8 Proven Ways To Improve Google SEO and Avoid Penalties
Want to rank high on Google and avoid penalties all at once? In all honesty, this is a delicate balance that needs to be approached with great caution. It is not uncommon to see site owners attempting to flex their SEO muscles and without knowing it, get a penalty from Google. In a heroic effort to improve their site rankings, they wind up stepping over the red line and suffer greatly for it.
Fortunately, Google is very clear about which SEO actions warrant penalties and the specific actions to be taken in case of violations. In this guide, we explain 8 proven ways to improve your SEO and in turn, avoid penalties.
1. Develop Quality Content Consistently
You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” a thousand times already. In the current search world, content marketing simply works, no doubt about that. However, people forget that creating good content is a continuous process that doesn’t stop at one point but takes daily work. Aim at producing the very best writing humanly possible—complete with visuals and videos—for better user engagement. While you are at it, avoid duplicating content as this will instantly get you in trouble with Google.
2. Use Keywords Appropriately
While content is king, remember your choice of keywords also plays a very important part of your SEO. Many site owners do the keyword thing wrong most of the time. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using keywords on your site/blog:
- Long-tail keywords are more effective than short-tail keywords
- Don’t overuse the keywords regardless of how appropriate they are
- Maintain a healthy keyword ratio. You can attract a penalty from Google if you throw a keyword in every single sentence of your text. This is what’s referred to as keyword stuffing.
3. Perform A Regular Content Audit
The only way you can know if your content is in compliance with Google regulations is performing a content audit from time to time. Contrary to common belief, this is not a complicated matter. Begin by learning Google’s guidelines then use this knowledge to create high-quality content, use keywords appropriately, and tag all your images, etc.
4. Increase Your Website’s Speed
The speed of your webpage also determines how effective your SEO game is. Never underestimate the power of a website that loads fast. Users are growing increasingly impatient by the day. Avoid using large videos, uncompressed images, and plenty of ads that slow down your site. Search engines have a high affinity for fast-loading websites. Site speed has been a well-known ranking factor for the past 6 years or so and has been included in the last couple of year’s core algorithm updates.
5. Use Natural Links
If you’ve been in the SEO game for a while now, you know that some site owners buy previous blog network links as a way of improving their rankings. It is a deadly black hat SEO practice that might earn you a red mark from Google. Paid links have a way of looking unnatural no matter how well they are placed. Google has a way of sniffing out these kinds of links and making the websites suffer for it. If you get a penalty for using sold links, it will be a while before you get back on the search results. Utilize quality links that are related to your niche industry.
6. Follow The Rules
Back in the day, site owners could get away with a few SEO gimmicks. Not anymore. Google has a blueprint of how the SEO world works. There are rules for everything and if you do, as they say, you’ll be fine. The opposite is also true. Take some time and go through Google’s rulebook and pay close attention to all illicit practices that may get you penalized.
7. Perform A Link Profile Audit
One of the things Google checks when ranking websites is the quality of their link profiles. Simply put, a link profile is a list of links used in websites. The algorithm places your site based on the quality and source of your links and the anchor text utilized in the text. You can generate a list of your links using Google Webmaster tools then work towards cleaning it up to avoid a penalty.
8. Keep Abreast With Algorithm Updates
You cannot know if you have violated a rule unless you know what the rule is in the first place. The best thing to do is to keep tabs on the changing algorithms and adjust accordingly.
Improving your SEO is one thing, avoiding Google penalties is another. As you work tirelessly to optimize your website on Google, watch out for the things that may get you penalized from the search giant. Recovering from these things is a real challenge and a specialty of Premier SEO Ninjas.
Please contact us if you need help with a content audit or recovering from a penalty.