit.
• Launched in 2012, Google’s Penguin Update is concerned with catching sites that are spamming its search results for undue gains. This update deals with off-page factors and mostly penalizes sites that buy links or obtain links through networks or syndicate.
• Google does release updates without any announcements, and they are not necessarily be either Panda or Penguin. Unnamed updates can also strike sites without any warning and more than penalties, they affect sites for using undue means.
Nature of penalties may vary
• Nature of Google penalties may vary as not all will be alike and they will be applied differently based on the situations and scenarios and level of mistakes done by sites
• There will be site-wise penalty in which the effect of penalty can be felt on the whole site and chances are, all the rankings might go away overnight
• There are keyword-specific penalties where not all your SEO efforts will be wasted as the penalty will be on certain keywords that defy the guidelines set by Google
• Page-specific penalties are also there, which are also termed partial in nature where Google can penalize a particular page and won’t let it rank despite your best of effort
You can get penalized in a lot of ways
• You can get penalized when there are unnatural links to your site or when bad links point to your site
• A penalty can strike in cases where unnatural links or bad links from your site point to somebody else’s site
• You’re also in trouble when your site is backed as when Google finds it a phishing site and in either case, a penalty is imminent
• Sites that have thin content with little value are prone to being penalized like in cases where blogs have content specifically for AdSense or where on-page landing sites (as they might be full of ads and keywords)
• Spamming can get your site a penalty or sites that are full of UGC-caused spam have a huge chance to get penalized
• A Google penalty can also strike in cases where websites deliberately cloak pages for SEO or CTR purposes
• Sites that resort to hidden text or keyword stuffing can get penalized as well
• The misuse of structured data can also get your site penalized or having errors with structured data can also put you in trouble
Penalties can come in different ways
• Penalties can come or strike you or your site in different ways, namely manual, algorithmic and a combination of both
• Manual penalty is one where any executive at Google can issue a manual penalty for faults generic in nature
• Algorithmic penalty is automatic in nature and it’s one which strikes a site when it triggers a filter
• In some cases, a site gets both a manual penalty and an algorithmic penalty
Clearly, there’s a lot to know about Google penalties and then you also need to find ways to sneak through them. And if you really want to avoid being penalized, you should think of hiring a top digital marketing company and let it do all your site’s marketing and SEO work.