These days, most people find their information online before purchasing a product or choosing a service. The majority of this information can be found through search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
These search engines strive to provide the best results for their users, so they use complicated algorithms that detect which content is most relevant to a user based on their search query. Generally, you can show up in these results by providing useful, relevant content that is optimized to be found by search engines. However, some people try to cheat the system, so these search engines have to penalize websites for foul tactics in trying to lure in visitors.
What can get your site penalized?
Understanding bad SEO tactics (known as black-hat SEO) can help you know what to avoid, so you don’t receive a penalty and lose your search engine ranking. Black-hat SEO tactics that can earn you a penalty include:
- Stuffing keywords in content
- Hiding text and links
- Duplicating content
- Cloaking — different content on your page rather than what your title and SEO suggests
- Buying links
Generally, if the tactic is dishonest or deceptive, it will earn your site a penalty. Search engines are good at catching these tactics. Sometimes, they’re too good, and honest people receive a penalty for an honest mistake. If this happens to you, don’t worry, there’s a solution.
Overcoming a search engine penalty
Since Google is the largest search engine in the world, we’ll use it as an example. Regularly check your Google Search Console to monitor site performance and to view alerts of penalties or errors. If you do have a penalty, you can see exactly what it is that got you flagged for one.
Just like a football player keeps his head in the game after receiving a flag for an error, marketers must do the same. Fix the error that caused you to flagged and submit a ticket or review. New Google algorithms are capable of detecting when the error has been fixed and can remove the penalty, but sometimes a human has to review the correction to manually remove the penalty.
Either way, Google knows that mistakes happen and is quick to remove penalties when an error has been fixed. Consistent errors and penalties though may result in a long-term penalty or permanent loss of position in search engine results.
Contact Burg & Co. Marketing about maintaining your SEO strategy
The marketing experts at Burg & Co. Marketing use only good SEO tactics (known as white-hat SEO) to improve your web presence and attract more visitors and leads. Contact us today to learn how we can help you develop an SEO strategy that won’t see your site riddled with penalties.