And suddenly your position in Google search results drops, what happened? The consequences of this can be catastrophic, not only because of a decrease in the visibility of your brand, but also because you may receive fewer calls or fewer orders, or even none at all! Are you aware of Google’s penalties? You should! We tell you how to detect them.
Don’t beat yourself up if this happens to you: you often make mistakes without knowing it. It is human to make mistakes, although for Google this aspect is not important. You should know that Google positions are based on statistics and a series of purely mathematical parameters that are sometimes difficult to measure. What we do can test are the Google penalties and how to detect that we are not committing any of them.
Many companies encounter disappointments daily. One of them is for example their falling position on Google, while they are still paying as usual for the Google Adwords campaigns. Sometimes, the fall is not so horrible (same as disappearing from the first page of the search results), but it is significant enough so that our visualization in these results can hurt us and our competition can overtake us.
What is a Google penalty?
Before we talk about how to detect them, it is more helpful to know what these Google penalties are. The search engine among search engines has its own rules and, of course, it is better to obey them so that they continue “spoiling” your brand and that your company is in a good position in those keywords or the keywords where we want to stand out. If you do not follow their rules, you will automatically be punished and penalized and may be excluded from the search results.
A penalty is a measure that Google takes in order to punish those websites that violate its own Webmaster Guidelines, the famous Google Webmaster Guidelines. These penalties consist of different types and importance, with a distinction between penalties at keyword, URL or directory level and also a penalty across multiple pages, known as a domain-level penalty. Another, less common, is the exclusion of a website from Google’s index, also known as Delisting.
But why is Google doing this to us? Why is it punishing us? It is important that you detect it in time because, as we mentioned above, maybe you are not realizing it and you are committing a malpractice that can be playing against your corporate website or online store. The usual malpractice is to commit off-page violations such as toxic links, mentions or creating spam. There are also penalties On Page level, such as hidden headings, alteration of the goals through keyword stuffing and user metrics altered in an unnatural way.
Google will always notice it if you try to cheat. May that be clear to you.
Types of Google penalties
The Google penalties are divided into two main groups. Penalties according to the algorithm and penalties according to the nature.
Google Panda penalty. It is mainly concerned with measuring the quality of the content and it punishes the excessive publication of thin content. It is as if we abuse our website with poor content that does not contribute anything to the searches of the users.
Google Penguin penalty. In this penalty Google focuses on controlling the links that come to our website so that they provide value. Therefore, they should not be harmful or purchased or come from sites of dubious quality.
Meanwhile there are two in the penalties according to their nature, the manual and algorithmic.
Manual penalty. Yes, Google employees can also punish you, did you know that? Especially if they discover that your website is doing something against Google’s Terms of Service such as virus infection, cloaking, redirects or obvious link buying. If this happens you have to quickly contact Google to get your website re-indexed, i.e. your web pages to appear again in the SERP’s.
Algorthmic penalties. These penalties affect websites that have poor or duplicate content in aspects such as poor keyword optimization, slow load times or unnatural inbound links. If you do this your SERP results will be low.
Keep your eyes open for if suddenly you notice a drop in traffic, or it takes place progressively; if your main KW´s lose positioning; if on top of that some pages of your domain disappear immediately on the spot from Google results or even worse, that your website stops appearing in the search engine, e.g. it is not indexed. Stop and check what you may be doing wrong. Apart from everything mentioned above, it may be that your website has a very high duplicate content ratio; that you lack original content; that the titles of the pages do not correspond to the same content; that you have too much advertising; that you are abusing the automatic creation of links and misleading redirects, among others.
The Google Webmaster Guidelines or Webmaster Guidelines will help you solve these problems and, of course, having a professional team of SEO technicians at your disposal, shall we talk?