Best Link-Building Practices to Avoid Google Penalties

Google always tries to provide the best content and sources in the search results. It is the biggest reason why there are some specific guidelines. Along with it, Google has some specific algorithms and bots for website inspections as well. It inspects the websites in two different ways, such as – manual and algorithm testing.

In case a manual tester or algorithm finds something bad with the website, the website owner has to face some Google penalties. The main reason behind all these things is that Google wants to eliminate all bad results and sources from the search engine result pages.

Google is becoming stricter with the quality and SEO guidelines day by day. In case you want to get SEO success quickly and rank your website at the top, you have to focus on some of the best link-building practices only.

In this article, we will discuss complete information about Google penalties and best practices to avoid them.

Firstly, we should know what Google penalties actually are. Let’s begin…

What Is a Google Penalty?

Man holding penalty card

Day by day, Google becomes stricter with the rules and makes lots of changes in the algorithms. These changes and updates of algorithms are mainly done to inspect websites better and bring only the best results to the top. Sometimes, people are mixing up Google algorithm updates and Google penalties. Mainly, they do not understand the core difference between these two.

Penalties are some actions taken by Google manually if it finds something wrong with your website that violates the SEO guidelines and rules. This most commonly impacts the website’s ranking, traffic flow, and search results related operations. By following Google Webmaster Guidelines, you can easily avoid Google penalties.

If you focus on Google algorithm updates, they generally impact the search engine results ranking only. Sometimes, they also become a reason for penalties. With the algorithm updates, you may detect some basic changes as well. It is important to keep overviewing everything regularly and making sure that you have quality links to promote the website on search engines.

Google Penalties That You May Face

Cloaking

In some cases, the website owners try to trick the search engines. Mainly, they prepare separate content for search engine bots and users. If search engine bots appear on the website, they find different content from the one on the users’ interface. This particular action can lead the website to a Google penalty, and it is considered cloaking.

According to Google, you have to provide the same content to the search engine and users. In some conditions, cloaking can take place due to some technical errors as well. If you want to inspect the content that the search engine gets on your website, you can get help from URL inspection tools.

Thin Content

Add new post option in WordPress

The content penalty is one of the worst and most crucial things. If you read Google’s guidelines carefully, you can understand how important content is for online success. Google always wants to showcase the results with valuable and informative content only. In case your website contains lots of pages with low-quality or spammy content, you may face a content penalty.

  • Low-quality guest blogs.
  • Scraped content.
  • Promotion of affiliate links only.
  • Automatically generated content.

These are some basic aspects that define the standards of thin content. You have to make sure you don’t use one of these techniques to publish or add content to the website. In case you want to avoid all these things, you should consider proper content audits and replace the thin content with quality and informative content.

Unnatural Links

The unnatural links Google penalty can hit a website in two different manners. These types of links never become beneficial for your website.

To Website

If you are creating backlinks on irrelevant platforms, you may face lots of problems. Sometimes, SEO experts make such a big mistake to increase the number of backlinks. In reality, it is a bad practice to perform. All individuals should try to make sure they choose the right option and relevant sources to create backlinks. The following are some quick tips that can be useful in avoiding this penalty:

  • Please avoid being a part of the link-exchange scheme.
  • Maintain a proper balance between do-follow and no-follow links.
  • Don’t get into different types of guest posts with the wrong keyword.
  • Keep monitoring the external links and remove the spammy ones quickly or disavow them.

From Website

Having some high authority and credible links in your website’s content can increase page authority. It can work only if you have relevant links on the website. Sometimes, people try to add irrelevant links in the content to increase the page authority only. In these conditions, you may face a Google penalty. It happens when you have unnatural links from your website.

Structured Data Issue

Google issues some specific structured data guidelines. In any case, if your website or actions violate these guidelines, you can get a hit from this penalty. You have to ensure that the website provides the best content and without any kind of problem with the structured markup. All these things can be useful in keeping the website ranked regularly.

Many people want to know how they can figure out if the website functions according to the guidelines. Here, you can consider the option of a structured data testing tool. You should conduct such a test before publishing your website.

Spammy Hosting Services

Imgix servers

This particular penalty can affect someone not because of their mistakes but due to the hosting service provider’s mistakes or wrong actions. Most individuals try to save lots of money when it comes to web hosting. Along with it, some people try to consider the option of free web hosting service providers.

In reality, free hosting providers conduct different types of spammy activities as well. In case Google detects any kind of spammy activities from a free service provider, it takes some serious manual actions. In this particular course of action, all websites that are hosted on that free server or by that web hosting provider also get some penalty impacts.

It is the biggest reason why you should always try to choose the best web hosting services that can be useful in availing quality web hosting only. If you are also working with a free web hosting provider from online sources, you should change that quickly and pick someone trusted only.

User-Generated Spam

There are different types of visitors who may check out your website. Sometimes, you may get a visit from spammy visitors that may leave some spammy links or content on your website. If you do not pay attention to these visitors, their content may harm your website, and thus you have to face this Google penalty. Mainly, these types of links or content are malicious and completely irrelevant.

Most commonly, the websites that are accepting user-generated content get a hit from the penalty. In case you do the same, you have to conduct regular inspections through which you can clear all user-generated spam. Some major examples of user-generated spam are:

  • A spammy account on a free web hosting website
  • Profiles with auto-generated features or characteristics
  • Posting spammy comments on the blogs with spammy links
  • Spamming with advertisement-like content

Comments tab

With proper inspection and some precautions or safety steps, you can avoid all these bad things. Some major tips to avoid this particular penalty are:

  • Keep the public commenting turned off on the website.
  • Enable the moderation features on public content before it is published on the website.
  • Try to add some anti-spam tools like captcha.
  • Blacklist the profiles that make several attempts to publish spammy content.
  • Add no-follow attributes to the user-generated links.

These are some major steps that can help you prevent the creation of spammy content by the users. All these things can help you in coming up with the best solutions and make things much better.

Best Link-Building Practices

The manual actions of Google (Google Penalties) highly depend on the backlinks you are creating. With the best link-building strategy and practices, you can avoid the chances of penalties as well.

Proper Link Examination

Magnifying glass on laptop

There are two major terms used in the SEO world: white hat SEO and black hat SEO. Both terms represent some different SEO and link-building practices. All individuals have to make sure they pick the right option to make things better. Mainly, the black hat techniques are dependent on the number of backlinks with spammy nature. These types of practices are violating Google guidelines as well.

However, white hat SEO techniques and links are created by paying proper attention to Google’s guidelines. In case Google bots or crawlers detect any kind of spammy links to your website, you have to face some negative effects. These effects can appear in the form of penalties, and your website may get penalized as well.

While creating the backlink strategy, you have to keep one thing in mind: you generate quality backlinks only. It is the only way that allows you to avoid Google penalization and deliver the best results. You should choose the relevant links with some quality content only.

Negative SEO

Following Google guidelines and performing white hat practices is not good enough to avoid Google penalties. As we know, the online marketplace is full of competition. Sometimes, people choose to take some negative and bad actions to beat the competitors. Here, they start focusing on the negative SEO for their competitors by creating some bad and spammy backlinks to their website.

You have to be aware of all these things. In case your competitors are doing negative SEO on your sources, and Google bots detect that you have faced Google penalties. It can result in a loss for your business as well.

Now the question of how to deal with all these things and eliminate these types of backlinks appears.

Firstly, you have to make sure you are examining the backlinks regularly. It helps you in figuring out if there are any kind of bad backlinks adding to your profile or not. If you detect any sign of negative SEO or bad backlinks, you have to focus on disavowing the links. You can do it by pasting all links in the Google Disavow links tool.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Person typing with laptop in lap

Mainly, keywords are specific terms that are used by the audience as search terms. All individuals have to make sure they choose the right search terms to help them get ranked quickly. When someone uses keywords as the anchor text, they have to be careful. In the case of anchor text, you have to tag a keyword with a specific link.

According to Google, the anchor text defines that particular link and its purpose. The ranking of content or the website completely depends on that particular anchor as well.

Some people try to stuff these keywords or anchor text on their websites to help them get ranked quickly. But, Google becomes strict and does not fall for these techniques.

As per the current situation, Google works by penalizing these types of anchors. So, you should avoid keyword stuffing strategies. Try to maintain proper keyword density.

Guest Posting

In today’s time, guest posting appears to be one of the best and most effective link-building techniques. Here, you have to focus on various factors, such as – relevant guest posting platforms. In case you pick the wrong platform for guest posting, it can lead to irrelevant backlinks.

All types of reputed and high authority guest posting platforms have some specific categories only. You have to make a final decision based on these categories. You should create a list of all websites that are relevant according to your service categories.

Guest posting can help you in adding some quality and credible backlinks to your website profile. These work as a great source of traffic to the website.

Provide Relevant Content

Woman happily using laptop

Google is worried about the users and their comfort the most. It does not want the users to face any difficulty accessing the content and getting themselves lots of information. To make sure of it, there is a specific page layout algorithm published by Google. This particular algorithm aims to inspect the website’s layout and ensure that the users do not have to scroll a lot to get content.

Sometimes, the website owners keep lots of advertisements or sponsored content on the top of web pages through which they can earn a large amount of money. In reality, these things can cause inconvenience for the users and work as a big barrier in achieving goals. You should maintain a proper balance between the content and promotional factors. Having dozens of advertisements on the website can lead to a Google penalty as well.

Secure Website

The most important element that you have to consider is safety. Google does not like to present any kind of unsecured platforms or search results in front of users. Due to this particular reason, many SEO experts consider security as a ranking signal.

Website security is not only useful to get ranked or represent as a safe option. It also helps the website owners to keep themselves safe from hackers and malicious attacks.

Some individuals may not know how to make this possible. To keep your website secure, you have to get an SSL certificate. With an SSL certificate, you can avoid the risk of hacking attacks and penalization.

While creating backlinks, you have to choose secure platforms only. Having links on unsecured websites can also become a big reason for getting attention from hackers, malicious attacks, and Google penalties.

These are some major link-building and SEO practices that can help you avoid the chances of Google penalty.

How to Recognize a Google Penalty?

Question mark drawn on paper

Many individuals have an interest in knowing how they can figure out if they got hit by a Google penalty or not. In case you are facing a penalty due to the manual actions of Google, you will get a proper notification and message on Google Search Console. In case you face a penalty due to the automatic actions, you have to figure it out. Here, you have to understand and catch some clues:

  • When it comes to SEO, all companies are working on their brand name first. Everyone wants to get ranked for some specific terms representing their brand, business, and brand image. In some cases, you may stop getting ranked for brand names.
  • The ranking of pages starts shuffling without any kind of action or change in any strategy or backlinks.
  • Your website’s ranking starts dropping and gets hit by a big drop suddenly, like – from the first page to not in the top 100 pages or even near that.
  • Website results may be removed from Google search results and from Google cache.
  • The website is no longer indexed or de-indexed.

These are some major signs that say something bad is happening with your website. These types of changes mainly occur when you are following a bad SEO and link-building strategy. In case you detect more than one of these changes, the possibility of Google penalties is very high. You have to be careful and take precautionary actions accordingly.

Reasons for Google Penalties

Overuse of H1 Tags

The H1 tag is a superior heading tag that can be used for the page title only. Google figures out the H1 tag to understand the complete information about the page and its content. Everyone has to make sure they choose the right title for the H1 tag. Sometimes, people start using the H1 tag more than one time on a page. The excessive usage of the H1 tag on a web page can lead to some major problems and negative effects from Google.

404 Pages

404 page up close

404 is a web error that appears when someone tries to access a page that is no longer on the website. In these conditions, the link still exists on the website, but the page does not. It can lead to inconvenience for the users. Having internal 404 pages can showcase that the visitors do not get the required information from the website. It works as a negative ranking signal for Google.

Change in Language

Language plays a big role in SEO ranking. Google also has some strict guidelines for all these things. Sometimes, the website owners try to get links from websites in other countries with different languages. In these conditions, you may get linked to a keyword in a different language. Here, you may create a backlink by following all white-hat guidelines. But, Google does not take it as a good ranking signal.

Keyword-Stuffed Content

People try to use keyword stuffing techniques to grab the attention of Google crawlers and get ranked quickly. In case Google bots detect this, you may face some major issues such as Google penalties and get the website penalized.

Footer Links

HTML code shown in text editor

Generally, the footer is used as a navigation source and for describing some key information about the website, business, or services. Many web designers consider it as a place for creating the perfect navigation panel. Some people are also using it as a place for creating some backlinks and getting link juice. These things are not correct from the ranking point of view.

Blog Networks

Some individuals try to focus on creating backlinks with the help of private blog networks. Mainly, they are trying to create lots of backlinks here and get their content ranked quickly. Now, Google is taking action toward these types of blogging networks, and the majority of these networks are eliminated. Creating backlinks by using these types of networks can lead to some negative impacts on ranking.

Meta Content

Meta content or data helps in making the search engine bots and users understand what they can get on a web page. If you stuff keywords numerous times in the metadata to get ranked for a query, you may face a Google penalty. In these conditions, your website rank may be demoted instead of increased.

Slow Website Speed

Person analyzing printed chart

Website speed plays a big role in all these things. Google has already set some website speed standards that can help you get some ideas regarding how much time your website should take to load and present the complete content.

Many people add lots of animations and special effects for creative web design. These things can raise the load on the server and slow down the website speed. Google does not want to frustrate the users due to the slow speed of a website.

These are some major reasons that can lead to a Google penalty. You have to be careful every time you prepare an SEO and link-building strategy.

Final Words

All these things can help you get complete information about Google penalties, how they work, and what measures you should take to avoid penalties. The most important thing is the backlink strategy. If you have a good link-building plan, you can easily avoid the penalties and get the website ranked quickly.

One thing that you have to avoid every time is the black hat SEO techniques. By hiring the best SEO experts, you can easily get an effective and efficient search engine optimization strategy for your website’s online progress and success. Hire an experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled professional only.

8 thoughts on “Best Link-Building Practices to Avoid Google Penalties”

  1. That’s great! as a digital marketer, I am lucky to read your blog those tips will help me to develop my skills and gain maximum knowledge as a good digital marketer. Every digital marketer expert should aware of these duplicate link building. I will follow your blog to build links building and to drive website traffic to my website.
    Thank you very much for posting such valuable information.

  2. Hello Ravi,

    You have created such a great article. Actually, December 2020 google update has hit my blog and I am trying to recover it, I hope that this practice helps me to recover. Here I want to ask you that is it possible to recover the website from google algo update hit?

    Thank you so much for sharing such a great article.

  3. Thanks for sharing such knowledgeable content, as an SEO Expert I always look for these kinds of articles. Every SEO expert should avoid the wrong way of link building.

  4. a good piece of content regarding link building, I will follow your steps and also bookmarked your page for future blogs. keep updating regarding website-related blogs.

  5. Thanks for sharing this content this will really helps to avoid, There are most of the tactics that are used to get more traffic to websites .Very useful precautions to avoid.

  6. Ravi,

    This is a phenomenal post.

    Every error above is mired in trying to take short cuts. Bloggers want to get something for nothing, to get rich quickly. Google is on to these guys because oodles of bloggers have been trying to game the system for over a decade. Keep it simple. Be generous. Be patient.

    Think more like boosting business organically by your merit versus trying to game the system. This is a smart way to avoid Google penalties, to build links and to drive website traffic.

    Ryan

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