SEO

HOW TO AVOID GOOGLE SEO PENALTIES?

avoid google

The SEO is essential to ensure the visibility of your website. Google regularly updates its algorithms, which can increase or decrease your visibility.

Before explaining to you how to avoid Google penalties, it is important to differentiate between the two types of “penalties” that you may encounter:

  • For a long time Google has implemented automatic actions linked to updates. The best known are Penguin and Panda. These penalizing actions do not directly target your site, but rather target the lack of SEO optimization. In this case, we are not talking about a penalty per se.
  • But you can also face manual penalties for actions directed at your site. They are directly linked to a practice or presence of an optimization contrary to Google’s rules .

Sites that adopt good SEO practices are generally rewarded with better positioning in the SERPs. And conversely, Google does not hesitate to sanction sites that adopt “dubious” SEO practices.

Also, it is important for website owners to keep in mind the risks associated with Google penalties and to know how to guard against them. Indeed, a Google penalty can jeopardize the SEO efforts undertaken on your site and directly impact the economic results of the company.

In this article, we explain how to spot a Google penalty, how to avoid it by adopting SEO best practices, and how to get out of it if Google has already sanctioned you.

WHAT IS A GOOGLE PENALTY?

QUICK DEFINITION

Google penalty = 1 sanction taken by Google towards a site for non-compliance with good SEO practices.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF GOOGLE PENALTIES

  • manual penalties : applied by a member of Google’s quality teams for non-compliance with the rules of good conduct (generally abuse of outgoing or artificial inbound links)
  • Algorithmic penalties  : automatic penalties due to Google filters => 2 main categories: penalty on the quality of the content (low quality content or duplicate content) or penalty on the links (suspect link policy => too many links or inconsistent links with the purpose of the site, …)

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF A GOOGLE PENALTY?

  • In terms of visibility: you lose your positioning on the keywords worked.
  •  Your Google positioning drops sharply (downgrading),
  • In terms of indexing: some of the pages are no longer indexed by Google (ex: in case of duplicate content),
  •  Your site has disappeared, no longer appears in the Google index,

When the penalty is algorithmic, you are not warned directly by Google. You just have to listen to the world of SEO because:

  • Either it is the SEOs who complain about it on social networks or in a blog,
  • or Google officially communicates about this update.

On the most severe penalties, there is a sudden drop in your traffic which will quickly put you on the hook.

Only the manual penalty generates a message from Google in your Google Search Console . The GSC also allows you to check other indicators to identify a possible penalty: the indexing status of your website or the positions on your keywords.

The effects of a Google penalty are devastating in terms of SEO, visibility and economic performance.
It is therefore better to prevent than to cure and adopt the practices to avoid this kind of misadventures.

HOW TO AVOID GOOGLE PENALTIES?

To put it simply, Google first sanctions bad practices ( black hat SEO ) by triggering manual penalties. Then, on keyword abuse in texts, duplication of content or CTA buttons, the penalties are rather algorithmic with a more gradual drop. Conversely, it rewards good practices (white hat SEO ). We must therefore identify the risk factors and work in line with Google recommendations (even if they are not always officially formalized!)

avoid google illustration

PRACTICES TO BE BANNED TO AVOID A GOOGLE PENALTY

  • Artificial links (Google Penguin): too many poor quality links,
  • Non-natural content (Google Panda): over-optimization of pages, keyword stuffing, etc.
  • Duplication of content
  • Cloaking = presenting different content to internet users and search engines
  • Overuse of advertising above the waterline (Google Top Heavy)
  • The promotion of non-free media content (Google Pirate)
  • Etc.

ADOPT SEO PRACTICES RECOMMENDED BY GOOGLE

IN TERMS OF CONTENT

  • Define a clear and coherent editorial line,
  • Create unique content, responding to visitors’ issues,
  • Do not use keywords in an abusive and unnatural way
  • Avoid automatically generated content,
  • Limit ads or CTA buttons.

IN TERMS OF NETLINKING

  • Avoid link purchases,
  • Limit the amount of links on each page,
  • Favor inbound and outbound links with sites sharing a thematic consistency with yours,
  • Vary the link anchors,
  • Make sure to obtain links continuously over time (a large number of links in a very short time seems suspect for Google),
  • Disavow toxic ties.

THE TECHNIQUE

  • Have an optimal mobile version,
  • Limit the use of link obfuscation,
  • Avoid the use of black hat technique: Cloaking, Hidden content….

We’ve just figured out how to avoid a Google penalty, but what if it’s already too late?
Here are our tips for getting out of a penalty.

HOW TO GET OUT OF A GOOGLE PENALTY?

HOW LONG IS A GOOGLE PENALTY?

The lifting of a penalty is rapid as soon as the problem is resolved and as soon as the changes are noted:

  • 7 to 10 days on average on a manual penalty,
  • 2 to 3 weeks on average for a Penguin-type penalty,
  • 1 month for content.

For the rest, it depends on you, on your ability to precisely identify the causes of the penalty and to remedy them.

WHAT ACTIONS TO TAKE TO GET OUT OF THE PENALTY?

  • For manual penalties , Google notifies you of the penalty via the Google Search Console and indicates the actions to be taken. Once the changes are made, you can request a review of your site.
  • Regarding algorithmic penalties , it is necessary to identify the penalty and its cause. For this, you must perform a specific SEO audit.

Do not hesitate to work on your content if it is a Google Panda penalty .

If it is a Google Penguin penalty , it is necessary to analyze the entire Netlinking strategy since the birth of the site. For this, you can use a dedicated tool to spot toxic links, inconsistent with your theme or from unreliable sites.

It is also possible to be the victim of a toxic link attack executed by one of your competitors.

IN CONCLUSION

Getting out of a penalty can take time and require specific skills. It is therefore preferable to adopt the best practices in terms of content and netlinking upstream to avoid any Google penalty.

If Google sanctions you, a more in-depth SEO audit is essential to identify the causes of the penalty and remedy it. However, time is running out, because a fall in SEO impacts your business. To get by with peace of mind, call on SEO experts .

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