The online world can be a lucrative one if you play your cards right, but it can also be deadly to your business, should you make a mistake or two. Keep in mind that search engines are very tricky, and you may not know that you are breaking a strict regulation, resulting in a penalty. Accumulate enough penalties and your website might actually be shut down – a business owner’s worst nightmare. The following is quick and easy guide to help you stay penalty-free.
Understanding Content Guidelines
A simple but important guideline to follow is that your content must be perfect. This means you cannot use tricks to create your online articles or blogs, such as a “word spinner” which rewrites articles and tries to change them in a way to avoid plagiarism. Other dishonest methods of creating content (such as “word-stuffing” or “keyword stuffing”) are never to be used. You want to ensure everything on your site is completely original. Read search engine guidelines and get familiar with all the rules.
Once you have familiarized yourself with the various search engine regulations, go through your pages and some of your older posts to ensure that you have not violated any of the measures or rules. For example, one issue that is often overlooked is forgetting or failing to alt-tag every image that is used.
Take a Look at Links
There is an old saying about being judged by the company you keep. By analyzing the kinds of sites that link back to you, the biggest search engines will either rank your site better, or penalize you. Be sure to audit these links whenever possible to ensure they are not “spammy” or outdated (or nonexistent) sites.
The way to remove these links differs slightly from search engine to search engine, but it basically starts with finding your Webmaster Tools. Then, find the Search Traffic option and scroll down to find the Links to Your Site.
Once you have found that option, click on “Who Links the Most,” and download all those links. You can email your webmaster to help you remove any harmful links you find, or simply find the “Disavow” tool under your Webmaster Tools to get rid of them. Try to do this clean up every two months to ensure that you stay penalty-free.
It is equally important to check your own links, and make sure they are not linking people to spammy sites. Also, make sure you do not have any broken links.
Stay On Top of Great Content
One simple way to avoid getting penalized is to create content that search engines and readers want. This means you have to learn about the kinds of topics readers are interested in, and try to create content that satisfies those needs. It is important to make sure you try to use different types of content as your site grows. This can be written content, and you can create other means of communicating to your audience (like video content or even infographics). Variations in content creation give you an edge, keep readers engaged, and avoid bad back links using your site.
Stay Updated with Search Engine Algorithms
Search engines are always trying to weed out sites with irrelevant information, which is the reason they are constantly updating their algorithms. You need to stay up to date with all these changes to ensure that none of them are going to affect your site or content.
One easy way to stay updated is to check with your search engine’s community of website owners. But a good old simple search engine search can help, too.
As you can see, there are quite a few important things to consider when it comes to staying penalty-free. It might take a lot of effort on your part, but it is worth it in order to protect your website. If all this seems too complicated or time-consuming, you can always use the professionals at Local SEO Search Inc. to ensure your site stays healthy and productive.