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How To Steer Clear Of Search Engine Penalties

Millions of people everyday use search engines to help in their search for particular information.  This is at the center of the concept of search engine optimization or SEO.  It is an internet marketing strategy that has been proven effective by many businesses.  

There are many ways to make a web page attract favorable ratings or rankings and to appear in the first pages of search results.  Companies that engage in internet marketing recognize the importance of being ranked favorably.  This would mean added traffic to a company website and, consequently, possible business deals.

Most businesses combine various SEO strategies for their internet marketing campaign.  However, there are certain tactics that needs to be avoided. Improper search engine optimization strategies are usually given penalties that range from light to serious penalties.   You may find your website plummet from its current ranking or you may be banned for a period of time.  This, needless to say, is bad for business.

To steer clear of search engine penalties, here are some of the things you need to remember.

  • Keep Your Web Content Original.  Aside from avoiding search engine penalties, ensuring the originality of your web content is a big plus for viewers.  Keeping your content fresh and original will help you create your website’s identity and will help you build a following.
  • Avoid plagiarism at all cost.  Plagiarism is a big no-no where you use another person’s work without giving credit or when you claim it as your own.  A penalty could result even with a single copied sentence from another source.  There are various online tools nowadays that can be used to check whether a particular work is plagiarized or not.

Also, be wary of duplicate content as you can get penalized too.  If you really can’t do away with it, if it is that necessary, you can add the tag “rel=canonical” to the site that contains duplicate content.  Many search engines give consideration for a “canonical” tag.

  • Is Anything In There? Does your page have hidden content? Using hidden content is a technique used by some websites to get higher ranking for keywords.  This is usually done by using the same color or blending the text with the background.  This is one of the common reasons why a site gets penalized.  If you want to elevate, instead of sliding down, your ranking, avoid including hidden text in your site.

Also, stay away from cloaking.  It is a trick done where the content presented to search engines is different that what can be seen.  This also merits a penalty and your ranking is usually dropped if you are found guilty of this misdemeanor.

  • Don’t Overdo It.  Keyword-rich content is a good thing if you aspire for higher page rankings.   When correctly used, the use of relevant keywords in your site helps not only search engines but also users in determining the value of your web page.  A penalty usually results when you forget to rein in your site’s keyword density.

This excessive use and repetition of keywords is a tactic used to mislead the crawlers of search engines in the effort to improve ranking.  There will be web site owners who are not aware that too much keyword density is something that they could get penalized for.  Always bear in mind that to avoid penalties and to help your page climb up the search ladder, ensure that your keywords comprise 5%, at the most, of your content.

  • A Few Links At A Time.  Avoid including a lot of links in your site as it can be considered a link farm and be penalized for it.  This is especially true if the influx of links is sudden.  You could get flagged, and ultimately, penalized.

Link building is a cornerstone of the principle of search engine optimization but this process should be organic and gradual.  Search engine companies have ways of knowing whether the links in your sites were artificially generated or not.

You should also avoid linking to banned websites.  Aside from search engines reducing the importance of your site, being linked to a banned site may also not sit well with the people who visits your site.

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