Most webmasters fear Google and their algorithm updates. They also fear penalties, as they are aware some of them can sink a website for good and put them out of business. This is why responsible webmasters and business owners try to understand what to do in order to avoid the dreaded Google penalties. Here are five of the ways you can lower the risk of getting a penalty.
1. Publish only high quality and original content
Google has changed a lot the way they look at websites. Over the past three years, brands and authority sites have been favored. Web pages with shallow content disappeared from the SERPs slowly but surely. Only content that’s catchy, useful and interesting can withstand the new age of the internet. This is why you should never compromise on the quality of your articles. If you don’t have useful things to say to your readers, it’s better to publish less than use low quality fillers.
2. Improve the user experience
Decrease your bounce rate, increase the average time people spend on your website, the number of pages they visit and the number of returning visitors. All these are signals users appreciate your site. Search engines “look” at these signals and they can reward or punish websites depending on that they find. If your readers only stay on your page for one or two seconds, most probably your content isn’t interesting for them in any way. Why would Google rank such pages when they claim to offer the best search results possible?
3. Make your website mobile-friendly
Google officials have just announced mobile-friendly websites will be given priority in SERPs. If your website isn’t displaying well on mobile devices or if the user interface is poorly constructed and hard to navigate, Google might push your site down and favor other websites which offer a better mobile experience.
4. Avoid bad quality links like plague
If authority websites link to you, that’s a sign your website must be good, at least that’s how Google crawlers interpret this fact. If you get mainly links from obscure, low quality pages, they are going to do you more harm than good. It’s best to keep an eye on your Google Webmasters Tools and disavow any link that seems bad.
If you need sources of inspiration, just take a look at authority sites in your industry and learn from them. Don’t copy, just observe the way they do things and try to replicate what you notice in your own, personal way.