Google is now more focused on the quality and freshness of search results. So it has been working on some improvements on search Algorithm. Google Panda and Google Penguin are the most notable algorithmic changes in Google search which are now penalizing websites with low quality content and bad links. After the launch of Google Panda, many content farmers and low quality websites have seen a great fall in the traffic. And after the launch of Google Penguin, all websites which buy backlinks and use link exchange backlinks were penalized. There are also other small algorithmic changes. Google has now combined its major updates in search. So, now it does not need to roll out update manually. This is the reason, webmasters will see instant penalty in their websites if there is anything wrong.
Previous impacts of these algorithmic changes confirm that no website can escape from Google if there is anything wrong in content, linking or structure. Google has penalized various big well known brands including eBay. So, I recommend to play safe and always follow Google’s guidelines.
In this post, I am writing 10 must follow tips to avoid Google Penalty. If you will follow these 10 tips, you will not have to worry about Google’s algorithmic updates.
- Avoid linking low quality websites. If it is necessary to link a website with low rank and low content then use nofollow attribute with the link. Never ever linkback to a website with porn content. If your website is popular, you will also receive emails from link builders who will offer huge amount for linking back to a casino website. Say no to these kind of offers. If you will go with money and accept the offer, you will lose your search ranking instantly. Google is very strict for these kind of links. Try to avoid link exchange. Now search engine is smart enough to know the link exchange done by you. And it does not count these links while ranking a websites. So increasing this type of back-links are now penalized by Google.
- Keyword density plays an important role in ranking the website on the search results. But keyword density has a safe side. It should be in between 2-7. Overuse of keywords may leads to get Google Penalty. So check keyword density in each of your posts and try to post with keyword density acceptable by Google. If you use keywords too many time in your page, it is called keyword stuffing. Google always suggest webmasters not to do keyword stuffing. Google uses keywords to match a web page with search queries. If you will do keyword stuffing by overusing a keyword on the page, it makes difficult for Google to properly understand your content. In this case, Google will ignore your website and you will see huge drop in search engine ranking.
- Do not over use ads and scripts on the website. Google penalizes those websites which focuses on Ads and earning money only. According to Google, a website on which it is hard to find content in between ads will be given negative points. So, use ads in proper way. Avoid using pop-up and overlay ads. Use banners in sidebar, header and footer. Content must be visible and easy to read.
- Do not copy content from other websites. This is the main thing which Google hates. Google Panda mainly focuses on those websites which copy content from some other websites and mark them as spam. All the spam websites will be removed from the Google search results
- Do not use hidden links on the web pages. Google panda hates use of hidden links in the content. Hidden links indicates that you added those links just to offer link to those websites. And these links were not for the website visitors. It looks fishy and Google slap websites with hidden links. So, avoid these kind of links. I also recommend you to check your pages. Sometimes, you can add these links mistakenly. There may be HTML markup or CSS errors. So, must check your website for the hidden links.
- Remove all broken links from the website. And disallow tags and categories from the search indexing. You can read our guide which explains how to disallow tags and categories in WordPress from indexing in Google search
- Do not use any image from malicious website. I always recommend you to download image on your website and then upload it to your server. If you use a image direct from the URL, and the server on which the image was hosted is malicious, it will also hurt the ranking of your own website.
- Do not use automatic publishing scripts/plugins to build content. This is also heavily penalized by Google. I have seen many websites which automatically publish articles by scraping feeds of other websites. Now, the era of this kind of content is no more. Google Panda takes care of these kind of websites.
- Improve your website speed and optimize scripts and CSS. Website speed is also now a main factor which plays an important role in search engine ranking. Google also confirmed that website speed is a ranking factor. Although, Google has no plans to penalize slow websites. But you should not take risk. Speedup your website to enjoy better ranking. If you are WordPress user, you can read our WordPress speedup guide.
- Improve your branding. Google is less likely to penalize a brand unless there is huge blunder in SEO point of view. If you have better branding, your small mistakes will be avoided. Branding determines the trust.
These are some points which we must take care to avoid Google penalty. And after the Google Panda, SEO and link building must be taken care.