Google may seem mean and like a big bully when they penalize a blog. However, they want to provide the most relevant search results for those using Google. This means, they have to put some quality standards into effect.
Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for marketing is a great way to drive targeted traffic to your blog. However, it’s not the easiest marketing technique and the wrong moves may have you penalized by Google. Here are five tips to help ensure you don’t see your blog disappear from Google.
High Quality, Usable Content
Google rewards blogs providing excellent content the reader can actually use. If you want to stay out of the Google dog house, make sure you never copy content or provide duplicate content.
Instead, create high quality, usable content for your audience. Make sure you deliver the promises the title makes and make sure the content goes into detail about the subject. If possible, provide action steps for the reader and don’t be afraid to link to authority websites as data references.
Use an Excellent Hosting Company
It may not seem like your hosting company should have much effect on your SEO, but it does. Google rewards blogs with fast load times and a good hosting company will consistently provide the fastest possible load times.
You may not get penalized if your cheap business hosting company has an issue with downtime or slow load times, but you won’t rank very well, either. However, if you end up on a server with spammy websites or those considered “bad neighborhood” websites, you could find yourself penalized. This only happens with the cheapest hosting companies and it won’t happen when you chose the best blog hosting.
Avoid Building Backlinks with Guest Blog Posts
Guest blog posts are great for connecting with other bloggers, gaining traffic from their blogs and building your brand. However, many backlinking strategies based around guest blog posting have become very spammy. This has caused Google to come down hard on blogs using guest posting specifically for building backlinks.
A few ways to continue guest blogging without causing a penalty include:
- Avoid guest posting on any irrelevant websites.
- Keep your link profile diverse and only allow 20% to 25% of your links to come from guest blogging.
- Use contextual links instead of author bio links. Google gives contextual links far more weight.
The best way to keep Google from penalizing you for guest blog posts is to use them specifically for branding and not for backlink building.
Eliminate All Low Quality Links
Any blog with a large number of spammy and low quality links will become penalized. The Google algorithms don’t like spammy and low quality links and they will drop your ranking if you have too many of these.
You can use the Google Webmaster Tools to find out which links you should be eliminating. Every few months, use these tools to download a current list of your links and use the disavow tool to remove any low quality or spammy links.
Use a Responsive Design
Mobile search has exploded over the past few years, so naturally, Google puts an emphasis on sites with a solid mobile version. A responsive design will provide you with a far better option for mobile users and Google will actually reward you for it.
If you want to keep your blog from getting penalized by Google, the best thing you can do is build everything naturally. Provide original, high quality content and let the backlinks build naturally. This may take longer, but it will keep you from ever getting penalized by Google.