Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a huge and relevant part of any online marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many businesses do it incorrectly and end up with a search engine penalty, or SEO penalty.
It’s not easy to know when you’re violating Google’s guidelines, which is why it can be so counterproductive. Therefore, you need to be aware of a few common SEO penalties, such as the thin content penalty, or the user-generated spam penalty.
It’s important to note that every site is different, and the violations may vary depending on your specific situation. Here’s everything you need to know about SEO penalties.
What’s an SEO Penalty?
An SEO penalty is when a website’s search engine ranking drops because it has violated Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. There are many reasons why this may happen. However, doing SEO properly takes time and effort, but it’ll eventually pay off.
Most Common SEO Penalties
There are many common SEO penalties that businesses can incur. Here are the most common ones:
1. Unnatural Links Penalty
This penalty is when Google detects any unnatural links pointing to your website. This can result from buying links, participating in link schemes, or spamming blog comments with links. If Google catches you, your site’s ranking will drop, and it may even be removed from search results altogether.
2. User-Generated Spam
User-generated spam implies that your website’s users are spammers. In Google’s opinion, you’re still responsible for cleaning up after this chaos. If spam shows up on your forum pages, guestbook pages, blog article comments, or any other parts of your website where it may appear, you must watch out for it.
In other words, this doesn’t imply that you’re a spammer if you’ve gotten a User-Generated Spam penalty, but your site’s users are. To Google’s thinking, the responsibility for cleaning up is on your end.
3. Hacked Site
If your website is hacked, Google may remove it from search results altogether. This can be a very serious penalty and can result in a significant loss of traffic and revenue. If you’re unsure about your site’s safety against hackers, be sure to take action immediately. An SEO company can help you solve this.
4. Thin Content
A Thin Content Penalty means that Google has detected a low number of original words on your pages. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have nothing to say, but it suggests that many words are repeated or copied from other websites. You will need to find ways to add unique content to avoid this penalty.
Avoid SEO Penalties With Hite Digital Atlanta
Hite Digital Atlanta is the way to go if you’re looking for an Atlanta SEO company. As an SEO company, we know the ins and outs of Google’s guidelines, especially when it comes to organic performance or search results, and can help you avoid any potential SEO penalties. Contact us today for a free consultation.