It’s true that too much SEO can lead to a Google penalty, which can have a negative impact on your website and rankings. As this is an unintentional penalisation, it can be fixed by making certain changes in your SEO techniques or content. Along with that, Google may also penalise your website for using black-hat SEO techniques, which is intentional penalisation.
When Penguin was introduced in 2012, at least 9 out of the top 10 websites were penalised by Google due to various reasons. Later, Hummingbird had a similar kind of impact on the top 10 websites in 2013. However, it wasn’t only black-hat SEO, but also excessive SEO that led to penalisation.
If you want to avoid getting a Google penalty, there are few things you need to avoid. You should also consider getting the help of some SEO experts.
Hire a Reliable SEO Agency
Organic search engine optimisation can be done with the help of an expert. For Google and other search engines, organic SEO is worth more than inorganic optimisation. The top 10 websites on Google acquire 5% of their traffic from social media forums and 10% traffic from paid searches. Your website will not rank well if you ignore 85% of the organic SEO, which you can achieve with the help of an SEO agency. The agency will not only help boost organic SEO, but it will also help eradicate SEO mistakes such as irrelevant, duplicate and boilerplate content. If you want to find a reliable SEO agency, I would recommend getting an enquiry from the SEO experts at Lexel.
The following are the most important SEO mistakes to avoid.
1. Ignoring Local SEO
The number of smartphone users is growing with each day. Around 61% local searches result in a purchase. Hence, your website can attract a bigger audience and build a loyal customer base by localising its SEO.
To get started:
- Include local keywords in the title, content and meta descriptions
- Include a business address and phone number on the header and footer of all web pages
2. Not Using Keywords and Links Wisely
Search engine optimisation is not about quantity anymore; it is all about quality.
- Content quality – If you post top quality, well-researched and unique blogs on a weekly basis, Google will optimise your website. However, if you post low quality or copied blogs, your website will not be optimised.
- Keyword quality – Do not ‘stuff’ your content with keywords. Stick to 1% keyword density and a balanced distribution of keywords throughout the content. Use well-researched, long-tail keywords for optimising your web pages.
- Link quality – Always cite statistics from reputed (at least 3 years old) domains for external linking. Also, do not use more than four internal links in your content.
3. Slow Speed of the Website and Broken Links
Broken links, 404 error and bad gateway can increase the bounce rate of your website and may lead to a penalty if unresolved. To increase website loading speed:
- Remove old versions of media software such as Flash.
- Change your domain hosting.
- If you remove a webpage, make sure to remove the internal links also.
- Make sure that all the external URLs (that your content is linked to) are working.
4. Working .htaccess Indexing
Many websites use .htaccess to store specific directives to access or block documents of the website. It helps generate URLs, adjusts loading time and creates a detailed sitemap. However, if poorly managed, .htaccess can block Google crawlers from accessing your files and indexing your website. Generally, .htaccess can help you achieve your desired SERPs. An SEO agency can help you improve the functioning of .htaccess.
5. Open robots.txt Files
Leaving your robots.txt files open is a serious security concern. Anyone can access these files and even hack your website. Besides, search engine algorithms also consider it serious data breach and penalise your website accordingly. Open robots.txt files look like this:
Guest blogging and press releases are a great way of driving traffic from external sources to your website. Search engine algorithms also ignore small SEO errors on your website if it receives links from credible sites.