Beginners SEO Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Google Penalties

With so many platforms available today to help you make a stunning and fully functional website, you might think that all you really have to do is set is and forget it. The trouble is that even if the website looks great to you, it might not be attracting the attention of the search engine spiders or worse, you did something wrong that got your site sandboxed. Without the website being crawled, you are never going to have your pages appear in results for popular keywords.

To help you get some traction, identify and then avoid making these common web design mistakes that have resulted in your website getting penalized by Google.

While you probably know that the home page is where the majority of traffic will wind up on the website, you also think you have to get everything there to make that lasting first impression. By cramming too much, you certainly made an impression, but for the wrong reasons. All that clutter sends people running for the back button and your competition. Keyword stuffing will certainly result in a penalty from Google.

The navigation bar should be for visitors to easily find their way to the content they are looking for, in one click preferably. One common mistake is having too many clicks, like a tour of the website, before landing on the content. Visitors will get bored quickly and leave the website. With all those links, if too many are broken or don’t go where they should, another Google penalty will result.

All those videos, animated graphics, and pop-up ads on the home page are not only distracting, they can be annoying.

A new visitor will easily be turned off by all the action and go elsewhere. When Google crawls the page, if they think you are trying to game the system, they will de-index your content.

As stunning as the website looks, if you did not put that same effort into the meta fields in the admin of the website, then the search engines are having trouble finding or ranking your pages. Neglecting the meta fields will sink your website to the bottom of the search results. Don’t stuff those boxes with a pile of unrelated keywords to try and find a bigger audience, the penalty from Google will basically blacklist your website.

The top of the pages should have a clear area where all your contact information can be seen. If a visitor has to search the website for your email address or phone number, it really can take away from the overall experience. Trust is a big issue when it comes to buying online. Without this information, it can also hurt your standing in Google’s eyes.

If you did not choose keywords correctly and link each page to an anchor text associated with that keyword, you are losing ground to your competition and assured of a severe Google penalty.

Now that you see what is stopping your pages from indexing high in the search results, take the time to work on this list one at a time to see optimal results and your site traffic steadily increasing. If you are still struggling, there are plenty of SEO packages available to get you moving in the right direction.