We live in a digital world, where the difference between landings on the first page of an eminent search engine vs. the second could make a difference of millions in revenue. For most online businesses, search engine traffic is very important, Every business wants to achieve the highest possible listing on Google but it is not easy as it used to be and therefore many SEOs and marketers are using questionable techniques for pushing the link-building process to the limit and as a result many websites are being penalized for violating Google’s guidelines. Violating Google’s Webmaster guidelines will result in penalties that reduce the website’s rankings or completely remove it. Once Google penalizes a website it becomes harder to find. Google is not only about their remarkable algorithms and learning apparatus, but they also have a vast army of quality arbitrators who estimate quality and penalize websites for breaking the norms.
Google penalizes for two general categories of penalties:
- Manual– Google penalizes with a manual penalty when Google’s spam team flags your website, usually for breaching one or more of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
- Algorithmic– Algorithmic penalties occur automatically when one of Google’s search algorithms flags one’s website. In order to keep everything optimized, Google regularly updates its algorithm and even the smallest change can lead to traffic drop. Algorithm-based penalties are much harder to detect as one don’t get any kind of Search Console message letting one know that the website’s been penalized.
A list of the most common SEO penalties follows below:
- Spam: We have all surfed the web and were bombarded with irrelevant or unnecessary content. “Spam” refers to extraneous or inappropriate messages being sent to an outsized range of recipients on the net. Spam is widely viewed as an enormous nuisance on the net. The easiest and quickest way to solve spamming issues is to identify the source and remove it. Find the source of the source of the spam and then remove it. To ensure one’s yacht broker’s site isn’t mixing up spamming, shop around for a legitimate, mass-communication system. One should make sure that one’s organization isn’t blurring the lines between outreach and flat-out spam. When choosing an automated messaging system, always make sure to choose one with anti-spam functionality.
- Cloaking: Cloaking is considered such a serious offense to search engines and at times the sites get banned for it. In short, the policy states that websites which show information to Google but fail to show that same information to visitors, who don’t have a subscription, can and will be penalized. Many different types of content on a website or webpage can potentially be cloaked. This includes photos, text, etc. As a website owner, it is very possible that you accidentally cloaked some portions of your website. Luckily, cloaking can be fixed. We need to first identify the cloaked portions of the website. One can use several free tools online to identify the clocked portion of the website. Afterward, compare the content on your web page to the content fetched by Google and then remove any mismatches or discrepancies.
- Value: One of the most important and valuable thing that a website can improve their SEO is to add value to what its visitors see. Ideally, every website has its own specific narrative or story that conveys specific messages to its customers. People visiting the website spending their time on the website are beyond control but improving the standard of the website is under control. Google has a due-diligence process of programmed web-crawling software and real-life employees; by merging technical and human skillfulness, the site can identify whether or not your website is truly valuable. Therefore, instead of using tricks or gimmicks, augment your website’s value by improving your site’s content.
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