SEO Mistakes That Could Result in a Google Penalty

The goal of SEO is to raise a website’s profile and prominence in search engine results. To do this, businesses need to understand how search engines work and how they rank the results that they return.

With this information, it is possible to devise strategies that take advantage of the way that search engines work, in order to ‘convince them’ to rank a website higher.

The SEO techniques that search engine operators approve of are known as ‘white hat’ techniques; these are the ones that you want to use. The other type of techniques are the black hat techniques, which will incur severe penalties from companies like Google if they catch you doing it. The tools that Google can use to root out websites who are cheating the system are becoming ever more sophisticated, so it simply isn’t worth the risk for any reputable website owner.

It is much easier to avoid these errors and the serious consequences that they can bring if you have some idea of what kind of techniques are likely to land you in trouble.

Common mistakes which will incur a penalty from Google:

Too Many Links from Low-Quality Sources

Backlinks are one of the key metrics that Google uses when determining a websites SEO score. Put simply, a backlink is when one website links to another within its own content, usually within the context of a citation. Every link back a website receives is treated as a vote of confidence in the website being linked to, however, not all of these votes carry equal weight. A link back from a site considered to be reputable is worth much more than a link that has been generated artificially and spammed to multiple web pages.

Buying Backlinks

If you are caught paying for backlinks, then you will be penalised by Google. Buying backlinks involves paying other websites to link to yours, it might sound harmless, but Google has been very clear in their stance against it.

Too Many Links From Irrelevant Sources

Google doesn’t place much value on links to your website from sites that share little or nothing in common with the site that they link to. If, for example, your site is sports related, yet the majority of your linkbacks are not coming from other sports sites, or from sports sites that cover multiple topics, then they will not be worth nearly as much.

Plagiarised Content

Google wants to make sure that the websites it puts forward most prominently are not only the most useful but also of the highest quality. Google doesn’t discriminate against the subjects or themes of websites, but it does take a fun view of plagiarism.

If you are generating artificial interest with plagiarised content then Google will penalise you.

Not Following Best Design Practices

This isn’t exactly a penalty per se, but Google does reward websites that, for example, are formatted and coded correctly for mobile. Given that the majority of internet browsing is now done on mobile devices, it hardly seems surprising that Google would be encouraging it. Remember, it is even more in your interests than it is in theirs!

It is also important that your website runs efficiently and quickly, slower websites will slip down the Google rankings. Again, this is a good habit to get into anyway, but it will have a tangible impact on your SEO score.

The easiest way to avoid being penalised by Google is to have your SEO handled by professionals, such as Matter Solutions.

Contact us today to discuss your SEO needs.