How to Avoid an Own Goal with a Google Penalty

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Google penalises a site for going against its webmaster guidelines, and as punishment Google will issue a penalty which negatively impacts on a website’s search ranking. This penalty can be because of an unexpected Google algorithm update (such as Fred), but it can also be because of using black-hat practices as opposed to white-hat SEO which offers transparency.

To avoid an ‘own goal,’ you need to offer genuine SEO services. You cannot rely on black-hat techniques because not only is it risky, but it is also now highly-targeted by Google. Your results will plummet, your traffic will lessen, and your site/content will become irrelevant. If you’ve been working with black-hat SEO, well, it’s time you improved your quality of service, or enlist an SEO service which can provide sincere link building for you.

Only Use Good-Quality Websites

Everything about a website needs to scream “well made” and “flawless architecture.” Websites need to be user-friendly; allowing easy navigation. They should also be optimised for multiple electronic devices so that users can browse your site without frustration while being proficient enough to handle web traffic with limited downtime.

Websites should also not be ad heavy. There needs to be harmony and balance so ads cannot be stuffed into a website; otherwise, ‘Fred’ will decrease a website’s search engine ranking. Ads are not serving an audience, but they make a website fit for revenue. Websites need a purpose: they need to answer queries in a fair manner.

Forget About Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is a tactic used in black-hat SEO. It’s when content is produced and filled with keywords. This used to increase a website’s traffic and increase their rank on Google. It was used for the sole purpose of revenue, however, ‘Fred’ has put an end to this. Instead, white-hat SEO needs to be executed instead.

Keywords are still allowed, just do not overuse them. Have them appear once in content. Also limit generic keywords; instead, use specific language which genuinely speaks to users. E.g. ‘How to Buy the Best Gift’, should be ‘How to Buy Unique Gifts for Men’; simple and effective yet much more trusting than generic titles.

Content is King

You’ve heard the phrase countless times. You may be tired of it, but the mantra is correct, and without good-quality content, you may as well kiss your readers, revenue and reputation goodbye. Your content needs to serve a purpose; it should answer genuine questions, and it should be bespoke and tailor made. Repeated content attracts red flags, and limits your success. You may have common topics and niches, but you have to put a spin on them, otherwise, your efforts will be wasted.

Content needs perfect grammar, correct spelling, interesting topics, sincere advice, and it should be understandable to the user. Your keyword must integrate itself well into the content, and it should not be overly promotional. It should relate to the content and offer a solution to the problem the content is addressing. Other means of white-hat content is including images (such as infographics) and video. This will also make your website more trustworthy.

SEO must serve an audience. It has to answer questions, address legitimate problems, and provide fresh ideas. Keywords cannot be overly promotional, and any links must be relevant to the content. Avoid scoring an own goal with the above tips, and if you need any further information, make sure to contact us.

Image courtesy of: kisforkennedy.com

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