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How to overcome your fear of a Google penalty
We all worry if Google is going to penalize our websites, even if we're doing everything right, but our worries are usually from over thinking the entire process Google goes through when handing out penalties. Over the course of 15 years, I've only had a few websites actually get penalized, and that's likely because I tend to say under the radar or I'm doing everything how Google wants. Sure, I've gotten some of my websites penalized in the past, but it was because I screwed up and I wasn't paying full attention to what I was actually doing.
Keeping track of all your tasks and backlink campaigns will keep you out of the eyes of Google, and that means you won't get slapped with a penalty. If you just keep track of everything, or you follow the rules, you shouldn't have to worry about much. Google won't change their rules so drastically that your white hat methods will actually hurt you later one. They know what they're doing and so do you, hopefully, and if you're unsure if a method is going to harm your website then you might not want to do it. If your website gets a penalty, it's usually because of your own tactics and methods that did it, but you can definitely lift the penalty over time if you take your time.
In this discussion I'll be going over how you can overcome the fear of a Google penalty, and those ways are:
You have nothing to worry about if you're following the rules
If you go through all the guidelines set forth by Google, relating to the search engine rankings, you will understand what you should and shouldn't be doing. It's not difficult to follow the rules, but it's even easier to break them and get a penalty. Yes, boosting your rankings unnaturally is tempting because you can get to the first page quicker than normal, but those risks come with severe penalties if you're caught.
What you should do:
- Add quality content to your website
- Interlink all your pages, in a natural way.
- Make your website responsive
- Have proper alt tags
- Have your keyword density around 3%
- Optimize your titles
- Optimize your descriptions
- Optimize your headers
and many more...
What you shouldn't be doing:
- Stuffing keywords to boost your rankings
- Blending keywords to the backgrounds
- Building thousands of low quality backlinks
- Linking to "bad neighbors"
- Don't use spun content
- Don't use duplicate content
and many more...
There are actually many more things you should and shouldn't be doing, so be sure to look through these discussions to get the massive list
If you do get a penalty, you can lift it by reversing your actions over the last month
This isn't the easiest thing to do, because it's a penalty handed out by Google, and it's because you did something wrong. Be sure to keep track of what you're doing, and you'll likely know what is getting you the penalty, and you can reverse it over time.
Sometimes you will get a penalty by one of your competitors building hundreds of thousands of backlinks aimed at your website, which is an uncommon reason to get a penalty because anyone can do this, but it has happened. It's nothing to worry about, you can simply use the disavow tool and enter in all the URLs that you might have a bad backlink on. This is basically you telling Google "I have no clue what this is, and it's not one of my own, please ignore it!" and they usually will. I've seen plenty of websites go through their backlink profiles and add hundreds of backlinks into the disavow tool, and they lift the penalty they had previously.
If you have a keyword stuffing penalty, well, you did that to yourself and you need to go through your content and fix everything that is messed up. If you wrote up your article to solely target a keyword, it's probably seen as stuffed with keywords and you need to go through it again and fix everything before the penalty is lifted.
Not everyone gets a penalty for doing something wrong the first time
Google understands that not everyone knows what they're doing, but that doesn't mean you can keep screwing up and not get a penalty. Usually if you have a bunch of good content on your website, and one of your recent posts is considered to be stuffed with keywords, you won't get a penalty just from that. Now, if you do this constantly, and Google notices all your stuffed content, they will slap you harder than your mother would if you said she was over weight lol
You can get away with one or two things, but if you do it consistently, those one or two times in the beginning will be stacked on and hurt you even more. If you just play it safe, and learn what not to do, you can stay off of Googles penalty teams and jump up within the rankings quicker than if you're dealing with a penalty
It's tougher to get a penalty than you think it is
Getting a penalty is actually pretty tough, and I should know because I've literally put up websites to see how difficult it was to penalize them, and it took me some time haha
It seems that penalties are automated to a certain point, and then manually triggered, which would make sense since you can't fully trust artificial intelligence. Think about it, if the first steps to determine if a website should be penalized was automated, and the website nuke button what manually triggered, it would save a lot of websites. The system could go through everything, break it down, and only compile a list of the websites that should be given penalties. After the list is developed, someone will go through it and glance over what the website did, then they will either hit the nuke button or let the website pass lol
Of course, this is just a theory of mine, since no one really knows how this works, but it's a fun idea to think of
I've built websites with the sole purpose of trying to penalize them, and it's actually pretty difficult. I've build massive backlink profiles, using all SEO software and leaving plenty of footprints, and just that didn't get me a penalty right away. I would load the website with hundreds of spun articles, and even just copy/paste articles from popular websites, and I still didn't get a penalty right away lol. Some of my articles were actually getting indexed and sending me traffic! But, it was a short road because eventually I got my website slapped by Google and it was almost impossible for me to get it fixed lol. After around 4 months of doing my negative SEO campaign, I was hit with a penalty, and it was difficult to lift because I had to just assume I was penalized for everything lol
When it comes to a Google penalty, you don't have anything to worry about as long as you're doing everything right. I'm the CEO of an SEO company, and I follow Matt Cutts to see what he says, which is basically a cardinal rule in the SEO industry lol. You can build your website naturally, place links on websites that are related to your niche, add quality content that you or a freelancer wrote, and you'll be just fine as long as you don't break the few cardinal rules set forth by Google
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