Is your website not appearing in Google or has suddenly gone down, and you are not sure why? Then it’s possible that your site has been devalued or penalized for not following Google’s webmaster guidelines. This Post will coverup some checklist which can help you identify the root cause of the Google Penalty:
Let’s move to the Google Penalty checklists:
- Banned websites links
Check all outbound links from your site to see if you are linking to any sites which have themselves been Google banned. You can the details of all your outbound links from Google Webmaster Tool. These will be sites which are Google de-listed and show 0 PageRank with a grey out Toolbar Page Rank indicator.
- Bad neighborhoods Linking
Run a test you on the backlinks and check if you are not linking to any bad neighborhoods, link farms or doorway pages. Bad neighborhoods include spam sites and doorway pages, whilst link farms are just pages of links to other sites having no original or quality content.
If in doubt, we recommend quality checking all of your outbound links to external sites using the Bad Neighborhood detection tool. Even as this SEO tool isn’t perfect, it may spot those “problem sites”. Another good stuff is to do a Google search for the homepage title (Title that appears on the Browser Top) of sites that you link to. If the sites don’t rank in the top 30 of the Google search result, then they are almost certainly low trust domains and linking to them should be avoided.
- Automated query penalty
Google sometimes penalizes due to excessive use of automated query tools which uses Google’s API, particularly when such queries are made from the same IP address that hosts your website. These tools avoids Google’s terms of service. Google allows certain automated queries into its database using its analytic tools and when accessing through a registered Google API account. Unauthorized types of automated query can cause problems, particularly when it is used excessively from a single IP address.
- Bad SEO techniques
Google penalizes a website due to utilizing bad SEO techniques such as aggressive link building using the same keywords again and again in link anchor text. That’s why make sure that whenever you are managing link building campaigns. always vary the link anchor text used and incorporate a variety of different keyword terms. Optimizing for high paying keywords like “Viagra” can further elevate risk, so mix in some long tail keywords along with it. For new domains, it is strictly advisable that create no more than 5 new one way backlinks a week and use deep linking to website internal pages, rather than just homepage link building.
- Website site wide cross linking & link schemes
If you are running more than one website and the Google penalty hits all sites at the same time, check the inter-linking between those sites. Extensive inter-linking of websites, particularly if they are on the same C Class IP address (same ISP) can be viewed as “link schemes” by Google which breaks their set of guidelines. The risks are even higher where site A site wide links to site B and site B site wide links back to site A. If you must use site wide links, make sure they are not reciprocal links. Link schemes built around links in the footer of each webpage are particularly risky. The reality is that site wide links do little to increase site visibility in the Google SERPS, nor do they improve Page Rank more than a single link, as Google only counts one link from a site to another. Gabblet also believe that Yahoo! and Bing now follows a similar policy. There is some evidence that the extensive use of site-wide links can lower website Google trust value, which can subsequently reduce website ranking.
- Hidden or tiny text or links
Completely remove any hidden text in your content and remove any hidden keywords. Such content may be hidden from view using CSS or alternatively, text may have been coded to be the same colour as the page background, rendering it invisible or the font size of the content is too low that it seems invisible. These risky SEO techniques often lead to a Google penalty or website ban and should be removed immediately. The same rule applies to hidden links, which Matt Cutts has openly stated break their webmaster guidelines.
- Extensive keyword stuffing aka (Keywords Spamming)
Remove excessive keyword stuffing and abnormal repetitions of keywords in your website content. Always use natural and well written web copywriting techniques.
- Automated page redirects
- Link buying or selling
Check for any paid text or banner links. There is some evidence that buying links can hurt rankings and this was implied by comments from Matt Cutts (a Google engineer) on his Google SEO blog. Cutts states that Google will also devaluate links from website selling text or banner links, such that they offer zero value to the recipient in terms for improving website rankings or Page Rank. They should use “nofollow” attribute in case they are selling text or banner advertisement. More recently, Google applied a Page Rank penalty to known link sellers and many low quality directories.
- Reciprocal link building campaigns
Excessive reciprocal linking may trigger a Google penalty or cause the Google search result filter to be applied when the same or very similar link anchor text is used again and again and huge numbers of reciprocal links are added in a relatively short time hitting the same keyword.
The risks are made worse by adding reciprocal links to low quality sites or websites which doesn’t matches to the website theme. This can lead to a backlink over optimization penalty (aka BLOOP). A Google Backlink Over Optimization Penalty causes a sudden drops in SERPS ranking. To stay away from this problem, reciprocal link exchange should only be used as part of a more sustainable SEO strategy which also builds quality one way links to original website content.
Adding reciprocal links to un-theme sites is a risky SEO strategy, as is reciprocal link exchange with low quality websites. To help identify quality link exchange partners we use a simple but effective test – regardless of indicated Google PageRank, if you can’t find a website’s homepage in the top 30 of the Google search results (SERPS) when you search for the site’s Title Tag (shown at the top of the Browser window) then undertaking reciprocal link exchange with that site may offer few advantages. Don’t forget to check that prospective reciprocal link partners website matches to your website theme or not.
- Low quality Affiliates and “Made for Adsense” websites
It is a well known fact that Google don’t like affiliate websites with almost no content and the same applies to website made to Adsense sites. Always make sure affiliate sites have quality original content if you don’t want to get them filtered out of the search results when someone completes a Google spam report.
- Duplicate Content RSS Feeds and use of IFrames
Content feeds (including RSS) are widely used on the web, there is some evidence that extracting large amounts of duplicate content through such feeds may have an adverse effect on ranking and in extreme cases may trigger a Google penalty. In particular, the use of Iframes to pull in affiliate content should be avoided where possible. Consider the use of banners and text links as an alternative.
- Check Google Webmaster Guidelines
Read the Google Webmaster Guidelines and check website compliance in all respects.
- Google Webmaster Tools
According to Google’s Matt Cutts Blog, Google is improving webmaster communication with respect to banned sites and penalties. Google is now informing some (but not all) webmasters the cause of a website ban or penalty, via their excellent new Webmaster Console. if you’ve been hit by a website ban or penalty, it is worthwhile signing up for Google Webmaster Tools and uploading an XML Sitemap onto your site and then to check site status in the Google Webmaster Tool.
- File a Google Reinclusion request
You can file a Google re-inclusion request to Google if you suspect that your website os penalized by Google. Matt Cuts has posted an excellent post on how to file a google a reinclusion request.