When you create a website or blog, the single aim is to try and create online traffic. The more people who visit your website, the more likely you are to generate income and a profit. In order to do this, you will undoubtedly need a good ranking on Google search results. The only downside to this is that a breach of the strict rules held by Google can result in you being dropped in the rankings, or even removed from search results altogether.
Getting hit with a Google penalty can be quite a difficult pill to swallow, but there are ways of dealing with the situation. Here we will look at the different reasons why Google could hit your site with a penalty, and how you can set about fixing your website to get it back on track.
What Can Cause A Google Penalty?
Spam: This is probably the most obvious cause of a Google penalty. Having spam on your website is considered a zero tolerance subject. Even the slightest amount of spam could see your site removed completely from Google search results.
Duplicated Content: This is basically a penalty against plagiarism. Google does not allow people to openly steal content from another site. The only problem is, if you are a victim of plagiarism then your site can be penalised as well. Make sure you use online tools to check your site to make sure everything is original.
Too Many Ads: Having lots of adverts on your website can be very irritating, and a more than blatant attempt to create a large income through unnatural traffic. If you have adverts, then try and keep them small so then they don't cause too much of a disturbance, and make sure that you only have a small amount on each page.
Too High A Bounce Rate: If people are leaving your site pretty quickly after arriving, then they have obviously not found what they are looking for. This can lead to Google penalising you for not giving visitors what they are looking for. Make sure that your content is engaging and that you encourage people to browse your site at all times.
Paid Links: This is when you have paid people to link to your website, which is considered to be dirty pool by Google. Make sure any back linking that occurs happens naturally is not forced through monetary payments.
Too Many Outbound Links: Having too many links that leads to other websites can result in Google thinking you are trying to create a feeding ground for spam. Try and only use outbound links when you are referring to a source.
Black Hat SEO: Black hat SEO techniques are being penalised by Google now more than ever. Using too many keywords or forcing key phrases can have a really bad effect on your site. Make sure that you figure out everything you need to know about black hat SEO techniques so then you do not fall into any traps.
How Can I Fix A Google Penalty?
Fixing a Google penalty is something that takes a little time. The good news is however, all you really have to do is make sure that you use honest and accepted techniques. Have a look through the list of causes and see which ones could apply to your website. Then start fixing the problem you have with your existing content, and make sure that nothing similar happens again with your new content.
Sometimes you can find the right fix for your penalty depending on its type. If you have been hit with a Panda penalty, then you can try and get your site back up and running with Panda Breakthrough. This effectively gives you the opportunity to present your website in a manor that is considered more effective by Google, thus improving the chances of you moving back up the rankings again very quickly. You could even find that you get higher than before after using Breakthrough.
If it is a Penguin penalty, then it will involve the links you have on your site. You will have to use online tools to help you locate all the links you have on your site so then you can find the link or links that are causing you problems. Then you should be able to remove them and get everything back on track.
Ultimately, recovering from a Google penalty depends entirely on its severity. If you have only picked up a small penalty, then you should be able to shake it off quickly and get everything back on track. If however you have received a heavy penalty, then you could find yourself fighting an uphill battle for a while. Either way, receiving a Google penalty is not the end of the world as long as it is dealt with properly.