Most of us use Google as our primary source to find information so those looking to get found on SERPs need to keep their game up. Without a definitive guide or rule book from Google, it can be hard to know what can anger Google and get you banned. Unlike in the past where business directories and telephone books would be printed, search engines can change at any minute.
Here are some things things to avoid to keep you away from lower rankings or even get you banned! Already banned? Keep reading!
1. Bad Link Building
Your link profile is very important to Google. It is important to remember that quality trumps quantity so buying links and having links that are a part of link farms are a sure way to get yourself banned. Link building is very much like a popularity contest, the more different friends (domains) that you have linking to you, the more Google feels your site is important.
2. Keyword Spamming
Let's say you specialise in selling red shoes and you use this as your primary target keyword. Putting this all over the page such as in your text, meta titles and descriptions and page titles in an unnatural way gives the impression that you are doing this just to get more chances for that keyword. Spam is Google's pet hate so stay clear of this. Make sure when you are writing content for your site that everything is written for a human and not a robot as ultimately this is who is going to convert.
3. Copying Content
Just like the days of University, plagiarising your final thesis or dissertation meant that you wasted the last few years of your life and don't get the qualification you worked so hard so far for. Copying someone else's content word for word and not having any original content says that you are a follower and not a trend setter so you are no where near as important.
4. Invisible Content/Text
This is an old black hat SEO tactic but can still get you banned if you use this today. Using keywords on your page but hiding it within the site, such as having text the same colour as your background so that it cannot be seen is a definite no no. Don't cheat your way in. use proper methods.
If your site is showing one thing to robots and another thing to humans then you are cloaking. Google recognised this deception method long ago so make sure that if you didn't build your own website that these methods have not been put in place without your knowledge!
So, what should you do if you have already been banned? Well, it depends on how you have been banned and unfortunately they don't send you a letter to tell you why. Luckily though, SearchSwarm can help! Get in contact today and we can help you to become friend's with Google again!