Search Marketing News & Views from Our Man on the Street

How to Avoid Getting Pinched and Penalized by Google

Google is constantly updating its quality guidelines in an effort to deliver the best, most relevant results for searches. Such dedication to its end users is why it’s grown so large, and now owns about 70% of the entire search engine marketshare worldwide.

Unfortunately, such changes often means that certain search engine optimizers and digital marketing tools lose their efficacy. One day you just wake up and your site isn’t as visible, despite using social media and PPC. Sometimes, changes to the Google quality guidelines might get your site penalized, despite the best efforts of the search engine marketing service you’ve hired.

How then can a company and its marketing service optimize a website without breaking the constantly shifting Google SEO guidelines?

The short answer is: you can’t. You just have to do your best to create a relevant, high-quality website.

The long answer is that you can follow the current set of Google SEO guidelines, and avoid doing certain things that Google will penalize you for, such as:

Keyword Stuffing
Although your site does need to use keywords if you even hope to rank for a certain search term, you can’t overload it with keywords. The search engine juggernaut takes it as a sign that you’re trying to cheat the system, and will penalize you for it. According to the Google SEO guidelines, it’s best to just use the keyword in as natural as a manner as possible, putting it in only when it’d organically appear.

Low Quality Content
One of the most troubling parts about the Google SEO guidelines is the fact that it warns against posting “low quality content,” which is a rather subjective term that’s open to interpretation. The best way to avoid being penalized for low quality content is to refrain from posting spam, duplicate content, and any other poorly written piece of copy.

Unnatural Links
According to the Google SEO guidelines, an unnatural link is any link that’s created expressly for SEO purposes, and not for the benefit of the site’s visitors. For example, if you randomly link to your homepage in the middle of a blog, Google will think it’s an unnatural link.

If you’re serious about ranking well on Google’s SERPs, then you don’t want to mess with the Google SEO guidelines. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.