Search engines, foremost among them Google, aim to establish relevant results for a given search. Competition between websites have webmasters trying to use overly aggressive SEO techniques. Other platforms seek to increase their traffic by producing poor quality textual content. To combat these practices that harm Internet users, Google implements techniques to filter out the results that it deems irrelevant. Unfortunately, it happens that in good faith some sites are downgraded for no reason. What are these penalties inflicted by the American giant and how to steer clear of them?
The penalties that can be implemented by Google
The two most feared penalties are downgrading and blacklisting. In the first case, one or several pages of the website previously classified on important queries for your activity (first or second page) are relegated 3 or even 6 pages later. In the second case, it is the whole site that no longer appears in the search results. Before embarking on an SEO strategy, one must first be certain not to use processes severely punished by Google. The latter are well known and the sites that use them are systematically impacted. Here is an overview of the reprehensible techniques:
- Doorway pages that link artificial connections optimized for queries;
- Cloaking, which is the presentation of different pages depending on whether it is the indexing device from Google (the Googlebot) or another engine;
- Keyword stuffing, which includes large amounts of identical terms in hopes of fostering its emergence within the search results;
- The presence of hidden content; and
- Text unrelated to the topic of the page, which would have been included artificially or content that does not appear to have a semantic consistency. Warning: Defects related to the latter are increasingly being spotted by Google, which carries out crucial semantic analysis. A search engine optimization expert is the only individual who can prevent all this from happening.
Check that there are no technical errors
Changes such as working with another provider or altering your hosting platform can lead to serious but easily solvable issues. For example, a bad configuration of the robots.txt file that manages the indexing of Googlebot or a rewriting of URLs that blocks the tracking of internal links can be a huge problem. Each site can also be a victim of its success and the slow loading of pages can stop the indexing robot that allocates resources limited to exploration.
Evolution of filters
Google chooses its results via two independent operations: the algorithm that is synchronous to a search and the periodic filtering that performs its preliminary sorting. The two most important filters are Panda and Penguin. To know what filter is impacting your site, the first reaction is usually to check the Google updates to make sure that the connection between the filter update and the site traffic drops. These are updated periodically. The first verifies the quality of the contents and penalizes the prohibited techniques described above. The second option watches out for link quality. They must present a “natural” aspect, that is to say, they must come from sufficiently varied sources. As Google’s requirements in this area become increasingly high, sometimes sites become progressively downgraded. More work needs to be done to improve the quality of content and net-linking. A search engine optimization consultant can help with this.
Requests for reconsideration with Google
If a site is subjected to penalties, it is still possible to contact the quality services of Google in order to request a re-examination of your file. If a person has a Google Webmaster Account, he or she can see which pages have been decommissioned. Once a website owner has taken the necessary steps to remedy the defects responsible for said penalty, they will have to explain the measures taken. Google also has a form dedicated to the review of the penalized sites. Some people may have been unfairly manipulated by their competitors. The most known technique is called “negative SEO” and consists of duplicating the content of one site with other web hosts or making artificial links. To get rid of these penalties, website owners will have to make contact Google and inform them of your observations, having taken care beforehand to disavow the toxic links via Webmaster Tools. An SEO expert should be able to handle this process for you.
Voice searches are already upsetting SEO and this is probably only the beginning. The keyword will lose its importance and SEO techniques will have to adapt, as quickly as possible, to this fundamental change to take advantage of this evolution and not undergo it. The effectiveness of natural SEO allows the website to guarantee its excellent positioning on the search engines. In order to ensure the effectiveness of SEO, it is necessary to implement various actions and establish appropriate strategies provided by an SEO consultant.