Since 2012 Google has become hyperactive in penalizing websites with its frequent algorithm changes. Since Panda and Penguin updates many genuine online businesses have seen their rankings fall dramatically. In most of the cases this is due to lack of attention by website owners and webmasters. In this article we will look at how to prevent a Google penalty from impacting your search rankings.
Even now webmasters view SEO as a complicated process and prefer to outsource this function to a third party. There is nothing wrong with outsourcing SEO to a freelancer or SEO agency. Just you need to make sure that the person/company performing seo is up to the task and they are not going to use techniques/questionable practices which can hurt your rankings in long term.
You need to understand that SEO is a time consuming process and if any one promises you any kind of guarantee or assurance to lift your websites rankings in a short amount of time then most probably they are lying or will use black hat techniques.
Here are some simple tips which will help you in avoiding Google Penalties:
Get involved with SEO: Even if you decide to outsource your seo to a third party keep a close eye and ask them in detail what methods they are going to use in executing seo strategy for your site.
Quality backlinks: Backlinks remain the central part of a seo strategy and most of the times websites are penalized due to paid backlinks, bad quality backlinks or building links too fast. So, you must keep these things in mind when building backlinks. Ideally you must build links organically and never pay for a link. Although this strategy of building backlinks may take time but in the end it pays up and by building links organically you can be sure that links are from relevant sites and are not from bad neighbourhood.
Anchor text: Anchor text has been targeted specifically due to misuse of this technique. Most of the people have tried to use as many high traffic keywords in anchor text as possible. SEO experts were warning even before Panda and Penguin updates that a penalty is long overdue from Google. Google started punishing for practice of anchor text misuse with Panda. So ensure that you are not using a particular keyword too much in your anchor text. You must diversify your anchor text and use different keywords instead of just one or two.
Duplicate Content: Many websites have used duplicate content and continue to do so even after recent penalties. Article spinning has been an issue since start of internet age. Panda update was specifically aimed at websites which use duplicate content. So avoid using duplicate content at any cost and if you are using content published on another website then quote the source and provide a link to the original article.
Keywords: This remains a controversial topic. After all there is no consensus on what constitutes keyword stuffing or how to define ‘right’ keyword density. Although before Penguin a keyword density of 5-6% was considered optimal, but now a days seo experts are recommending a keyword density of 1-2%. Any way you need to be extra careful with keywords and instead of focusing on a single keyword try to use 2-3 main keywords each with density of 1-1.5%.