How to Avoid Getting on Google's Bad Side
It’s a well known fact that Google is one of the biggest companies in the world with 70 branches in over 40 countries. There is also no denying how immensely important Google is in our day-to-day lives. Surprisingly, Google’s usefulness actually extends far past the common practice of looking up the correct spelling of words. In fact, many small businesses would simply cease to exist if customers could no longer find them through Google. Thus, it’s absolutely crucial to stay on Google’s good side. So, how can you avoid biting the hand that feeds you?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essentially a technique in which a writer repeatedly mentions key words and phrases in an attempt to draw Google traffic towards their respective site. Google search results are generated according to a combination of keywords mentioned in the article, the trustworthiness of the page, visitor satisfaction and the overall quality of the content. However, SEO is not a hard and fast science as Google is constantly moving the goal posts. To understand this, one must first understand the Google search engine’s mandate: to provide the most relevant results for any one specific Google search request. Bearing this in mind, it makes sense that Google does not want its search results skewed by SEO. Therefore, Google utilises a labyrinth of constantly changing algorithms to generate its search results, all of which attempt to thwart authors writing SEO driven content. Using light SEO can be a highly effective method of generating traffic for your site, but excessive SEO can result in serious consequences.
If the Google algorithms deem your content to be purely SEO, it will label your site as spam, which means that your page will all but disappear off the Google search results page. Furthermore, this punishment can span several years. Being excluded from Google’s search results can be a crippling blow to any blog or small website as it virtually guarantees that, bar some form of divine intervention, the traffic to your site will all but dry up. So what basic steps can you take to stop this from happening? Some simple tips include:
- Make sure that the SEO keywords apply to the content of the article
- Don’t use SEO words out of context of your site
- Don’t constantly repeat the same word
These are simple yet effective techniques which should guarantee that you don’t find yourself in the dark abyss of Google’s blacklist.
Your Web Host is Key!
Only a few privileged Google employees know the exact make up of the search result producing algorithms, however, there are several generally accepted theories. One such theory follows that if Google has trouble accessing your site, then it will negatively affect your site’s Google results ranking –whether your site is constantly down for maintenance issues or simply that it takes longer than usual to access it. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial to have a competent web host with reliable servers to prevent such issues. If you’re running any form of online business, then placing highly in Google’s search rankings is critical to your business’s success. With this in mind, it is well worth paying a small sum each year for a reliable web host as compared to risking your entire company’s future by using a free web host.
Using Unoriginal Content
Copying a well-written article off a website and passing it off as your own may seem like the easiest thing in the world. I mean, who’s really going to notice right? Wrong. Google’s algorithms can detect duplicated content fairly easily and subsequently deals with it in a ruthless manner. The algorithms will evaluate each copy of the article and the site it belongs to, decide which one is better, and then devalue the copy of the article that was deemed worse. If you’re copying an article from a specific webpage that you were directed to, then there is a pretty good chance that that website is more developed than yours. So, while you may think you have cleverly scored yourself free quality content, the duplicate is most likely going to be deemed inferior by Google and will drag down your whole site’s ranking with it. Producing quality content may be a tough, burdensome task but it is definitely a less painful option than plummeting down Google’s search rankings.
Links, Links, Links
Links to and from your site are vitally important to staying on Google’s good side; in fact, links are probably the single biggest variable that Google considers when ranking your site in its search results. When it comes to Google, there are both good links and bad links. Outbound links from your site that link to other relevant respected sites are viewed positively by Google. The same goes for inbound links posted on other respectable sites which link to your page. However, bad links also exist and, problematically, can often be out of your control. A link is considered bad either if you post an outbound link on your page that links to another page that Google doesn’t rate highly or if another page that Google doesn’t rank highly posts an inbound link to your page. Yes, so even though you have no control over a bad site that links to your page, it will still cause you to slide down the rankings. Thankfully, one can make a request to Google to remove a link from a less reputable site if the need arises. One thing every site owner should make sure of is to never post a broken link. A broken link instantly dents the quality of your site in Google’s eyes and will almost certainly affect your rank in its search results.
Staying on the good side of the enigmatic giant that is Google is not an exact science, however, there are some clear steps one can take to stay out of trouble. When in doubt, play it safe, as getting on Google’s bad side can have dire consequences no matter what you use the Internet for.