Why I’m undergoing a Google penalty? Why Google penalized my website? For which mistakes Google penalize websites and blogs?
Questions like them might be arising in your mind! Don’t worry I will answer these questions but before that you should understand that what Google want!
Google just wants to give its users access to accurate information, unique content and the finest writers. And for providing the better results, Google time-to-time update its algorithms to refine the quality of its search results.
So, with each Google algorithm update, your site might be penalized if you’re making some mistakes in search engine optimization.
Which mistakes? There may be hundreds of reasons for why Google can penalize your website but some of them are most important.
Here, I’m going to tell you about 21 most important reasons or mistakes which enforce Google to penalize your website.
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If you’re making any of the following mistakes, beware! These mistakes means your site deserves to be penalize by Google, and in the next update you might undergo a Google penalty!
1. Buying Bad Links
If you’re buying backlinks for your website to boost search engine rankings and page rank, it can leave a negative impact on search engine if your links are bad.
Bad in sense, from low quality websites, in form of sponsored links etc. These kind of links may hurt search engines and seem like you’re trying to manipulate page rank and search engine.
So, if you’re buying bad links to your website, search engines may catch you easily and penalize your website.
2. Excessive Link Exchanging
Don’t try to be smarter than search engines! If you’re exchanging too many links with your clients, it can easily be detected by Google and may lose search engine rankings.
Swapping links was once an innocent marketing tactic but now it’s the easiest manipulation attempt considered by search engines.
3. Overusing H1 Tags
Mostly the H1 is used to describe the title of the page, therefore if you use H1 tags multiple times on your webpage, Google might confuse about the title and may penalize your website.
So, it’s very necessary to correctly structure the webpage with sufficient number of paragraphs, headings etc. And H1 heading most probably should only 1 which describes that page is all about.
4. Publishing Duplicate Content
Are you publishing duplicate content on your website? Beware! Stop copy-pasting, it hurts Google more than anything else. Google or any other search engine never likes the duplicate content.
So, you shouldn’t publish duplicate content on your site because it’s useless in Google’s view and you might be penalized for it.
In case, you accept guest articles from unknown users, you must check the content using plagiarism tools like Copyscape and CopyGator.
5. Internal Linking to 404s
Internal linking is a good practice to improve your SEO score but it sometimes may hurt you. Many times it happen that your years back internal linked articles got deleted and whenever user click on them, they will throw 404 errors.
It can be a big signal for Google to penalize your site because users on your site are even not getting the information they’re looking for, and even they’re misguiding due to clicking on 404s.
6. Keyword Stuffing
Do you understand the meaning of Keyword Stuffing? Keyword stuffing means inserting keywords in a post unnaturally or in high amount.
Generally, a high amount of keywords in a content is a flag for poorly written content and as soon as Google detects it, you will be penalize.
There are different sayings on keyword density of different SEO experts but none of them are proven, and honestly you shouldn’t insert keywords in a post intentionally, instead they should be inserted automatically according to the need of situation.
7. Backlinks from sites in another language
You’re having website in English but getting too many backlinks from website in other languages of different countries. Isn’t it seem improper?
Of course it is! So, if you’ve got link from a client in another country, yet it’s technically counted against you. According to Google “users generally tend to prefer one language, so linking to sites in another language isn’t that useful for them”.
8. XML Sitemap Isn’t Available
XML sitemap for any website is very important. Google uses XML sitemap of a website to know the structure of the website and learn how it’s put together.
So, it’s important for every website to have XML sitemap, set it up correctly and then submit it to Google Webmaster Tools.
9. Hidden Links in the Content
I think there should be no reason to hide links in your post content. If you do so, it can be considered suspicious by search engines.
So, never make a link of the same color as the background of a page or button, even if you have an innocent reason.
10. Broken Internal & External Links
However, it’s very difficult keep an eye on all the external links on your site to ensure whether they’re working or not but still you’ll have to do that.
If search engine bots find broken links in your content, they assume you don’t care about the user experience and are happy to pack visitors off to various 404 error pages.
11. Overusing Anchor Text
Prior to the Penguin update in 2012, anchor text was one of the easiest ways for Google to understand the relevancy of any website.
Now in 2014, it is one of the best ways for Google to penalize spam and over-optimization.
It doesn’t mean that anchor text is now meaningless. In fact, I will say that anchor text is still a secret for ranking your keywords on the top of search engines, but the only thing to remember is that it must be optimized correctly and it never should be overused.
12. Website down so often
I always suggest that never underestimate the site down time. If Google can’t find your site, it would rather de-index it instead of keep sending visitors to a dead end.
If you honestly want to rank your site higher in search engines, you must choose a best web hosting company. And always keep an eye on your site down time and up-time.
13. Keyword Targeted Domains
If you purchased a domain full of keywords, it might be risky for you. Consider the anchor text linking issue: if we repeatedly link to that domain, Google might see that as anchor text manipulation.
If you use an exact match domain, make sure it is of great content on it, otherwise Google will assume you’re trying to fool people into clicking.
14. Overusing Affiliate Links
Google is not essentially opposed to affiliate websites but the high number of affiliate links on a page can be a red flag that the content may not be up to scratch.
For getting rid of this problem, many of us try affiliate link cloakers but honestly if you’re using link cloakers to keep affiliate links hidden from Google eyes, you’re wasting your time as Google is enough wise to this tactic and can easily track.
15. Slow Website Loading Speed
Nobody has time to wait for your site to be loaded and due to the slow loading of your website, users to your site will move somewhere else. And for the same reason Google also don’t like slow websites, and nowadays website loading speed is one of the main ranking factors of Google.
So, you must be take care of your website loading speed. For improving your website loading you should use a caching plugin and CDN. Read out These Tips to make your website load fast enough.
16. Very Fast Link Building
It’s a general thing that we want to build links faster for our newly started website but it shouldn’t be very quick. Because lots of similar links pointing to the same page in very little time is a sign of automation.
So, faster link building may attempt to penalize your website by Google. Therefore, don’t build links that fast, instead make changes gradually over the time.
17. Linking to Bad Sites
However, it’s true nobody wants to link to a low quality or bad website but still many of the webmasters are doing so and getting penalized by Google for the same.
Do you know why? Just for money! Yes, there are many low quality and adult websites pays off for getting links but you always should far more from these websites.
18. Too Many External Links from a Page
Many times I told along with time that your linking building as well as link giving strategies must be natural.
If you’re providing high quantity of links from any of your web page, it could be a sign of link exchanging with other people for mutual SEO benefits.
19. Malicious Backlinks to Your Site
However, most probably it’s not your mistake and you shouldn’t be penalized for it but still it makes the sense and Google takes it very hardly.
If lots of malicious backlinks are targeting to your website, it’s really something you need to take instant action. Most probably some of your competitor is trying to get down your site in search results.
To get rid of this problem, you can use Google Disavow Tool to disavow the backlinks. But, I will just say that be careful while using this tool.
20. Non-Responsive Website
If you see a few years back, responsiveness of a website was not an issue but it is today! I mean, it’s compulsory nowadays, as it’s now one of the main ranking factor in Google’s new updated algorithm.
So, if Google finds your site look poor in mobile devices or other screen sizes, it may penalize you from search results.
Advertisements are the medium of making money out of your blog but if you do that over the limits, your users mind will distract from reading the blog posts and Google also dislike more advertisements.
Mostly ads on your webpages should be according to the length of content. If you’re written a very long content you can put number of ads according to it. But, Adsense allows only 3 ad units per page. So, you should be careful of it.
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These are the 21 mistakes that many webmasters make and then get penalized by Google. So, never make these mistakes because if you’re doing so, you are indirectly inviting Google to penalize your site. If you think you’re already penalized by Google, then fix out these mistakes.