What could be better than a highly responsive website with a decent ranking on the search engine ranking page?
Well, there are various ways to increase traffic and rankings. Some Digital Marketers use ethical ways, while others opt for unethical ways.
Adopting unethical ways is risky and sometimes cost your website a lot than its benefits.
Google penalizes those websites who do unethical practices to rank their websites.
Google penalty is a nightmare for every digital marketer.
It doesn’t only happen due to Google updates. There are several websites slammed with Google penalties for various other reasons.
Those unethical practices can be in the form of plagiarized content without giving credit to its source, stuffing keywords, buying, swapping backlinks, and more.
These penalties damage your company and boost your competitors’ ranking simultaneously.
First, learn two of the most common type of Google penalties. Then, we’ll find out the best practices of link-building and avoid getting these penalties for good.
Most Common Types of Google Penalties
1. Manual Spam Penalty
Even though most of the policing of bad link building is done by the Google bots.
However, when your stars aren’t aligned, your website is reviewed by the manual webspam team of Google and emails you a manual penalty.
Most of the time, this happened because your rival reports you to the Google team. Then a manual reviewer evaluates your websites.
2. Algorithm Penalty
The algorithm penalty occurs due to the latest update of the Google algorithm. All the websites have to comply with the Google algorithms and have to keep up with the changes.
The worst part of algorithm penalties is that it doesn’t notify you about the penalty. So, you wouldn’t have the slightest clue when your website’s traffic starts to significantly decline.
These are some of the common penalties of Google algorithm; now, let’s find out how to avoid them by adopting the best link building practices.
Best Link-Building Practices
Best Practice#1: Examine Your Link Profile
Google bots are always on the lookout for spammy links as it considers them black hat link building practices.
If Google bots find you involved in such practices, it will most definitely penalize you.
One of the honorable, or in this case, dishonorable mentions of all time of abusing links is of JC Penney. When the great retail giant targeted all the high-ranking keywords where most of the links weren’t even relevant, and its backlinks didn’t have anything to do with the clothing.
Link building is truly the most crucial aspect of offsite SEO. It’s imperative that you work on it and improve your SERP rankings and generate traffic and conversions.
Create original and relevant content that other websites will most definitely link back to. It’s also important to note the sites that backlinks to your site should be relevant to your niche.
For instance, if you write posts for the leather jackets industry, there’s no way you can get links to the fish industry. Because it might seem fishy to Google bots (no pun intended).
If you happen to find irrelevant links on your website, post-haste to fix them before the Google bots find them.
Best Practice#2: Fight Off Negative SEO
Even though you’re following white hat SEO practices by the book, it doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot get penalized. Your fierce rivals can link multiple bad links to your website to damage your website’s ranking on SERP.
If Google bots find spammy links to your website, it would increase the chances of getting penalized and lose your ranking.
When you find those bad links, you can have them disavowed. All you need to do is create a text file and copy-paste all those bad links on the file and upload them on the Google Disavow links.
Best Practice#3: Use Branded And Domain Anchor Texts
Anchor texts are phrases and words mostly used to guide Google about a link. However, most marketers abuse them and stuff keywords related to their niche.
To deal with stuffing specific keywords in content, Google started to penalize those anchor texts.
Moz suggests not to stuff keywords with anchor texts; rather, use your brand’s name instead.
It’s well-advised as it will help boost your brand’s name in keywords that will also provide them better exposure.
Best Practice#4: Conscious Guest Posting
Guest posting is an effective tool of link-building that drives traffic and boost your website’s ranking.
However, you have to do it consciously. Select topics relevant to your niche where you can naturally include anchor text without losing the flow.
Keep in mind, never add too many backlinks in a short time. Google would easily sniff those backlinks out and may penalize you for adopting black hat SEO practices.
Best Practice#5: Offer Relevant Content Right Away!
According to Google’s page layout algorithm, Google doesn’t want websites to make their users scroll down to find relevant content.
Most websites used to shove tons of ads in their users’ faces, which had suffered the user experience. Google started penalizing those websites to provide a better experience to the users.
If you happen to have a website with dozens of ads, it’s well-advice that you start redesigning it and place the content at the top of the webpage.
It will help you rank better on the search engine ranking page and prevents your website from being penalized.
Best Practice#6: Build A Secure Website
Google penalizes those websites that get hacked. It’s one of the worst ways to get penalized because it clearly isn’t your fault.
Various well-known businesses and institutions have been a victim of hacking which further led to Google penalty.
One of the prominent examples is Christian Leadership University. Google penalized the online university when it got hacked.
Google examined 5,054 links, and out of 600 of them were spamming.
So, make sure to have your website evaluated with a website security expert on a regular basis.
No one wants to be on the receiving end of the Google penalty. But there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Google only after those websites that try to exploit its algorithm to boost their ranking and competitive edge.
So, follow these above-mentioned best practices, and you’ll have no trouble ranking your website on search engines.
Even if you do get penalized, you can always request Google to take another look and reevaluate your website.