Over the decade, considerable changes in SEO has been witnessed due to Google raging on an uncompromising mission of continually tweaking and improvising its algorithms.

This rage has significantly resulted in a flipside called Google PENALTY!

It’s hard to find things that won’t sell online!”, Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon.

So, What’s A Google Penalty?

In Google’s terms; a penalty is a negative impact on a website’s search rankings based on updates to Google’s search algorithms and/or manual review. Too technical? Relax! A penalty simply means your website hasn’t lived up to the recent updates of Google’s algorithms.

Let me explain…Since December 2000, Google has been on a mission of constantly changing it’s ranking algorithms. The next decade, Google continued to refine the quality of its search results – which means, it eliminates poor quality content and elevates the good stuff to the top of the SERPs. This, gives rise to penalties.

15 instances where you could get penalized by Google

  1. Duplicate Content Make sure your content is unique and well-written and definitely not copied!
  2. Overusing H1 tags Did you know that H1 tag helps Google to understand what your page is all about? Now, if you knew that and if your site is bombarded with content explaining Google what your website is all about, DON’T! Just stick to the point! These excessive H1 tags with explanations are viewed as an attempt to pump with keywords.

  3. Keyword Stuffed Content Among all kinds of weird ‘rules’ about keyword density in content one that you have to make note of is that if Google detects a weirdly high number of keywords in a page, it may penalize you – rightly or wrongly.

  4. If Your Sitemap Data Is Missing In general understanding, XML sitemap is used for data parsing by Google to help understand your site’s structure better. Simply avoid this penalty by making sure XML sitemap is available and up-to-date and then submit it to your Webmaster Tools account.

  5. Hidden Links Avoid camouflaging your links. Every unique you create must be useful and visible to users. Else, Google can be suspicious.

  6. Broken External Links Linking content to a webpage that generates “404 error page” is understood as you don’t care about your user’s experience. This means you ought to keep track of your external links!

  7. Scraped Content Pulling content from other sites to make your website appealing is definitely termed as duplication of data. In other words – worth a penalty!

  8. Overuse Of Anchor Text Although an intelligent bypass technique used by SEO experts, it turned to be “penalizable” after the release of 2012 Penguin Update. All that you can do now is use legitimate “English” words to link. Nothing more.

  9. Suspicious Site Linking Now, what more can we say? Associating yourself with a website that is legally dubious is simply not worth all the effort that you’ve been putting. Keep off from such sites unless you want to get penalized.
  10. Numerous Landing Pages Using multiple landing pages (especially one-page websites) to improve your position in SERPs is definitely not appreciated by Google.

  11. Optimizing Way Too Much Honestly? Too much of something can definitely be a bit wearing even for Google! Cool down and stick to legitimate and quality content.

  12. Numerous External Links Although external linking is quite beneficial, it’s imperative that you keep the flow natural. Excessive links on your site, in Google’s terms usually means that you’re swapping links for the sake of SEO benefit.

  13. Duplicate Metadata Although it’s usually created by accident, it can lead to a Google Penalty as it’s a foolproof sign of duplicate content. Now you wouldn’t want that, would you? So try and be careful while dealing with it.

  14. Stolen Content Nope. Not you. But somebody/anybody on the internet can find your content suitable and steal it! It’s quite possible and definitely troublesome. The best you could do if you’re penalized for this is to simply try asking Google to remove the stolen content!

  15. Avoid Content Farm Shallow, low-quality and poorly researched content is definitely not appreciated by Google.

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