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10 SEO strategies that could result in Google penalties

November 24, 2015 - 4  min reading time - by Emma Labrador
Home > SEO Thoughts > 10 SEO strategies that could result in Google penalties

Being visible on the Internet to increase your visibility and in the long run your sales involve marketing strategies and obviously integrate search engine optimization. But when it comes to rapid growth and higher rankings in the SERPs, some techniques can result to Google penalties. Today, we are going to discuss 10 SEO strategies that could bring Google penalties and what you need to do to avoid those drawbacks.

Which SEO strategies could result in Google penalties?

Paid Links

Paid links has been a global trend when it comes to manipulate PageRank. Actually, the more link you get, the more trustworthy and relevant your website appears to Google’s eyes. A rich link profile increase your position in rankings. That’s why some people buy a lot of links to enrich their website. But the thing is, in most cases, those links are unhelpful and don’t offer any value to the readers. Google highly punishes this strategy that doesn’t respect its user experience guidelines. That’s why you should not invest in buying links except if they are highly related to your content and in a few proportion. Short-term strategies are in most cases useless and dangerous for your rankings.

Link exchange

Like paid links, swapping links can result to Google penalties. Exchanging links was a common habit in website growth strategies. That tactic was used to increase rankings in the SERPs by building link profile based on link swapping. But Google now knows that those links are not natural and responds to it with rankings drops.

Footer links

Links footer are appropriate when it is about site navigation. But when it is used to insert links without any restriction, that is a SEO problem. Google penalizes websites trying to fool its algorithm with footer links. Your link should be included in your core text as in-content links. Focus on delivering insightful links for your audience.

Hiding links

While buying links, exchanging them or inserting them in the footer, some webmasters have thought it could be a good idea to hide them. By hiding them I refer to adding links in the background of websites to make them invisible to search engines and then “enrich” your link profile. But Google is still able to recognize those fake links and punish those foolish SEO strategies.

Abuse of H1 tags

Matt Cutts explains that abusing of H1 in a page will lead to Google penalties. Actually, H1 are made for headings and titles. It can be alright to use it 2 or 3 times on a page if something else needs to be highlighted but spreading h1 all over a page will certainly result to rankings penalties.
Here is the full speech about overusing H1.

Duplicating and spinning your website content

Content is ROI. That sentence has become a watchword. To be well ranked thanks to your content, this one needs to be valuable, informative, rich and unique! Otherwise, some people has developed strategies relying on duplicating content, spinning it in order to make their content rich and fresh. More than just violating Google Panda guidelines, recycling your content will at the end bore your audience. Why would you do this if there is a risk losing a qualified traffic and your rankings? You can still get rid of this poor content using Oncrawl and its duplicate content detector.

Duplicating content from other websites

Some websites do not even bother to mention the original writer when copying content. And Google penalizes that. When writing an article, be sure to write unique and original content. If you need to insert a citation from an extern website, be sure to clearly give attribution to the right person / media.

Linking to different language

Google values information that are relevant to the user. If you are linking to other websites with not the same language, this could be seen as irrelevant. This can be quite unfair as linking to other foreign websites can still offer qualitative extra informations about a topic.

404 errors

Accessibility to your website is essential. Offering a user experience full of 404 message errors won’t deliver a qualitative image. Google rewards user experience as a leading ranking factor. 404 errors stresses out the fact that an information is not accessible. Be sure to fix those issues.

Keyword stuffing

While keyword optimization is essential to rank your content on a specific niche or segment, overdoing it can lead to serious penalties. Stuffing content with targeted keywords will look unnatural and suspicious to Google. Too much keywords often cause poor content because the author is more interested in ranking higher faster than delivering qualitative and rich content. However, if you pick the right keywords at the right moment while creating an unique and informative content, then you have got it.

Oncrawl can help you out detect any duplicate content issues, 404 errors, broken links, word repartition issues or any SEO onsite problems. Easily audit your website onsite SEO performances and get a full report to know what can be improve.

Emma Labrador See all their articles
Emma was the Head of Communication & Marketing at Oncrawl for over seven years. She contributed articles about SEO and search engine updates.
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