In recent years, Google’s war on black-hat optimization techniques has continued to become more brutal. Panda and Penguin updates make manipulating search indexers harder than ever, weeding out sites still employing unethical or unsportsmanlike methods and creating a fairer playing field for those following the rules.
When Google released their Penguin update back in 2012, more than 1 in 10 search results were affected immediately: content of a poor quality was eliminated and some sites vanished. Google’s penalties are designed to make businesses and site-owners re-think their approach to online-marketing: if their content-strategy sees their rankings drop severely, then they need to cultivate a re-imagined campaign.
How can businesses recognize when their site has been affected by a Google penalty?
1. Your Site No Longer Ranks Highly for a Brand
Your brand name should be unique, recognizable, and an aid to a strong online presence: even if your rankings for certain keywords are poor, you should still be attaining strong results for this.
2. Odd Changes to your Site or Rankings
If Google has penalized your site, you may well notice unexpected shifts in your ranking and visibility. For example, any page-one placements may drop to subsequent pages, or running an internal site-search (such as site:mysiteishere.comkeyword) brings no results.
3. No Cached Search Results
One sign of a Google penalty is the removal of a site from their cached search results seemingly overnight.
Why Have I Been Penalized?
So, why might you have been struck with a penalty from Google?
- Swapping a large amount of links with clients can be interpreted as an attempt to manipulate Google’s indexers.
- Paying for poor-quality links is likely to attract a penalty from Google.
- Having too many 404s within your own site may see you penalized by Google, as it shows you aren’t giving users the content they’re searching for
- Content overloaded with keywords? Keyword-stuffing is sure to bring a penalty from Google.
- Hidden links are a danger to your ranking, as these are viewed as an attempt to get around Google. Avoid using the same color font for links as in the background, as this can be misconstrued as trying to hide them.
At Nett Solutions, we are an Orange County SEO agency offering vast experience with helping businesses achieve high rankings and an outstanding digital presence. If your site has been penalized by Google, we can help you get back on top!