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How To Avoid Google SEO Penalties


Google has set out a lot of guidelines to help people make their websites more search engine friendly. Making your website more search engine friendly is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, some people try to manipulate the search engine in order to have their website ranked higher on the search engine. Google cannot stop people from doing this, but what they can do is punish websites that try to employ such tactics.

With this in mind, the people behind Google set up a bunch of rules. These rules revolve around the things you should not do when optimizing your website. If you try to manipulate the search engine then this is known as Black-Hat SEO. Here are some Black-Hat SEO techniques that you should avoid if you do not want to be punished by Google.

Duplicating the content of other websites

This involves plagiarizing the work of another website. If you take all (or part) of the content of another web page and place it on your web page, then that web page may be punished by Google. Google wants you to upload content that it unique/original. If you plagiarize the work of other people then you are breaking the law, and Google will start punishing websites.

However, contrary to popular belief, it may not be the plagiarizers’ website that is punished. Sometimes the website that uploaded the content first is punished for being the duplicator. Few people understand what criteria Google uses when it punishes websites that duplicate content, but what is known for sure, is that if two web pages have the same content, then one of them is going to suffer.

Spamming links onto comment sections

This can be done manually or with a spam bot. Most of the links will be blocked by the webmaster or blog master, and others will be deleted after the fact. However, some of them are going to remain on comment sections and will act as backlinks for your website. However, as soon as Google realizes what you are doing, it will start to punish your website for it.

Hiding pages on your website

This is done by installing JavaScript links, and can be done in order to hide Black-Hat activity from the search engine; such as a page that asks people to link to the website, or that offers payment for links to the website. Hiding a web page is known as cloaking a website page and will result in you being punished by Google.

Spamming keywords onto your website

This involves putting keywords into the content of your page for no reason other than to optimize for the search engine. You could do this by putting nothing but keywords in the ALT text of your images, or by listing keywords on your content, or creating anchor text for links that is just made up of keywords.

Cloaking keywords on a web page

This is the act of hiding lists of keywords on your website by making the text the same color as the background of the web page. That way the reader cannot see the keywords but the search engine crawler can.

Buying links from link farms

Link farms do not really exist anymore, but the idea is to buy links from a company. This is bad because Google want links to your website to be organic and not purchased. Therefore, Google will punish your website if it finds out that you have bought links from a company or a link farm. Google cannot stop people from selling links, but it can punish the websites that buy from them.


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    • Adesanmi Adedotun

      Something just cuaght my mind now and which is duplicaate content issue. Assuming a blog has a URL and which sounds not to be the same to Google and this needs to be corrected either from Google Webmaster tools or doing it manually but obsevred that doing this manually on a large number of pages can be really stressful and time consuming, I now want to ask if there is anyway forward that can be used to redirect one to the most preferrable one without any penalty and how can this be done?

      • Pradeep Kumar

        You can use Google Webmaster Tools to configure that, you can use www or non-www. But also, redirect www to non-www URL. Like we did our blog: redirects to πŸ™‚

    • Kamal Pandey

      Using the text color same as background color seems the best on the list :). It is true that people always have tried to be smarter and I don’t think this can be stopped but Search Engines needs to be smart enough to protect the reader constantly and check this type of practices. Its like check and balance.

    • Mark Ricky

      Regarding your last point on buying links from Link Farms certainly Google does penalize these sort of backlinking methods. But imagine a situation where I am going for Paid Links but I am nofollowing them. I am doing it just for traffic, in that case will Google penalize my site?

    • Sushil Rajput

      Very good points while submitting your press release, people only submit press releases for making links now the time has changed and press release should be really good, that makes sense to Google also.

    • Maria

      I don’t think that after Penguin and Panda updates anyone using these things because it is like suicide to use duplicate content, to get paid links etc. Now only those businesses are successful who are following the Google’s guidelines therefore an ethical and natural SEO campaign is the key of success. The most important thing is social media marketing and everyone should try to market his/her services and products on social media sites.

    • Jessie

      It is so difficult to keep up with what google is going to do next. Agree with all that is mentioned here. Never knew the one about making the keywords the same color as the backround, some people can be so sneaky. At the end of the day you are going to be found out. It is just a matter of time. Nice article!!

    • Meet

      This article will really help the newbie bloggers. This is guide them what not to do on their blog. The most important thing (in my opinion) is to write unique and quality content.

    • Razak Malek

      Great SEO tips. I think in short, we should just provide good quality content which are informative and helpful for our readers. Do not spam and do not do nasty things. Google will reward you. πŸ™‚

    • Gautam Doddamani

      Good article john. I think plagiarism is very well known and many of the spammy bloggers adopt that technique…i am happy to say that i ain’t using any of these methods!

    • Shiv Sharma

      Working with Google is very simple mean while we have to be very careful as the penalities by Google are very dangerous.

    • Lakhyajyoti

      Very informative post. Copying content from other blog is one of the easiest way to ruin our blog. Surely I’ll try to avoid all the things you have mentioned here.

    • Angelina

      GOOGLE REGULARLY changes their one should always update about this and should not acccept duplicate content..!!

    • Lancy

      Really a useful article! II will follow the tips. An once penalized website is hard to get back to its normal position πŸ™

    • Kristall Brown

      Thanks for the awesome article. I am loving it. You have mentioned each and every important aspect of Google and SEO. πŸ™‚

    • Arup Ghosh

      As Google is making some changes regularly we have to make new strategies according to the type of update to be in the top search result positions.

    • Sai Krishna

      We can use akismet plugin to stop comment spam, and firstly we should stop accepting paid posts in our sites. Bloggers should not accept guest posts with copied content.

    • Technotup

      Thank for these insights. I see a lot of my competitors who use comments link and by social signals on their websites. But I wonder still today why Google does not block them.

    • Parul Arora

      Thanks for the awesome article and I think this will surely help me in SEO for sure.

      Thanks πŸ™‚

    • techgopal

      I thinks now a days paid links are really dangerous, If quality of paid links is low then definitely blog get punished bu google. Thanks a lot for useful seo tips…

    • Shameem

      I do agree with your points about seo penalties which these stuff normally happens when people want to promote the websites in short period of time or just sake of building back links.Google has started action against all type of work which they found you will loss your website so try to promote in unique and valid links

    • Aditya

      Hi Ram Kumar,

      The topics you wrote are really quite interesting and i really appreciate your writing skills!

      Aditya Chintha

    • Kostas

      Nice post John, everyone should avoid that kind of tactics! Building links just for the sake of backlinks cannot really help a website, only links that can bring traffic are really valuable and this is the only “metric” someone can really trust!

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