A Google penalty is when Googles automated bots crawl through your site and spot that it is using underhanded or ‘black hat’ SEO tactics to try and increase your rankings. They then give you a virtual slap on the wrist, and knock you straight down the listing until you submit a reconsideration request (see video at the bottom of this page).
These techniques can be sometimes done by accident by yourself or our web designer, but more often than not are due to an SEO agency who either do not know what they are doing, or worse they are fully aware what they are doing to make quick cash.
So what should you be careful of?
1) Hide and Seek text
You or your web designer may have accidentally (hopefully not on purpose) include some hidden text throughout the website. Hidden text for example could be black text on a black background, or similar. Black hat SEO’s plant these on pages in the hope that search engines will pick up the text within the code and deem it relevant.
2) Backlinking bedlam
Links from relevant external websites do help rank your SEO when done properly. However we have seen a number of cases where websites have been penalised due to excessive backlinks. This is where an unexperienced or fraudulent SEO company uses bots to scurry across the web and place links to your site on any open blog post or guestbook going. We have even seen cases where respectable companies have had their links places on porn websites!. You will see initial great results from this method, however google can and will clock on! This can result in a severe penalty with your website taking a huge hit from the rankings. If you are unsure on where your back links are coming from then use our free SEO audit for help.
3) The cloak of invisibility
Cloaking is a black hat technique which shows a search engine different information to what the human see’s. This works by displaying content based on specific header or computer details of the user browsing the site. Although rarely used anymore, the purpose of cloaking is to deceive the search engines so they show a page that would not otherwise be displayed
4) Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing used to be quite effective until google cottoned on to this little trick. It is simply the method of packing your page full of keywords amongst other text, quite often keyword stuffed pages will make little or no sense to human eyes as they are written for search engines only. While it is true that including keywords on your site is necessary, these should be used naturally in content and not repetitively Where as keyword consistency and content accuracy is now of most importance, the way it should be
5) Stay in the loop!
If you are working with an SEO company then make sure they outline exactly what they will be working on from the beginning, in plain english without using technical terms to lure you into a false belief. Ensure you are getting monthly updates with exactly what they are working on. Also it is worth while building up a good relationship with them, that you can talk over the phone or have a dedicated SEO manager.
P.S : We concentrate on google as it now officially the most popular method for finding business, and also most other search engines replicate their search algorithms.