How To Get Google Angry – Google Penalties And How to Avoid Them

Jun 7, 2011   //   by Pat Lindle   //   Google, SEO, SEO Blog  //  7 Comments

One of the most frightening aspects of website ownership is the constant threat of being penalized by Google. This morose uncertainty is like living with a cloud over your head. Not everyone is entirely certain causes the “Wrath of Google” to come down on them. A lot of honest webmasters often times think they are being penalized and sometimes this is just not the case.

What is the reason for this confusion?  Basically no one knows form day to day exactly what will result in a penalty. The actions that will cause one to incur a penalty are changed and updated without much warning. Using only the “White Hat SEO” practices is one way to ensure that you never have to worry about a penalty. If this were to happen only those who are not honest or legitimate would incur Google’s censure.

By doing only what is considered appropriate and safe you can avoid many of the known triggers and this will allow you to work online with peace of mind. It will also ensure that you have better results in the SERPs. (Search engine results pages)

The people who regularly incur penalties all have one thing in common. That is, they did not thoroughly read and understand the policies of Google and their terms and conditions (or perhaps they read them and intentionally ignored them). The worst possible penalty is that your site could be banned from this search engine industry leader. This is a potential revenue loss that few of us can afford. Why risk this when it is so simple touse only good search engine SEO practices.

Google is like any other business and it has a department that only handles terms of use violations. This department can hand out a wide range of penalties from th every light “slap on the wrist” to “lifetime banishment”.  Just like the laws that govern society in the brick and mortar world, the penalties get steeper each time an offence is recorded. Repeat offenders are finally banned from the engine, sometimes for a period of weeks or months and others, depending on the severity of the infraction will be for life.

The following are the major reasons users get banned from Google.

1) “Buying Links” from shady Web sites (or really buying links from any Web sites)

2) Participaing in link farms

3) Intentionally constructing your Web site to “trick” google spiders

4) Overlinking to you Web site too quickly, using the same anchor text

5) Cloaking your Web site and using doorway pages

6) Optimizing more than one similar Web site for the same keyword

The most minor infraction of a term of service or policy can result in your webpage losing rank in the search engine’s ranking. Of course this is relative and could possibly seem harsh to some. It may result in you falling 3-4 spots, 10-20 spots, or it could even drop you out of the first 1000 spots.  It all depends on the severity of the infraction and the mood of the Google employee on the other end on that particular day.

As a webmaster it is much easier to follow the rules than to bounce back after censure. So learn what the terms are and use only acceptable SEO to avoid making Google angry. To paraphrase the Incredible Hulk, “You will not like Them When They Are Angry!”

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Pat Lindle

Pat Lindle is an Internet marketing expert who sells metal decking online.  Learning and utilizing "white hat" SEO techniques has literally propelled Pat's business to the forefront of the steel decking industry over the last 5 years.  Pat lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife and 3 children.

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  • Dennis Edell says:

    Do doorway pages get e-commerce sites penalized also?

  • Dan Smith says:

    I am fairly new to the world of blogging and SEO. We just started a blog for our company a few months ago and I can tell you that once you dive into this world, you find it can be a pretty deep hole that is hard to swim around in.

    From what I have gathered though in the few short months I have been researching SEO (basically just started when Panda came about), it seems that a website just needs to focus on providing good content for its readers.

    It seems pretty clear that google's goal is to make sure the best and most relevant content is what is appearing in the search results. So I say the best thing to do is focus time and energy on providing the best and most relevant content.

    Of course there are other things as well, but if you first start with exactly what google, and web searchers are looking for, it is very unlikely that you will have to worry about getting penalized, unless you are doing some things that are obvious, such as the 6 you mention above. Just 2 cents from an outsider looking in :-)
    My recent post New Era Debt Solutions Complaints

  • Thanks for this post! I often read blog posts that insist on no black-hat practices, but few people go far enough to actually outline exactly what those practices are. In reference to the list above, I agree with Dan. Google is looking to eliminate from their SERPS the types of sites that people hate finding themselves on which has little to do with their search. This, I believe makes the difference between Google and other competitors. They cut through the garbage to find what you want.
    My recent post Effective Elements Offered by Social Media

  • Annie says:

    Thanks for these great tips. I'm a small business owner and I've been trying to learn SEO by myself so this post helped me. I would love to read a post about "how to keep google happy" though :)
    My recent post Sell My House Fast : Here are your options

  • Boris Chu says:

    This is a great post on really paying attention to what you are doing. Just do things that are good and then you’re be fine, really not much things to worry about.

  • Webnauts
    Twitter:
    says:

    About point 4, recently some professional SEOs ran some experiments and they experienced a temporary drop of the rankings and when they recovered they ranked better than before.

    I am not sure if understand point 6. If you mean what I guess, then that statement is beyond the reality.

  • Roy Mathur
    Twitter:
    says:

    Just a small comment, but it bothers me that Google expects SEO experts to behave. That’s really not their job. Their job is to increase traffic any way they can. Just because Google waves a stick isn’t going to change that behaviour. Besides, keeping up with all the rules is surely a pain. Surely it’s better for Google to just write a better search algorithms that can sift through the garbage?

    By the way, I do not work in SEO!

    };->

    Roy