We all understand how important it is to keep the ranking of our sites at the first page on Google. In this regard, we use several strategies to achieve this feat.
While at it however, we also ought to realize that Google is on a mission to offer its users the best search result in terms of their accuracy. Through my recent research to uncover how Google’s algorithm works, I realized that they undergo constant updates to seek errors like missing meta tags and broken links.
Sadly, this can only mean that you will have to strategize much more accurately as you build your website if you are looking to keep your ranking at the top of search engines.
Through experience and extensive research, I have lately uncovered a number of reasons why Google deserves to penalize your site. The following are the top ten of these:
- Buying bad links
Backlinks no doubt form the backbone of your ranking strategies. However, I realized not all links are good for your link building strategies. If you buy into bad links, this can lead to a negative impact on search engine. But what are bad links you may ask? These can be sponsored links in the sidebar or a footer of a site, and those from low quality websites like web directories, bookmark sites, profile links etc. These links end up giving the impression that you are trying to manipulate search engine and page rank.
- Overusing H1 Tags
Neatly organized content helps in SEO no doubt. On that note, H1 tags help accomplish this feat. However, overusing these H1 tags on your webpage can be detrimental because Google may get confused about the titles and end up penalizing your website.
- Duplicate content
Duplicating content a serious crime on the web and hurts Google even more than anything else. Many are times that I have created content only to realize that there are sections that match other content that is already published online. To be on the safe side, I prefer checking my content with plagiarism tools like Grammarly and Copyscape.
- Broken Links and 404 Errors
Google is always on the lookout to ensure that you keep your content updated by finding buried errors. In instances where you are delivering 404 errors or broken links, this would be a red flag that your site visitors are not getting the content they were looking for, thus pushing Google to penalize your site.
- Keyword Stuffing
Keywords are essential as part of your SEO strategies to rank your site. However, you ought to insert them naturally into your content. Google detects high amount of keywords and flags it as poorly written content.
- Overusing Anchor text
Before the 2012 Penguin update, anchor text was one of the easiest means for Google to scrutinize and understand any website’s relevancy. Fast-forward to 2016, it has become the best way for Google to penalize over-optimization and spam. However, this does not mean that the anchor text has no use in current ranking strategies. In fact, I realized that it is still one of the best kept secrets to keyword ranking if only they are optimized correctly and are not overused.
- Slow website loading speed
Nothing tests my patience like a slow website. In this current day and time, no one has the time to wait for minutes before a website opens a page. This would automatically move your users to other faster websites. This is the same reason that will make Google penalize your website.
- Very fast link building
We understand your aggressiveness in working to see your website rank at the top within the shortest time possible. However, this may sometimes work against you. Whenever similar links point towards the same page, within a short time, this is a sign of automation. This may raise a red flag and Google will jump in to penalize your website.
- To many advertisement
Advertisement is one of the mediums that blogs capitalize on to make money. However, you should not do this over the limits to a point where it distracts your users from reading the content on your blog. The number of ads on your website should be proportional to the length of content. Anything over and beyond the recommended limits will prompt Google to penalize your site.
The current web browsing culture has seen users turning to mobile phones in droves. Research shows that online surfers in ten countries that include the US prefer to do their Google searches on mobile phones than on computers. With the mobile friendly experience that Google provides, it is no wonder that it penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly.
Having looked at these top 10 reasons that drive Google to penalize your site, the ball is in your court. Be on the lookout for these even as you seek to rank your website. I have never been more convinced that Google is all geared towards helping you rank your website naturally and eventually reap more from it. Take advantage of this gesture to offer your users the best content that would end up benefiting both of you.