The Most Common Types of Google Penalties
Reaching target audiences requires a lot of consideration, planning and execution. With so many ways in which to do so today, brands, blogs and businesses alike have to weigh their options. Whether they choose to embrace organic forms of marketing, paid advertising efforts or a combination thereof, it is undeniable that search engines play a pivotal role in this outreach.
Specifically for SEO-related endeavors, knowing which strategies pay dividends, which do not and which can outright harm long-term efforts is essential. For Google specifically, there are an array of penalties that brands can incur if they utilize various tenets of SEO in the wrong manner.
As such, we’ll be examining the most common types of penalties that Google assigns to websites and pages it finds to be unsatisfactory in this regard.
There are a variety of reasons for utilizing redirects for one or more pages. From ensuring dead or moved pages redirect to their proper alternatives to minimizing bounce rates for broken links, redirects can be used to help improve user experience and have a proper place within the SEO toolbox. However, there are some unscrupulous methods of redirecting traffic that Google frowns upon greatly.
Perhaps the two biggest examples of these involve redirecting users to entirely different pages than what are listed in search results and redirecting mobile users to different pages for the purposes of circumventing mobile-first indexing. Ultimately, pinging to Google one set of links but redirecting users to another will be discovered and such penalties can dramatically reduce your site’s visibility in search results.
While building links remains a vital component of any broader SEO effort, it is all too often viewed as a panacea of sorts. Because of this, some brands will adopt various strategies regarding links that can be considered abusive by Google and other search engines. If detected, these practices can result in one or more powerful penalties.
It is best to think about links in two broader categories: links pointing to your website and links pointing from your website to others. For links that are built, generated or that otherwise exist elsewhere, Google Search Console offers an easy way to disavow links that might result in penalties. For links on your own website, removing the links or attributing them as nofollow can pave the way for such penalties to be removed.
Thin or Irrelevant Content
One of Google’s biggest concerns when deciding which pages to rank in search results is the overall value of the content offered. Many pages naturally possess little to no content that offers unique or descriptive value: this is unavoidable, but also not the types of pages you want to be trying to rank.
Even for less detailed pages, ensuring as much relevant information as possible is pinging to Google should be the goal. Pages with thin content can accumulate penalties if the content in question is perceived as being low-quality, duplicated or otherwise irrelevant to audiences.
Keep these three common types of penalties in mind when performing various SEO tasks. By avoiding these pitfalls, your brand can minimize the chances of angering the Google Gods and continue to climb the ranks of select SERPs.