What are the Main Google Search Content Penalties?

If you website experiences content penalties from Google Search for tactics such as keyword stuffing, then you may need to carefully audit your site’s content and apply the proper fixes ASAP! Google Search continually rolls out both major and minor algorithmic updates to help improve user engagement, search query quality, and improve the overall search experience for end users.

Any business that wants to capitalize on SEO needs to be mindful of these penalties since they can drastically lower your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Understanding these main penalties can help to determine if you have any major issues with your website. In addition, learning new Google Search changes that happen periodically helps to keep your site compliant with Google’s quality audits:

Google Panda audits duplicate content and “content farming”

Google Panda updates released back in 2011, but is continuously updated to help users get the best quality web results on search. The update reduces rankings for low-quality sites that have duplicated content, content posts plagiarized from other sites, and other types of low-quality content.

To stay compliant with Google Panda, make sure that you have limited duplicate content across your site and have fresh, well-written content on blogs and landing pages alike. If you have pages that have duplicate content, start by first redirecting any pages to the page you want site visitors to visit. If you have pages or content that has similar language or exact phrases as other pages, then simply re-write new pages.

Sometimes though, a website may need to use tools  manage the visibility and removal of certain pages and URLs. Speak with your marketing team to help determine the best course of action for reducing potential Panda penalties.

Google Penguin targets any webspam to and from your website

Google Penguin was released just a year (4/24/2012) after Google Panda, but is critical in terms of search performance. The algorithm lowers the rank of whole websites and pages that use aggressive exact-match anchor text on links, low-quality article spam, keyword stuffing, and link farming. Essentially, buying links and spamming internal and external links can cause significant website penalties.

Make sure you diversify the anchor text of internal and external links across your website and then determine if there are backlinks that could be identified as spam. Try and remove these links, or create higher quality citations, with the help of your marketing team or a similar consultant.

Continuous algorithm updates can impact your site and add penalties

Google is continuously updating algorithms on Search in broad and specialized changes to help users get the best possible result. Staying compliant with all these changes is key to maintaining positive SEO performance. For example, Google’s BERT changes are likely to impact search engines and require even more clear and concise content writing. Additionally, other changes such as Pigeon and FRED apply quality changes for local SEO and reducing spam, respectively.

Want an expert to help guide your website and your business through these complex changes? Make sure to give us a call and ask about a free website audit to get started! 

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