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Our Guide to Avoiding Google Penalties

26th April 2022

Nowadays, in order to have a solid online presence, your Google rankings are more important than ever. In fact, they are essential to the online success of your business. With that said, a penalty from Google should be avoided at all costs, otherwise your rankings will decrease, along with your organic traffic and ROI. Read on for our expert guide on how to avoid Google penalties and ensure your SEO campaign performs well.

What is a Google Penalty?

When a website violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines in some way, it can result in a penalty. This could be an automatic penalty which is algorithm-based, or a manual penalty which is an intentional penalisation for “black hat” actions. While the algorithm-based penalties aren’t formally referred to as penalties, they can have the same result. There are various types of penalties, some more severe than others. Fortunately, there are steps you can take and things you can avoid to minimise the likelihood of receiving a penalty.

How Can I Avoid a Google Penalty?

One important thing to avoid is keyword stuffing. This is essentially when you load a webpage with the same target keyword more than necessary, and in an unnatural way, in an attempt to manipulate your ranking for that keyword. Anyone clued up on SEO will tell you that this is a definite no-no. Google has been actively against keyword stuffing for a very long time.

Another thing to side-step is buying links. Doing so is highly likely to garner you a penalty. Any backlinks that you acquire in order to pass SEO value to your site should look natural and if you invest in ads, you should ensure a “no follow” attribute is added.

Furthermore, you should ensure your content is unique and high quality. If Google realises that your content is duplicate, to other pages on your website but more specifically to pages on other sites, you will be in trouble. Firstly, Google won’t even rank pages that contain identical content to another page so that page won’t show up in the SERP. You may also be penalised for posting your own content in multiple pages, so this is something you should certainly avoid.

With regards to content, another thing to note is that Google focusses on transparency. With that said, never hide your content. You may be inclined to change the colour of your font so that it matches the page behind it and can’t be seen by the naked eye, but this will not help your rankings and may lead to a penalty. It used to be a common black hat technique but is something you should avoid nowadays.

If you require any additional advice regarding Google penalties or SEO in general, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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