How to Avoid Google Ranking Penalties with Your Content

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How to Avoid Google Ranking Penalties with Your Content

July 23, 2018

The content on your website is more than 50% of what determines whether you will rank high on search engines or not. Learning what to do and what to avoid is crucial to the success of your SEO. 


Since 2010, Google has released various algorithms that monitor all the web pages on the internet and their content. The most significant ones are Panda and Penguin. Penguin, in particular, can bring heavy penalties to your website if your content is found to breach one or more of the official Google optimisation guidelines. What are heavy penalties? Well, there are no direct monetary fines, if that's what you are asking, but your website can be penalised by dropping 10 to 100 positions on the search engines. So, imagine one day you were on the first page of Google, then you got a penalty and you are now on page 86. Obviously, your organic traffic will drop significantly, because people won't find you, looking for specific keywords. In the worst case scenario, your website can be completely unlisted from the search results. 


None of the above possibilities is good for business. If you want to be successful in online retailing and popularising your brand, you need to learn how to avoid Google ranking penalties. 




#1. Do not over-optimise your content!


Overly optimised content is easily detected by Google Penguin. The algorithm update was released specifically to combat the misuse of keywords. In the past, SEO professionals used to stuff pages with as many keywords as possible. Before Penguin came into force, this tactic was really working. However, it's been a long time since it is no more the case. 


Google's official guideline for keyword density (how many times you use keywords on your page text body) for 2018 is between 1% and 2.5%. So, if you have a 600-word article and your keyword appears 20 times in the text, you are asking for a penalty. 


Overly-optimised anchor text leading to your website can also be a cause for your web page, or even the whole website to be penalised. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about backlinks, guest posting and anchor text. If you missed it or need to refresh your memory, here's the article about link building. Whenever, you agree with someone to exchange links, keep in mind that it's good to have optimised anchor text, but it must not exceed 20% of all of your backlinks.