Potential Factors That Damage Your Google Rankings (Part 1)
In the age of Google’s search engine dominance, it has become more important than ever to be seen as valid and trustworthy by such an institution. As search engines comprise a significant chunk of organic traffic, failing to rank well in specific search results can be intensely detrimental to long-term brand performance. The nuances of Google search engine rankings can be difficult to understand, with some effects unknown or undocumented. Some problems, however, are well known and documented. Below, we’ll describe a few of these potential factors that could be harming your overall ability to rank well in select Google results.
Thin or Duplicate Content
Several years ago, Google’s algorithms became sophisticated enough to determine from where content originates and how various sites may be copying content from other places. This particular action is one of the biggest reasons that various websites and blogs have found themselves in hot water with regards to pinging search engines and ranking well, as Google and others are very critical of websites that seem to be duplicating content. Likewise, content that is too thin or otherwise not helpful to readers can now be measured as well (primarily through actions such as bounce rates). The best rule of thumb regarding content is to create compelling, informative and informational content from scratch, which will appease the Google Gods in this particular area.
An important part of boosting overall traffic and notoriety for a website is to garner backlinks from other websites and blogs. Essentially, backlinks help Google determine how valuable and informative said content is to a given set of search results or niches. Due to the fact that many learned how to abuse this metric, Google now factors in backlink quality based on the type of site that is issuing it. If less than reputable websites or blogs are pinging search engines with backlinks to your website, then this could be a problem with respect to performance in SERPs. Google’s Disavow Tool can be quite useful in disavowing links from problematic websites that have linked to you without permission. By taking inventory of your current backlinks and assessing each website’s quality, you can be sure to act in the appropriate way in each potential instance.
Up until recently, site security was not a major factor in Google ranking algorithms – if one at all. However, the past year has seen announcements from Google that explain in great detail how overall website security is impacting rankings for websites and blogs. The detection of potential loopholes in your site structure, outdated versions of content management systems such as WordPress, and even the lack of secure certificates (a late-breaking development we will be covering later this week) can affect which SERPs you’ll be visible in and whether you’ll be visible at all. By installing security measures, updating certificates and automatically updating to the latest version of any plug-in, platform or theme software as soon as it becomes available, you’ll be in better standing with Google.