You should not expect any compromises from Google when talking about the quality of information provided to users – which means the quality and reliability of Google himself. Using all possible methods (including cunning tricks and regular updating algorithms), the search engine strictly filters the list of sites, preferring only the best.
Despite the efficiency of policy of conducted by Google, it also has a huge minus - penalties that serve as a major tool to combat careless resources. Often these sanctions actually fully justified. However, even they even are, you will still want to come off clear. Below we will explain you, how exactly you can do this.
Google Penalties: what are they?
Since December 2000, when Google released an extension for the toolbar, the ranking algorithms have been regularly updated. This innovation has become a prerequisite for the formation of modern SEO-industry. In fact it was the date when PageRank has acquired the status of an important and efficient tool.
Over the next 16 years, the company has only been improving the quality of the search engine. So, after a while, it starts paying attention to the content and giving bonuses to those resources which are credible, and eliminating those that do not cope with the task. This is when penalties appear.
In 2012, the world saw a new algorithm - filter «Penguin». The productivity of his work could not fail to impress. One of 10 Internet resources presented in the search results subjected to ruthless sanctions. Most low-grade resources have been totally erased from the data search output. Resources of low quality content had faced with a lot of trouble, which caused the site owners and administrators to pay more attention to the content. After facing with such problems, the SEO experts began to monitor all of Google's moves thoroughly, fearing the next unforeseen innovations will cause the complete destruction of their site.
How do you know that you are fined?
Sanctions may be automatic and manual. Despite the commonality of their interests, their approaches to the implementation of the tasks are qualitatively different.
• Manual sanctions. The responsible authorized officers of the Google company are responsible for them. They are exploring the sites, selecting the most substandard and suspicious and impose fines on them. If yours is among them – they will even send you a polite notification. A message will appear in the "search traffic" on webmaster panel, tab "Measures taken manually."
• Automatic sanctions. They are a result of the activities developed by search engine algorithms. In particular, such filters, as the Penguin (which evaluates the quality and naturalness of the reference weight) and Panda (monitors the quality of the content, its relevance, etc). The peculiarity of the algorithmic penalties is that no one informs you about them. So the news that your site is not as rosy as it was for Google before can be unexpected, even for SEO professionals.
You can recognize automatic sanctions on the following grounds:
• Your site has lost a link with your company name and is no longer ranked in the brand name SERPs. This shows that the output is dead because even if the resource does not correspond with a list of keywords, it must be associated with the brand name.
• Any page is rolled back to the second or third page from your existing position without your involvement is.
• PageRank your site suddenly dropped from the level 2 or 3 to 1, or even zero.
• Your website suddenly disappeared from the Google cache SERPs.
• When running the resource (website:yourdomain.com + keyword), nothing happens.
Detecting at least one of the problems described above is enough to suspect automatic fine. And if all the problems appear, then there is no doubt in the fact that you are under automatic sanctions.
Why does Google dislike your site?
Just note that the search company constantly reviews and corrects the principles of indexing Internet resources. And they give the explanations of the feasibility of using those tools of control and exposure extremely rare. The maximum we can expect are short notes that introduce existing updates of the algorithm.
To shed a ray of light on this problem, we offer you a list of 50 reasons that might prompt Google to impose sanctions to your site. Of course, in each case, the origins of the problem may be different, however, flaws described below will absolutely sure play a very significant role in reducing your site rankings.
- Buying links. Google does not like when someone is trying to manipulate the PageRank, and buying links is one of such methods. Quite often low-quality links can bring you out into, especially when you have a lot of them. Just remove such links, or at least try to reduce their number. Or, even better, replace them with less quantity of good links.
- Too many back links. Once it was a completely innocent marketing technique, but now the search engine marketing perceives this one negatively. It happens because of an overabundance of such links. So if you often practice a mutually beneficial exchange with customers and partners with a large number of links, the company may decide that you also are a "manipulator".
- Duplicate content. Copying of information from another site to site directly is contrary to Google's policy, who is fiercely battling for quality content through the Panda filter. Make sure that the published information on your site is unique. Copyscape and CopyGator will help you with it.
- Too many H1 HTML-tags. This tag gives the search engine general information about the subject of the content. Use H1 more than 1 time - and it will be considered as an attempt to oversaturate Google database with the keywords.
- Errors 404. The search engine hopes to see websites caring about their visitors. If you do not notice the presence of at 404, Google finds that you generally can not provide the audience with valuable content, and therefore deserve the "ban."
- Incoming links from foreign-language sites. At first glance it’s not too fair. You do have every right to get links from foreign partners. On the other hand, Google's point seems to be completely objective - users tend to choose sites in a particular language, so any foreign-language links are useless for them.
- Spammed keywords. You can talk for hours about the rules that dictate the density of the key entries. While neither of these requirements is fully justified, too much of the keywords in the text means the poor quality of the material.
- Footer links. Some experts use the links in the footer as a navigation tool. Others try using this technique to manipulate pagerank. If you are guilty in the second, the punishment can not be avoided.
- Lack of a site map. XML-map helps Google to evaluate the structure of your site. Check that the option is available and activated, and then show it in your Webmaster Tools profile.
- Hidden links. Links on your site should be open to users and are useful for them. All links that are hidden from eyes are regarded as suspicious and lead to sanctions. Therefore, always color the links other than the background (even if you have objective reasons not to do so).
- Non-business outbound links. The situation is analogous to step 5. If you allow these errors on your site, then Google finds your site insolvency.
- Stolen content. To make the resource filled with interesting information, content managers often "borrow" articles from other sites. Sometimes this is done, as they say, "without a second thought." However, regardless of your motivation, this technique will be considered as negative by Google.
- The hidden content. Fraudulent seo-optimization tactics of hiding content may try to manipulate the ratings of certain pages or the entire site. It is strictly forbidden!
- Uncontrolled anchoring of texts. Previously, SEO professionals often used to place keywords in the combining semantic ligaments with the purpose of realization their marketing objectives. But after the Penguin was launched, too active anchoring was considered as negative and was criticized by Google. So now you have to replace unnatural key links with more natural occurrences.
- Leveling «hreflang» attribute. This attribute notifies Google that you have specifically placed some duplicate content for different groups of readers. It is unknown if this is really useful, but its presence is still necessary.
- Long loading of the site. Slow website response speed frustrates everyone - users, webmasters and, of course, the search engine. Google will not waste time waiting the next page of your site to load. It just will index it as useless.
- The use of the domain name key. Usually, a domain name for a site does not bear any threat. But add to it the key entry, and the situation changes. It is because of the fact that too frequent referring to the anchor links is percepted by Google as the anchor manipulation. If you do decide to use this technique, make sure that your site contains a lot of first-class quality content. Otherwise, the penalty can not be avoided.
- Lease links. Some webmasters still use these links, spending a lot of money for their upkeep. However, Google has been against such practices for quite a long time (see #1).
- Engaging blog network. The search engine perceives any network as potentially dangerous in terms of the SERP-manipulation.
- A large number of affiliated links. Google is not against a moderate interchange of links between the partner sites. But if there are a lot of links, and even more, if you try to hide them behind redirects, the company won’t be glad to see that.
- Through-links. Such links leading from page to page on the site is a widely used method. But such references should be completely natural. The simplest example - footer links such as "website developed by". You do not just use the «unfollow» attribute, you should remove such links completely.
- The excess of meta tags. The allowable amount is no more than five per page. Otherwise you are again accused of ranking manipulating.
- Low speed of the site. Any material on your site should be available for quick reading / viewing. Cash-plugin or CDN will help you with it. You can also try to move the resource in the data center closer to your main visitors - though it is quite difficult.
- Content spinning. This seo-technique is also fraudulent. Therefore, when buying content, ensure the professionalism and honesty of the authors and / or intermediaries. If you see that a price for the copywriters work is too low, then most likely you are going to get a low-quality content as well.
- Spam in the comments. Programs do not always allow you to remove spam from the comments on the site completely. Therefore, you should personally supervise this. If you don’t have time for this, it is better to disable this feature for users.
- SEO-practice of "black hat." By placing an article with practical recommendations on the implementation of the fraudulent practices, you already find yourself in a "black list" of the search engine company.
- Hacked site. Google quickly tracks down such resources and blocks them. So if you were hacked, act quickly to get ahead of the search engine. Try to restore the backup copy of the contents immediately.
- Quick link building. Every webmaster wants to see his brainchild starting to rank, and the sooner - the better. However, you must be careful. A large number of similar references will show automated link building, and this is bad. It is better to add links in small batches, but regularly and during a long period. This will give excellent results.
- Spam notice. Remember that when using a special Google form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rhRenrd16MDSgAOwnMVx9KQbp--0JoY9vKiJdIcMe44/viewform), your site may be accused of spamming. Some dishonest competitors can easily use that against you, if they are ready to slander anyone for their own benefit.
- Forums linking. For the forums, links in the signatures is quite a common occurrence. But sometimes there are just too much of them. When adding a forum link you should use only natural linking methods. Also it is necessary to think about adding them to the «nofollow» cluster.
- Hiding of the sponsors. Many sites simply could not survive without these "patrons". But if you place a link to your sponsor, then add it to the «nofollow» cluster. Also, do not forget to make sure that the pages with the data links will not be crawled by search engine bots.
- Flaws of robots.txt. This file gives Google information about how to work with your resources. And, in spite of the compelling reasons for releasing pages from robots.txt, try to do it as delicately as possible. If Google is unable to find the desired information, it will be not happy at all.
- Outbounding the links to suspicious resources. Do not exchange links with bad sites like hackers, porn resources or sites that send viruses, etc. In addition, refuse to cooperate with the sites that have already been fined by Google (if such information is, of course, available).
- Landing pages. Some resources are trying to attract search engine with the landing pages. Others create websites on one page, and sharpen them under certain keywords which redirect to other sites. Both the first and the second are bad!
- The overabundance of SEO. Without SEO you go nowhere. But too zealous promotion is regarded as a negative by Google. After all, the content is still created for people in the first place and only secondarily - to the search engine. Slow down the pace and be natural.
- Promotional material. Shortly before Penguin 2.0 filter was launched, there was a serious dispute over the presence of advertising content on the website. Today everything is clear - advertising articles are the ones that have paid links. Pages containing such material are often used for aggressive manipulation of the SERPs results.
- Plenty of external links. Make the links look natural. Otherwise, the company will understand that you are trying to extract too many benefits for yourself from this technique.
- Redirection. With 301 you can redirect fine to another site. However, manual sanctions will last much longer if you remove the redirect later. Therefore, do not do it.
- Errors. Along with the 404 there are other errors that Google simply can not stand. For example, a 301 error should be replaced with the 302. And if you have 500 code, it is necessary to identify the source of the problem as soon as possible. WebConfs HTTP Header Check will help you with this.
- Duplicate metadata. Some CMS platforms and blogging tools can accidentally duplicate metadata. This is not a real problem, but it may entail content copying - which is a bad thing. Therefore you should solve this issue.
- Malicious backlinks. Even if you have an ideal in all respects website, this is not a reason to relax. After all, by malicious backlinks your competitors may bring the wrath of Google upon you.
- Targeted keywords. Search engine becomes furious when it sees such keywords that are usually used on spam resources. A striking example - "payday loans." Therefore, if you are working in a niche where there is a large number of spam sites, be prepared for frequent inspections.
- Smuggled links. Placing links in the script files is not fair. Google is very good at analyzing scenarios and identifying links that are not typical for their areas.
- The poor quality of the mobile site. The main resource and its mobile version should both be similar and effective. A good solution is to use individual subdomains for mobile resources. Make sure that your web resource looks good and is functional on phones, tablets and other portable gadgets .
- Insufficient outbound links. The company welcomes relinking between pages with similar or complementary content. Be sure to use this technique.
- Domain with a bad reputation. Do not try to save money on buying a domain with a bad history. All your attempts to correct past mistakes and bring it back to life will eventually be in vain.
- Stolen content. Even if you personally have stolen nothing, someone could steal the content from you. As a result, your resource will have non-unique content. This problem is very serious, and often leads to a long and time-consuming proceedings. If you are accused of stealing materials, ask Google to remove them.
- Too many advertisements. Advertising should be made in limited quantities, and in the background. If advertising is what catches your eye first when you look on the site, then it's time to take appropriate action.
- Engaging content farms. Content farm is a company dedicated to the creation of a large number of low-quality SEO-texts. Previously, usage of such materials was considered to be normal, but after the release of Panda everything has changed. Analyze the content of your site. If the quality is poor, then order good texts from professional writers.
- Too quick mistakes fix. Some companies may offer you a fabulous and efficient methodology, which ostensibly quickly brings the resource to the TOP. Do not believe it, these techniques do not exist.
What should you do if you Google fined you?
So, you find that Google doesn’t find your site appealing. Consider that half of the work is already done (in case, of course, your problem has a solution).
In any case, you need to develop a plan to resolve the situation. However, here is a list with a few rules to follow that in any case will be useful:
• Do not panic. Even the most serious and major sites can fall under the sanctions, it is OK.
• Remove all the problematic links using Google. Ask the company not to take into account the links that cause harm to your resource. This tool here will help you in it (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?pli=1).
• Remove some potentially problematic links manually. This method is more reliable than the previous one.
• If you are under manual sanctions, send a request to review them.
• Wait. Often, it may require a lot of time to disable the problematic links and re-crawl your site.
• Start all over again. In rare cases it is easier to say goodbye to your old site than to try restoring its search engine rankings.
The severity of your problem will depend on how many issues out of these 50 can be found in your situation. Also it is pretty important for how long the problem has already been existed - the earlier you find it, the better.
Therefore, in most cases the prognosis is still optimistic. It can take a minimum cost of time and effort to at least partly restore former greatness in the eyes of Google. But the other part will be tough.
The question about buying a new site usually appears only in most severe cases.
In order to prevent the imposition of sanctions, do some detailed analysis of your web resource, followed by an error correction - and the sooner the better.