When Google began in 1998, its main purpose was to always provide the best and the most relevant search results to its users. They always consider the user’s search query first, and they will look for the appropriate website that could provide the most effective solution. So, if a website would provide an answer to that query, obviously, it will gain higher rankings in the SERPs. Really, it’s as simple as that!
Let the battle begin!
Of course, everyone wanted to be number 1. Website owners saw the perks of being a top result in the search results page. It could mean a wider exposure for their business. So, people begin to apply shady techniques, thinking they could outsmart Google. Common techniques include keyword stuffing, where websites will fill their pages with keywords that would guarantee high rankings. However, keyword stuffing directly violates Google’s goal of providing its users the best answer.
Thus, this was the start of the ongoing struggle of apply SEO (search engine optimization) strategies just to get on Google’s good side. Remember, you will never win if you plan to trick and outwit Google’s algorithm. It helps that you are Interpreting ‘Quality’ the Google Way!
In order for Google to keep up with all the trickery going around, Google updates its algorithm. From time to time, Google will come up with updates, and they are not necessarily divulged to the public. It’s up to the websites to compete with all the changes. As a website owner, you need to keep your eyes peeled for any tweaks that may suddenly appear. Google are NOT exactly straightforward about their ranking factors. In fact, there are over 200+ ranking factors. You need to experiment to the best combination your website could have in order to maintain high rankings.
Out of all the factors listed, high-quality content remains to be Google’s priority. They have always stuck to their goal on being helpful to its users. They will always value websites that truly provide the most helpful and most credible solution. As part of Google’s clearing operation, Google seriously takes every little detail they see. From the grammar to the quality of the article, Google values them all. Most importantly, Google is always on the look out for any signs of dishonesty. Never easily believe tips and tricks you read online because these could just be myths lurking on the internet.
If you have unnatural links from shady websites, for sure, you will under Google’s radar. If you want links that look good in Google eyes, then follow 5 Link Development Tips to Help Build Backlinks (Part 1) and 5 Link Development Tips to Help Build Backlinks (Part 2).
What does it mean when you receive a “Google penalty”?
A “Google penalty” could mean 2 things: a website is affected by a new Google algorithm update, or it got a manual penalty because it violated the Webmaster Guidelines. If you notice a change in the search result rankings, then you can’t do anything but adjust to the latest rules set by Google.
Apply the necessary solutions accordingly. If you need help on what it could be, I have listed the common problems here. Take time to look into things and to think of possible remedies that you can do on your end. It also be possible that a Google employee reviewed your site and found violations on the quality guidelines. Do not panic because you will receive a Manual Actions report in the Google Search Console. So, every time you feel confused about the rules, always consult Google’s Webmasters Guidelines.