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What Is A Google Penalty?

There are a few things that can cause a Google Penalty, such as an intentional action from a Google employee or a change in algorithms. These changes can cause a drop in organic rankings in the Google search for your website. It’s not unusual to receive a Google Penalty, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you get hit by one.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE TYPES OF GOOGLE PENALTIES

The first type of Google Penalty is done manually by Google. You can check if you’ve been given a manual penalty by checking your notifications under Webmaster Tools. You may see something like “unnatural links” or a message similar to that.
The second type is created by an action taken in a change of algorithms. Being that this penalty is automated, it makes it harder to determine and requires a lot of analyzing and an in-depth investigation by people who know what they’re doing like our team here at The Click Depot.
Believe it or not, we’ve researched out of curiosity and have found that only about 20,000 web experts reach out to Google a month and request a reconsideration. That means that out of all the penalties given out on a monthly basis, only 5 percent of those penalized websites are actively trying to reclaim their rankings on Google.

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REASONS YOUR WEBSITE MAY GET ISSUED A PENALTY FROM GOOGLE:

1. More than necessary reciprocal links. Website owners used to swap links with other sites as a marketing strategy, but soon enough this tactic was being abused and is now penalized. Google may look at the high number of links as manipulation if many of your links have nothing to do with your industry.
2. Duplicated Content. Even though this is a common sense rule, it’s still seen a lot, and Google punishes it. For SEO, the ethic is only to publish original content that is practical and exclusive.
3. Faulty Sitemap Data. The XML sitemap is used by Google to understand your website’s architecture. You can get penalized by not having an accessible and updated sitemap.
4. An Excess Use of Keywords. The rules about keyword density are many and unclear. One thing that is certain is using too many keywords raises a red flag and Google will penalize the overuse.
5. Links that are Hidden. Whether you meant to hide a link or not, Google becomes suspicious and will penalize your website. Always make sure all of your links are visible.
6. Broken External Links. Google measures links to be a part of user experience. If you have broken links on your site, Google will take this as an intentional manner and will penalize your negligence. Always be sure to be aware of the functionality of your external links.
7. Slow Speed. Google measures your site’s speed, and they know when your website is slow. A slow site frustrates your visitors and gives off a bad user experience. There are many reasons why your site is slow which makes it difficult to pinpoint the actual problem and fix it on your own.

8. Errors with Robots.txt. You can use robots.txt files to block certain areas of your site. You may have a legitimate reason to exclude these areas if you don’t do it carefully, and with precaution, Google can penalize you for excessive blocks.
9. 302 Redirects for Rerouting. One option people have used against penalties is using a 301 redirect. The 301 Redirect can relocate the penalty, but the penalty can remain even after you delete the redirect.
10. Error Codes. You can get penalized for having 404 errors codes on your website. Google is all about giving users a great experience, and this code is incredibly frustrating for users. Fix any existing codes and prevent errors by continually scanning your website.
11. Getting Carried Away with SEO. Sure, SEO is vital for rankings, but unless you’re an SEO professional, just worry about delivering relevant content. Google can tell when you’re trying too hard and not being genuine. It could work against you instead of helping your rank.
12. Bad-Natured Backlinks. Just like in the real world, malicious people exist in the digital world, and they could set you up with ill-natured backlinks and get you penalized. You can avoid this type of penalty by staying vigilant and on the defense. Be sure to monitor your backlinks with Google Webmaster Tools.
13. Low-Quality Keywords. If you are overusing “low-quality” keywords too often on your website, Google can penalize you for it. Examples are “payday loans’ or “Viagra.” You should be extra careful if you work in an industry that is notorious for spamming.

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