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Grounded by Google
Getting penalized by Google can make you feel like a kid on restriction. If you’ve ever gone through the process of a reconsideration request, I’m sure you can relate to the pain of being grounded. First they restrict your privileges (limit your organic search visibility). Then they put you to work to understand what you did wrong in the first place. Next, you find yourself writing sentences and admitting fault (contacting webmasters and submitting reconsideration).
The opportunity to redeem yourself and ask for forgiveness is offered the entire time your privileges are revoked. Restriction and penalties will only be removed if you have fixed the problem and proved your website worthy to be trusted again. When the penalty is removed, be careful not to get too comfortable. Once flagged as a problem child, staying out of trouble is much easier said than done.
Thank you, Google for making me relive my teenage years. As I walk down memory lane, let me help you avoid the pain involved with rectifying your reputation and website. Here we’ll take a look at circumstances and behaviors that can lead you to trouble. Reality is, you only need one reason to be penalized by Google.
Stay off the Radar to avoid being Penalized by Google
The easy way to stay out of trouble with Google is to stay off their radar in the first place. Knowing the actions that can get you penalized will help prevent a manual action from Google if acted upon properly.
On the other hand, if you happen to be one of the nearly half million website owners to receive a manual penalty this month, consider yourself flagged for life. There is no such thing as an easy way out once you have been put on the radar and penalized by Google. Moving forward, however, you can keep yourself from being on restriction by correcting your website’s naughty behavior.
Following the best practices outlined in Google Webmaster Guidelines for designing, maintaining, and marketing your website is the only way you can be sure to stay out of trouble.
Google only needs 1 Reason to Keep you Penalized
Google only needs a single reason to issue a manual or algorithmic penalty to your website. Like it or not they make the rules, and we have to abide by them. Here is a list of actions, behaviors, and circumstances that are known to lead a company to be penalized by Google.
- Exchanging money, goods or services for links or posts that contain links
- Providing free products in exchange for links
- Excessive link exchanges (“If you link to me … I’ll link to you“)
- Creating partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
- Participating in Large-scale article marketing such as distributing irrelevant Press Releases
- Guest posting blog campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
- Using automated programs or services to create unnatural links to your site
- Listing your site in low-quality directories or bookmarking sites
- Low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across other websites
- Placing links in the footers or templates of various sites
- Placing comments on Forums with optimized links to your site
- Having too many low quality outbound links is a sign that you’re swapping links
- Creating pages that lack authentic content, copy that doesn’t have substantial value to users
- Having blog posts or user profiles that look like advertisements
- Using Sneaky Redirects and presenting different content to human users and search engines
- Showing content or keywords to the website visitor only
- Showing content or keywords to the search engine only
- Hiding text behind an image, using white text on a white background, setting font size to 0
- Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural
- Spammy content is the number one reason for algorithmic penalties, keep it natural
- Landing pages and one-page websites optimized for a single keyword
- Blog Networks or any kind of network used to manipulate search results
- Over-optimizing a site so the content isn’t natural
Perhaps your website has been penalized by Google for another reason. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work needed to keep you off the radar or get you off restriction, we can help. You don’t have to face the penalty alone.
Anything on my list of no-nos surprise you?