When building a website, businesses gain the opportunity to grab a piece of the more than 3.5 billion daily Google searches. But to do so, they must play by the search engine giant’s rules, requiring websites to refrain from duplicity. The alternative, a spot on the Google Blacklist, is the Internet’s version of ex-communication.
What is Google Blacklist?
Google Blacklist refers to the removal of a website from Google’s Search Engine Index. The offending website no longer appears on Search Engine Results Pages, which causes a drastic decline in its organic traffic.
Why Do Websites Get Blacklisted?
Google’s Search Engine Index, which favors informative, quality content in search results, penalizes websites that engage in deceptive or manipulative behavior. Avoid these seven practices like the plague to keep climbing to the top of Search Engine Results Pages.
In order to improve Search Engine Optimization, link building is an effective inbound marketing strategy. However, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines warn websites against creating inbound or outbound links that aim to manipulate Google Search Results or PageRank, which determines the importance of a web page.
A link scheme is any attempt to dupe users with links to or from a website. Link schemes that can result in a Google penalty include buying or selling links, excessive link exchanges or the automated creation of links.
Little or No Original Content
Another tactic frowned upon by Google is attempting to increase page rank by including many different pages on a website with little or no relevant content. Google has pledged to take action against websites containing pages that lack substantial value for the reader.
Another quick way to land a spot on the Google Blacklist is to publish stolen content. By doing so, a website violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, too.
Scraping or republishing content from other websites, which aims to increase page volume, may cause copyright issues, too. Without original content added, scraped pages offer little value to a different website.
Keyword stuffing is a term that refers to unnaturally filling a website with keywords or numbers in an effort to drive a site’s ranking higher in Google search results. While the aim is to increase website traffic, it can often have the opposite result.
Websites benefit most from keywords which are used naturally throughout the copy rather than inside blocks of irrelevant text.
Cloaking is a nefarious Internet practice in which humans and search engines are presented with different content or URLs. As a result, the user lands on a different website than expected. For example, a webpage may appear as text to a search engine, but at the same time show visitors a page full of images.
Sneaky redirects are also frowned upon by Google. They deceive web searchers by sending them to a different website than they expected to see. While redirecting is a legitimate Internet practice, sending a visitor who clicks on a link to an unintended destination is not.
Automatically Generated Content
As Google sifts through the World Wide Web, it filters out the clutter like sites that include random, nonsensical text and keywords, also known as automatically generated content.
How to Avert a Costly Google Penalty
To enjoy higher rankings, Google recommends websites focus on creating content for their users rather than search engine spiders.
- Don’t aim to deceive web searchers
- Create a unique, valuable, or engaging experience
A good test for webmasters is to ask themselves if what they are doing benefits users, and if they would act similarly in a world without search engines.