Having your own full-fledged website and running it through good rankings is quite an accomplishment. Obviously, there are all kinds of webmasters who resort to adopting the various way to boost their site rankings. These ways can be ethical as well as unethical based on the past experiences of the site owner. However, making these rankings happen without facing recurrent Google Penalties might seem impossible.
One of the most common ways of boosting the rankings of a website is through link building. A great link-building strategy makes sure that your website is receiving ample amount of traffic through all the inbound and outbound links present on your site and other websites that you are exchanging links with. However, a lot of us end up getting penalized by Google for these links or their performance.
These Google Penalties always mean a disadvantage for your business website and an advantage for your competition. So, what are these Google Link penalties exactly and how can one avoid them when implementing new link strategies on their own website?
Let’s find out.
Excessive reciprocal linking
It is an obvious step to reciprocate some favor to a website source that has been linking to your website for quite some time now. This value exchange, however, now has become more of a link building strategy where two website owners might agree to swap links for their mutual benefits. In anyone’s right conscience, this is a bad link strategy that might end up getting penalized. If not meant for value exchange, you must avoid excessive reciprocal linking for your website at all costs, especially if you are new to blogging.
Manual link spam penalty
Google bots are the usual elements that play cops to faulty or wrongful link building practices. However, there are fair chances of someone from Google’s webspam team reviewing your site for its link profile and handing you a manual penalty. This might not be the case always but is always good to stay alert.
Well, the manual penalty can be quite a task and you might wonder how can someone from the Google team end up on your website and penalize it? Call it bad luck but it could also be a spam report from a competitor that can have caused the team to look into your site’s link profile. A report from a Googlebot can also lead to a manual review and hence, the penalty.
Low-quality link penalty
The whole point of organic link building is to promote ethical link building practices. Earning your links the right way will help you have a better shot at earning better ranks. However, people don’t get the point when they become desperate for links and count in links from almost all sources, regardless of their quality.
Earning your backlinks coming from reputable sites helps you build value for their audience as well as yours. These links testify that your site’s content is so good that it is of value to even other websites and their audience. If you get into the practice of getting your backlinks from low-quality websites, Google can penalize you for them.
Algorithm link spam penalty
When your website is penalized for an action by an algorithm and not a manual action, it is termed as an Algorithm Link Spam Penalty. Under Google’s Penguin Algorithm, these penalties are levied on websites that come around as spam and mostly due to buying links or obtaining them through link networks. Once penalized by this one, your website will see a significant drop in its organic traffic and it might even be completely de-indexed. So, it is better to avoid such practices.
Unnatural outbound link penalty
If your website entertains guest blogs or posting, you must carefully review the content before it goes out for publishing on your website. This content is usually laced with links pointing back to the guests’ sites and can negatively affect your site’s link profile.
Make sure that you check the submitted content to identify any links from low-quality websites or the spammy ones. Don’t allow ‘Nofollow’ links in user-generated content. Always manually review and approve the links in the content that these posts contain.
Unnatural links to and from your site
Every website that features a link from your site or to your site must have a natural inclination in relation to the niche of both the websites. However, in an attempt to boost the Search engine page rankings, some websites adopt the way to exchange, buy or sell these links for money or other ranking favors. No matter how smart of a webmaster you are, you are definitely not safe from the prying eyes of Google bots or the manual review team.
Both these penalties are the most common types and are levied when there is a clear violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines. Once you are penalized, you will be notified by Google for a penalty for “unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links.”
To fix the unnatural links to your website penalty, you can try identifying the presence of the links on your website that violate linking guidelines. To do so, you can download the links to your site from Google Search Console and audit them. Once you have figured them out, remove them right away and if you can’t, you can disavow them. To follow up, you can ask the team to reconsider your link profile for the removal of the penalty.
For unnatural links from your site, you can remove or modify the identified links by adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute. To follow up, ask the team to reconsider.
Private blog network
You can get to the safe zone by avoiding this particular common penalty. If you are not aware of what exactly is a Private blog network, it is a network of blogs/websites that are owned by you and you pretty much use them to link to each other on this network. A highly risky move for a webmaster, this unethical practice isn’t worth the effort because sooner or later, your websites will get penalized. A PBN is manipulative in nature and can cause a lot of damage to your sites’ online reputation when once caught and penalized by Google.
Getting penalized for your website’s link profile can have quite a negative effect on your site’s reputation in the viewpoint of the Google’s guidelines. No matter how you end up with a penalty, the effort should always be around avoiding them to your best and to go by the most ethical link building practices.
With these references to the most common types of Google Link Penalties, we hope that now you will be able to build a robust link profile for your own website and rank well for them as well.