As you know, getting to the top of the search engine results means everything online. But as you begin to plan your content strategies for 2015, you’re going to want to make sure that Google isn’t stopping you in your tracks.
In an effort to penalize website content that is both spammy and of poor quality, Google has released algorithms in recent years to tear down and penalize websites from reaching high search ranking thus hurting their SEO.
These penalizing algorithms named after the snuggly panda and playful penguin are not as cute as they might appear. As we walk deeper into 2015, it’s important to know how what these algorithms do. And then you can avoid incurring damaging penalties from Google. If you follow this article, you’ll watch as your SEO excels forward. Keep reading to learn how avoiding Google penalties in 2015 can keep your pages ranked well.
Google’s “Do Not” List
As we march further into 2015, Google has made it abundantly clear that we should avoid several things if we want to succeed at SEO. They have even said so in their own words.
According to Google, “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”
So when it comes to links on your site, you need to avoid the following or face severe SEO penalties from Google. These are not the only factors that will harm your SEO but if you avoid these, you’re likely to be in good standing.
- Never buy or sell links unless you want to hurt your PageRank
- Avoid one-for-one link exchanges like “I’ll link to you if you link to me.”
- Do not use marketing or guest posting campaigns as a way to overstuff anchor text links with keywords
- Never use any kind of automated program to build links
- Avoid the use of any unnatural links that exist in widgets, footers, templates, or are embedded in forum comments, etc.
Understanding the Google Penalty Algorithms in 2015
As mentioned earlier in this post, Google uses two algorithms to penalize website content; Panda and Penguin.
The Panda update focuses on the relevance, density, and value of content while Penguin does just about the same thing for backlinks. You’ll definitely notice when one of these cute animals attacks your website because inexplicably your website ranking and traffic will drop seemingly overnight. When this happens it’s your job to figure out why.
But the good news is that there are measure we can take to avoid these penalties. If your website falls victim to a Google penalty, the first step is to discover why. You can do this simply by connecting the drop in your page ranking to whichever Google update correlates to it. Fortunately, Moz keeps a record of Google updates so you can figure this out.
Once you determine the culprit to be Panda or Penguin you’ll know whether you need to modify your content or your backlinks.
Although you may be able to correct the issue promptly, you might have to wait until the next Google update to regain that SEO traction you’ve worked so hard at. And no one except Google knows exactly when the next update will occur. It could be a month or more than a year.
Steering Clear of Google Penalties
If you want to make sure that you are “Avoiding Google Penalties 2015,” the best tactic is to create valuable content. It’s simple and honest. By doing a great job and creating content that provides value, includes appropriate keywords and other SEO techniques, your website should be free of these painful penalties virtually forever.
To avoid the wrath of the Panda, create content regularly that provides an authoritative voice for your business. Share information that people would be proud to link to and when they do link to you, the Penguin will likewise be appeased. Backlinks should be natural and from a respected source.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to avoid Google penalties on your site. Never pay for links or try other unnatural ways to get ahead. The days of doing that are long gone and will only hurt your search engine ranking.
Are you looking for help with your online marketing? It’s challenging knowing what options might be available to you and we are happy to help come up with a strategized plan to best fit your needs. If interested we would be happy to set up a marketing assessment call with you to learn more about your needs and your business.