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15 things that Google will penalise you for – Part 2

Following on from our last blog, we are looking at points 9 to 15 of things that can cause SEO penalties and lower rankings.

How your website's visibilty on Google can be affected by penalties

 

9. Website downtime

If your website is down for too long, too often, it’s possible that you’ll incur a search engine penalty, as these regular absences demonstrate that your site isn’t doing its best to serve its visitors.

10. Duplicated content

While you won’t be penalised directly for posting duplicate content (as this would put the entire press industry out of business), you risk having your web pages filtered out of the SERPs (search engine ranking pages) in favour of the original content copies. Replace any instances of duplicate content on your website with unique articles to ensure a high ranking.

11. Advertising space

If you choose to include paid advertisements on your website make sure that they don’t take up too much of your website – especially above the fold. Google has explicitly stated that doing so could result in penalties.

12. Meta tag keyword stuffing

Most of us have heard about this one but it remains important. Whilst it won’t hurt to include a few keywords in your websites meta tags, don’t stuff in a loads. Doing so is a clear indication that you’re engaging in manipulative SEO.

13. Multiple H1 tags

Because H1 tags confer a small SEO benefit, some webmasters have seen modest ranking improvements by including several of these headline tags on each page of their websites. However, this is easily detected by the search engines and is best avoided if you want to remain penalty free.

14. Cloaked and Doorway pages

All of the pages on your website should be open and accessible to the search engines. Because hiding pages through the use of cloaks goes against this, it’s a quick way to guarantee a penalty if these pages are ever detected on your site.

Similarly, making use of doorway pages which cause the search engines to see different content than what’s made available to visitors is a well-known, well-established way to bring about search engine penalties on your site.

15. Hidden or manipulative content

This penalty clause is pretty widely known, but just in case you haven’t heard it – pasting hidden content to your website that’s the same colour as your site’s background isn’t a legitimate way to improve your SEO!

Don’t forget that things change all the time in the SEO world. In order to keep your site safe in the long run it’s important to stay up-to-date on search engine changes as they occur and to adjust your own SEO techniques accordingly. For more information on Google penalties and how to avoid them please contact us.