In every Google’s algorithm updates large numbers of sites are penalized and marketers remain in a tense that their websites could be in next Google hit list. But, if you are performing SEO correctly and abiding by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines performing white-hat SEO strategies, there is no need to worry about future updates.
According to Moz’s Algorithm update page, there have been 67 updates since 2012, affecting an average of 1% of sites per update. It means roughly 8 million sites have experienced serious ranking drops, fluctuation, or improvements over the years (considering 800 million websites in the web).
Penalty on websites creates adverse effects on sale, ranking, and other aspects of the company. It is essential to optimize website according to guidelines of Google to prevent penalty in advance. Below are some do’s and don’ts to ensure your website is safe from an SEO penalty in future algorithm updates.
Let us first look at the Do’s:
- Sticks To Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
Following the guidelines of Google webmaster should be an obvious choice for website willing to rank higher in a search result. But, Google guidelines are sometimes ambiguous and hard to implement in SEO strategy leading to confusion. Before implementing a technique in your website make sure to run it in Google Webmaster tool to see if any fault is there. If there is any fault, the webmaster will provide guidelines for correction and go for it. Anything that violates the guidelines is not worth doing as it leads to penalty later.
- Clean Everything In Webmaster Toolsets
This is another important point to remember if you really want to rank well in Google search engine. Google may send a message for HTML improvement, crawling errors, or recommend submitting your XML sitemap, do it straight away. Remember any red flags, errors, or alarms in the toolsets need to be fixed quickly.
- Provide Quality Content To Users
Google first priority is to deliver a quality result to visitors. This is why website containing quality and trusted contents are shown to satisfy visitor wants and come back again in the future. So, the goal of your site is to impress users first and then think of increase sale of products or services. Think about users intentions and information searched by them regarding your product or services to keep on websites. Contents present in pages should be able to answer the question looking by the visitors adequately. Adopting users’ first strategy helps in improving website performance in the Google search engine.
- Improve Your Analytic Data
Google track users’ activities in websites and provide favour accordingly in a search engine. It tracks how many websites are visited by a user before landing in your site, how long it stays and exit or how many sites it visit after going from your website. In this way, it determines the quality of content present in a website, whether it is good or worse than others.
Higher bounce rate, one or two pages surfed or engagement time is low and other metrics tells that your website is of lower quality. It means engaging visitor longer or surfing more pages on a website is extremely essential for website growth to increase website quality. During on-page SEO, don’t waste all your efforts into keyword placement. Develop ways to sticks users longer on a website and want to return by improving your overall website.
- Recognize Common Factors In Previous Updates
The popular updates came from Google are Panda, Local Packs, Penguins, Hummingbird, etc. These updates are generally updates to an already established algorithm as Panda targeting low-quality contents, Penguin targeting spammy link, etc. It is already clear what each of these updates is targeting. Over the years, Google has released numerous updates in the algorithm. It can be because the giant formula needed improvement or because the grey hat forces compel to do so manipulating ranking for their benefits.
But, if you have raised link building quality bar and stopped getting spammy links or removed the questionable links, you needn’t worry about the Penguin updates. In short, if you are focusing on the above Do’s you are probably safe from the huge Panda attack. But, websites having questionable links and still amassing links from low-quality sites will suffer.
- Aim To Be Best In Your Niche
The top 10 results found in Google result are considered the best in their niche. Earlier, it was possible to manipulate ranking of search result but Google’s algorithm has now become sophisticated and can’t be fooled. You need to work really hard giving best to achieve this ranking if not today you will get that reward tomorrow.
Look at the top ranking sites to find out their layouts, sites offerings, what they offer to users, trust indicators, testimonials, pictures, pricing, etc to utilize in building your website better. Optimize your website according to global standard prescribe by experts to be best in your niche.
Here are some Don’ts that need to be avoided by websites:
- Don’t Obtain Links From Questionable Sites
Obtaining links from questionable sites lead to a penalty in a website from Google. It has provided guidelines to obtain links from a higher quality website related to your niche that can uplift your ranking in search result. Raise the bar of quality in link building and should be made with only those having more traffic, social signals, and other quality metrics like trust flow, citation flow, domain authority, etc. If you don’t find the website helpful in increasing the ranking of your website avoid creating links especially, if not relevant to your niche.
- Don’t Create Pages To Deceive Bots
A common practice used by marketers is creating pages for different cities or regions to target the potential customers separately. It is good to have a separate page according to regions or cities but should contain separate and unique contents to reap benefits. Problems arise when the same content is used in different pages targeting different regions or cities created in the website for SEO purposes. This practice is not to update proof and brings penalty in the website. Another blunder committed in the website is using the same description for hundreds of completely different products. It takes time and money in writing quality product description but really worth as it will be updated proof and bring rewards later.
- Don’t Over Optimize Your Website
Always avoid over-optimizing your website. Don’t put too much effort in meeting exact keywords densities and keeping the phrase in best places of your web pages. Though placing the relevant phrases in the right places brings reward but you need to do it naturally.
- A Mix of Both Do’s And Don’t
Always get social signals from real users on the website. Contents in website getting likes, shares, tweets, etc are good indicators to Google that your website is liked and trusted by the visitors.
But, don’t buy social signals like followers, likes, fans, videos views, etc as it will ultimately lead to the penalty. This is because these things will be covered in the future updates coming in Google. So, it is better to put all the money supposed to be used in buying social signals, in creating efforts that are liked by the social world.
It is also expected that future algorithm will take into account referral traffic, past-site visits while trying to determine followers and contents. Hence, it is essential to be ready for would be changed to get success in SEO.
After reviewing the lists, now you can determine how safe your website is. Did you follow the standard Google guidelines or using grey-hat techniques that violate rules but not yet detrimental?
Make sure to follow these 10 useful tips in optimizing to make website penalty proof from future updates. It is not difficult to follow the guidelines of search engines as people think. Instead of wasting money in trying to find ways to cheat search engines to rank higher in a search result, invest your money in creating advanced SEO techniques following the rules to achieve ranking leading to success in marketing.