Optimizing to Avoid a Penalty

Google has a huge amount of power over the success of your business online If it decides that it doesn’t like you, it can literally end your business.

Do SEO correctly and Google shouldn’t have a problem with your business. Do it wrong, however, and Google could slap your website with a penalty that sees it drop out of the rankings completely.

Today, we’ll look at the optimization techniques you shouldn’t be using if you don’t want a penalty.

The Main Optimization Mistakes to Avoid

1. Poor content

Content is one of the biggest factors in whether a website ranks well or not. Google is constantly updating and changing its ranking algorithm in order to promote the websites with the best content and demote the websites with poor content. That means if you have poor or thin content on your website, you risk getting punished. All of your content should be completely unique, highly detailed and not over-optimized. By that, we mean no keyword stuffing or any other unethical techniques.

2. Having way too many ads above the fold

One way that websites make money is through online ads. Sites want to encourage you to click ads where possible, which means some websites spam ads at the very top of the page so they are as noticeable as possible. Having too many ads at the very top of your page will create a poor user experience. You’ll have a high bounce rate as people will quickly leave your website and Google will punish you in the rankings as a result.

3. Hidden texts or links

This is an old school blackhat SEO technique that involves hiding keywords and other pieces of content on the page that were heavily optimized. The idea was that these wouldn’t be seen by the reader but they’d be picked up by Google’s crawler. Google is a lot smarter now and this tactic doesn’t fly at all. Hide text and you’ll get penalized.

4. Cloaking

Cloaking is another old-school SEO practice that will get you hit with a big penalty today. This is where you create two different versions of your website, one that Google sees and one that The public see. This is a way to hide your real website from Google, particularly if you are paying for PPC ads. If you cloak expect to receive a penalty.

5. Spam comments for backlinks

Comments on the bottom of blogs used to be seen as an easy way to get backlinks for your website. Unfortunately, this led to thousands of SEOs spamming the comments section of tens of thousands of websites in order to get their hands on those juicy backlinks. Many SEOs still leave unrelated comments on websites in order to get a backlink to their website but Google is now much harsher on this technique. Not only will it not help you rank, it can also get you penalized, too.