How To Be Safe from Google Penalty?

Be safe from Google Penalty

Google penalty is not new in SEO. Over the years we have seen a lot of websites getting penalized heavily by Google. Once these websites are penalized the respective business suffers huge losses. I have encountered many websites which were penalized heavily by Google in my career. 

Luckily, I was able to recover almost all the websites from the penalty.

So the question that arises now is –

‘Why do websites get penalized?’

The answer is simple, UNETHICAL PRACTICES!

Google hates spamming and degrades the ranking of the websites which follow unethical practices and we say that the website has been penalized by Google.

I think all of you must have read a lot of blogs on the ethical ways of SEO and What should you do to avoid Google from penalizing your website? Haven’t you?

Still, you may have suffered a decline in the rankings whenever Google rolls out a new algorithmic update.

So the question still remains unanswered – WHY?

Here is the answer to it – Because you focused on ‘Google’ and NOT the ‘Users

What if I tell you that if you want to perform better on search engines and avoid any penalty in future then, forget search engines. Just imagine search engines don’t exist.  Do not forget the thumb rule-

If you run after Google….Google will run after you.

Many people have asked me, how is SEO changing and time and again I have given the same answer- IT’s NOT.

Search engines are only getting strict, with the increase in competition.

Everyone is reading blogs on SEO and how search engines look at your website.  You try to adopt the changes, but while doing so you end up forgetting the users.

The simple hack of doing SEO is –

1. Be genuine

  • You need to BE GENUINE (NOT SOUND GENUINE) – The basic rule of avoiding any penalty is always being original, and again think what users will like.
  • While developing content, make sure you do not refer the content from some other websites or try rewording the same text to make it original. Instead, think and write content which is about you and your business. Develop content in order to tell users what you do, how you are different from others and why the users should consider purchasing your product or hiring your services. I am sure if you write about yourself and your business it cannot be duplicated. LOL!
  • Do not write content for targeting your keyword – I fail to understand why people try to stuff keywords they are targeting in content. Here is a simple example of it –

If you are an SEO service provider, you will explain your services in terms on how you offer these services, what is the method of engaging your services, what is your USP blah, blah, blah, then naturally, in your content, the term “SEO services’ will come.

I mean you cannot define a term without having it in the content, then why is there a need to stuff the keywords? You should be genuine, and write content to define what you do and how you do it, rather than focusing on the keywords.

  • Always link to the external websites when you are referring them in your content. It is important to share more information on something or someone you are mentioning in your content and ideally, this is how link building works.
  • Use anchor text to guide the users. Do not hyperlink only for the sake of SEO rankings. Ideally, there is no definite guide on what kind of text you should hyperlink. Instead, understand the purpose of the hyperlink. It is for providing more information on the text which is hyperlinked. Again, this is for the users, if you are hyperlinking ‘to’ and ‘from’ your website, only do it with the purpose of providing users more information about the hypertext.

2. Build links only for generating qualified traffic (not for search engines) –

What if I tell you that Building Quality Links Is Against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines? Surprised?

This is the biggest thing in SEO – LINKS. But, how do you build links?

Do not build links for SEO rankings.

I have been reading a lot of blogs on link building techniques, but ideally, there is only one link building technique which is useful – ‘Build links to generate qualified traffic’.

If you succeed in generating good traffic to your site through different channels apart from Google, you’ll start generating traffic from Google as well.

The biggest problem in SEO is link building because we all have been building links for search engines. Links are not meant for improving your SEO rankings. The sole purpose of link building is to get you the users who may be interested to know more about your products or services.

If your backlinks are generating you the qualified traffic than you never face problems like Google penalizing your website for bad links.

To build qualified links –

  • Identify your target audience.
  • Based on your buyer’s personas, identify where they can be found on the internet.
  • Once you have identified what your target audience is browsing, try generating links from those sites.
  • You can guest blog on websites having your targeted audience, use broken link building to get links through the broken links of those websites, get influencers to write about you and link to your site.

3. Focus on marketing – SEO is not about On-Page and Off- Page

SEO is more about marketing rather than simply ranking your website on search engines. A good online presence will give you a good ranking. Therefore, it is important that you apply a multi-channel marketing strategy.

  • Try marketing your website across different channels like LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Forums etc.
  • Focus on content marketing through blogs, PRs, PPTs, Videos, Podcast.
  • Focus on brand building. Google will rank popular websites higher.
  • Adopt paid marketing as well.
  • Do not write blogs or articles only for the sake of SEO. Your blogs should be capable enough to attract readers. Check Google analytics for your blog performance. If your blogs are not attracting or engaging users they are of no use, not even as supporting content for your landing page
  • Remember, if you have good content your audience will build legitimate links for you.

You need to show your presence everywhere. Hence, your SEO strategies should include multichannel marketing to boost your search engine rankings

4. Generate trust and authority amongst your users

I think you must be aware how important E-A-T is for SEO. Google is considering ‘Trust’ and ‘Authoritativeness’ as important factors for determining search engine rankings. But again if you are focusing on users these things will always be an important aspect to look after.

  • If you are writing a blog make sure you have your author bio attached to it and it is linked from your social profile. WHY? Not for search engines but for the readers to know more about you and if they would like to know more about you than they should be able to find you easily.
  • Reviews are an important signal for your potential customers to decide if they want to consider hiring your services or buying your product. If you do not have any reviews, the customers visiting your website to purchase your product/service might not develop the trust to make a purchase. So, make sure you have genuine reviews on your website. If you try to generate fake reviews to improve your rankings than you are likely to get penalized in future if you are not already.

5. Focus on giving a good user experience

Your website is your online store. Imagine you are visiting a shopping mall to buy ’T-shirts’ of brand X. Once you step in the mall you are not able to locate the store of brand X which sells good ’T-shirt’. What you’ll do? You will stop going to the shopping mall in future because it is complex to locate the store you want to reach to. This is what user experience does.

Always keep in mind that there are hundreds of websites offering the same services or product as of yours. If you do not give the users ease of buying, they are going to find another website in just a few seconds.

  • Develop your website for the users. Your website should be –
  • Fast mobile site – Most of the users will be on mobile.
  • Easy to navigate.
  • Have CTA’s placed effectively.
  • Clearly highlight what you do and how you do it.
  • Have diversified content – Videos, Infographics etc.

Do not write a long paragraph of content with keywords. Instead, present the content to the users which are in the small block and displayed in a manner which is easy for users to read and understand.

6. Understand the Trend

Most of the traffic on the world wide web is coming from mobile devices and it is only going to increase. Hence, it is important that you understand the shift and make necessary adjustments.

We are noticing most of the users are browsing sites on their Smartphones. Therefore, to give users a good experience it is important that you should have a swifter mobile site with easy reading and browsing ability through mobile devices.

Today, the shift is towards mobile. In the future, there may be some more technology updates. It is important that you understand the trend and adapt accordingly. You need to serve users where they are and for that, you need to modify your technology as well.

As a bottom line, if you want your website to perform well on search engines and be safe from any Google penalty then forget search engines, instead, start focusing on users. Try generating qualified traffic from the other websites, and give users a good experience on the site. Most importantly, follow the golden rule i.e. be fair and genuine.

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