If you have slaved for hours over your website and its content to ensure the very best information and user experience, it can be frustrating to find that your page has plummeted down the Google rankings for no clear reason.
Google’s algorithms are constantly being updated to find different flaws and triggers for content that it deems to be unsuitable or of poor quality.
Sometimes the penalties can be awarded for clear reasons, like spam content and questionable links, but other times it can be a complete mystery due to an honest mistake.
A website penalty recovery service can help you get back on track if you find yourself slipping, but the following tips can help you to understand why your website has been penalized.
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Check Your Site For Errors
Before you consider the content of your site and the links you have used, it pays to simply make sure that everything is in working order.
If your site keeps timing out, going down or delivering 404 messages to readers, it is a sign of a website with minimal worth to the viewer. Because of this, Google will waste no time in de-indexing it.
You can also be penalized for other error messages that appear, especially the 302 message when content has been moved, and you should always make sure that the robots.text file is correct.
A decline in your ranking may have a lot to do with decline in the quality of your content.
The quality of the written content on your site makes a big difference – not just to the reader but to Google.
Both can sense when a copy has been written by a real writer and when it has been mangled by spinning software.
The obvious solution here is to avoid this sort of software and avoid buying from content farms that actively use them.
Natural, unique content is a must and that is why Google penalize against duplicate content and scraped content.
You may borrow pages from other sites to fill out your site, but it is much better to take the ideas and present them in your own content.
Google also frowns upon creators that use multiple landing pages to link back to a main site.
Careful With Keywords and SEO
SEO keywords are a vital tool for page rankings, so much so that it is easy for website owners to go a little overboard with their content.
Keyword stuffing can quickly turn a high ranking page into one of poor quality and once Google spots this, it will slip down the rankings fast.
The trick here is to pay attention to your keyword density and work with natural LSI keywords, instead of throwing the same main keyword into every other sentence.
Google comes down hard on over-optimization and is also on the look out for certain targeted keywords that are associated with spam sites. The problem here comes in knowing precisely what it is looking for.
Another major area of contention here is the use of links on a website…
Links are vital to the success of a website if you want to backlink to related content or provide links to affiliates. The problem is that Google is pretty sharp about the amount of links that website owners use and their source.
If you suspect that your site may be in violation of any of these issues, it is time to make some changes.
Bought Links: Google sees bought links as a way of manipulating the ranking and is quick to act. The same may apply to rented links.
Minimal Outbound Links: It never hurts to link to quality, outside sources to show that you are a legitimate source of information.
Excessive Affiliate Links: On the other side of the coin, Google also hates to see too many links to affiliate sites in place of quality content.
Reliance of Reciprocal Links: Some website creators make deals with other websites to exchange links and share the rise in rankings. It may seem innocent to you, but Google thinks otherwise.
Hidden Links: The seemingly obvious solution to some of the above issues, to some users at least, may be to simply hide the links. Google will see through this and view any link that isn’t obvious to readers as a sneaky tactic.
Links to Less Reputable Sources: Always uses sources that are above-board and avoid links to mature and inflammatory content. This may seem obvious to some website owners, but what happens when these links are beyond your control?
Malicious Content Beyond Your Control
The biggest problem for any website owner that receives these sorts of red flags from Google is that they are not always responsible for the issues that have been flagged.
In some cases, users and commenters can post harmful material that will affect the performance of the site. Sometimes this can be innocent enough, but there are times when rivals will deliberately target you.
Any content that is perceived to be hacked will be quickly removed, but the problem doesn’t end there.
Some competitors may place malicious backlinks into your content to see you penalized while others may simply fill your comments sections with spam.
Another tactic is to report a rival website as spam. You can be vigilant against the backlinks and comments by checking your site regularly, but spam reports are more difficult to deal with.
By keeping on top of these main areas, it is easier to avoid Google penalties…
Now that you have a clearer idea of why your website may have been penalized by Google, it is much easier to stop it from happening again.
If you have found yourself falling down the rankings, look into a website penalty recovery service and keep these key areas in mind for the future.
It is difficult to predict precisely how Google will view a link or a keyword but, as long as you follow the basic rules on the types of links that are permitted, watch your keyword usage, check for errors and provide unique, content of worth, you have a better chance of maintaining your rating.