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!”