According to Wikipedia, a Google penalty is the negative impact on a website’s search rankings based on updates to Google’s search algorithms and/or manual review. The penalty can be an unfortunate by-product of an algorithm update or an intentional penalization for various black-hat SEO techniques.
To avoid a Google penalty, you first need to understand the basic concepts of SEO, Google algorithms and their frequent updates.
The prime objective of Google is to provide the relevant and high-quality information to users. Google always values trustworthy content and ranks a website that provides valuable information. Any website that shows irrelevant information gets penalized by Google and loses its rankings, eventually.
Google also has a set of rules/guidelines for websites willing to rank well on search engines and to help their end users.
However, before going deep, let’s first discover different types of Google penalties.
Manual Penalty – As the name suggests, this is imposed manually when a Google team reviews your site and penalizes it. Google also notifies you about Manual penalty through Webmaster Tools account.
Algorithmic Penalty – This is Google’s weapon to clean up the mess. It only happens when Google makes changes to its algorithms that influence every website. Google can penalize or reward websites with a single change.
Now the question arises, how to avoid Google penalty?
Google is not an evil, and there is no need to shiver. All the websites that get penalized often involve in certain Black hat activities or go against the set guidelines of Google. Therefore, the best way to avoid a penalty is to stay away from black hat techniques. All you need to do is to make sure you follow the rules and guidelines of Google.
Here are a few SEO tips to avoid Google penalty:
Make sure your website’s server never get done
If your web server often goes down and makes your website inaccessible, your site will lose rankings. So, to avoid such situation, make sure that you use a secure/reputable web hosting service that offers more than 95% website uptime.
Mobile friendly website design
To win the battle, you must have all the weapons. Today, you cannot ignore the universality of Mobile friendliness. According to a study, 50% of all Google searches now originate from mobile devices. So, it is important to follow the trend and switch to a mobile friendly website (responsive design).
If your website loads slowly, it may lose the confidence of users as well as search engines. So, optimise your website to improve its speed.
Tips to improve the page load speed:
Use a high quality content delivery network (CDN)
Optimize all the images/videos on your website
Use a fast and secure web hosting service
Avoid using unnecessary WordPress plugins
It is a fact that Google closely monitors the quality of backlinks. It specifically observes relevant backlinks and if it does not find relevant links, it may penalize a website. In fact, you need to understand the concept of Google’s Penguin Update.
Google’s Penguin Update – Google launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings. (Source – Searchengineland)
Avoid using low quality content
SEO has evolved significantly and Google bots can detect duplicate and spun content. So, if you want to rank well, you must write high-quality and fresh content to help your users.
Write fresh blog posts, web pages, videos, e-books, infographs, etc.
Include facts and statistics in your content.
Give credit to original sources.
So, follow the above given SEO techniques to avoid Google penalty.