5 Ways To Get Hit With A Google Penalty

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How To Avoid A Google PenaltyGuest post by Marcela De Vivo
Finding out that your main keyword or keywords are no longer keeping you at the top of Google search pages can be a nerve-wracking experience for many site owners.

Unfortunately, it’s happening more and more as Google is penalizing sites for a variety of different reasons.

In many cases, Google is actually manually penalizing sites that do not follow webmaster guidelines as put forth by the company. You probably won’t be notified from Google though, which means that sinking search results will probably be your only indication.

Until recently, Google didn’t even acknowledge that they were penalizing sites for poor SEO practices. If you want to keep your site from becoming penalized, and of course you do, there are some guaranteed ways to receive a penalty that you must avoid at all costs.

1. Over-optimizing Your Anchor Density

Optimization is crucial for SEO results; however, if your percentage is higher than 10-percent for your money terms, you need to tone it down a lot.

Coming close to 10-percent density for any of the keywords you’re trying to rank for could result in a penalty, but being at or above 10-percent will surely get you penalized sooner rather than later.

Try to stay under 5-percent anchor density for your money terms, in fact it’s probably best that you aim for just mentioning the phrases the bare minimum amount of times, and focus on adding lots of other relevant words and phrases, which are known as complimentary keywords.

2. Lack of Varied Site Links

If you get all of your links from one type of site, Google is going to penalize you. In the past, a majority of people racked up links from directories and other auto-approve link farms.

However, these days you are going to need to vary the types of sites you’re obtaining links from today in order to keep your site ranking high in the Google search results.

Having paid outbound links on your site can also cause Google to hit your site with a penalty, especially if you have outbound links on every page of your site to a site that isn’t relevant.

3. Buying .Edu or Wiki Links

If you buy a significant amount of .edu or Wiki links (20,000 for example), they cannot use the same two or three anchor text terms. If they are all used, Google’s penalty police will come knocking and your search rankings will suffer dramatically.

Actually it’s fair to say that if you buy thousands of any links from anywhere, the site may be completely de-indexed from Google, especially if it’s a fairly new site.

4. Too Many Affiliate Links

Affiliate links to authority sites like Amazon can sometimes be helpful for SEO, but filling your page with Amazon affiliate links that have no valid or valuable content can result in your site getting penalized quickly.

Limit your affiliate links to ones that are completely relevant to the content you’re putting out. Simply put, don’t just add affiliate links to posts without a good reason.

5. Joining a Popular Blog Network

Recently, many of the most popular blog networks were devalued and penalized by Google. While there are still plenty around, joining now may result in you getting hit with a penalty later on when your site really starts rolling. Blog networks are easy for Google to spot and best to be avoided at all costs.

If your site is penalized, it is possible to undo the damage caused by a Google penalty, but it isn’t really something you want to have to deal with in the first place.

These are just a few of the ways to avoid a Google penalty, but you really need to take all of them to heart and implement them in your SEO efforts as you go forward.

If you don’t, your site rank is possibly going to suffer and it’s really only a matter of time until Google penalizes your site. Why not do it right in the first place?

About The Author

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and online marketing entrepreneur from Los Angeles. She currently writes content for HostPapa web providers blog, covering everything from SEO, blogging, online marketing, social networking and web analytics.

Common Mistakes In SEO

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Common SEO Mistakes

Guest post by Wendy Palmer

There are thousands of companies worldwide which rather than looking into how they could boost their online marketing efforts should be instead be looking at what they’re already doing wrong.

Of course, the biggest and most important online marketing tool on the face of the Earth today is SEO and the power held by Google and friends in determining the fate of any given business is almost terrifying.

As such, SEO has become a fundamental box to be ticked by each and every sensible business across the globe as to get by without SEO is now practically unheard of.

However, there is one quite enormous error in the above and it lies in the way in which so many are indeed seeing SEO as a box to be ticked – a fatal mistake if ever there was one.

Quite to the contrary, SEO is the kind of thing that needs to be lavished with attention and approached with both focus and dedication in order to get right, which quite frankly is something of a growing rarity on the online business scene.

So, if after ticking what you thought were all the right boxes you’re still finding your name buried under the competition, chances are it could be down to one of the following simple yet blindingly obvious mistakes:

Building Low Quality Back Links

Google is constantly changing it’s algorithms, but since Panda and Penguin, Google has actively been punishing those who are seen to be building spam or low quality links.

While they won’t punish you for having a few links from forum signatures, directories, social bookmarking sites and article directories, you have to choose the best and highest authority sites where people of all kinds go to publish content.

For example, an article from Ezine or Hub Pages still makes a quality back link, but to publish a syndicated (duplicated) article on hundreds of auto approve article directories that make no attempt to filter good and bad content is likely going to get you punished badly, even de-indexed.

You have to make an attempt to distinguish between the quality, authority sites that you do want links from, and the low quality, content farms that you don’t want links from.

There is no easy way to this, but you could find a tool that checks the domain authority of a site perhaps, or just check the ranking of the site and sub-pages of the site on Google.


First up, while there will always be certain SEO elements and approaches that should be stuck with like glue, this doesn’t mean you’re able to put them in place and then leave them to their own devices.

Quite to the contrary in fact as even the most remarkable SEO initiative will stagnate and become useless, perhaps even detrimental if it is not seen as an on-going program.

From content writing to link building to blog production to keyword mining and pretty much everything else in the book you will come across, it’s all about freshness and consistency these days which means that what seemed to be hitting pay-dirt for you a couple of months ago might now by driving you into the ground…big time.

Ignoring Lessons Learned

Innovation and initiative are hugely important in SEO, but not nearly as important and staying true to lessons learned over the course of the years.

Roughly translated, if you think you are better off shunning basic concepts like link building and keyword research in favour of elaborate theories for future SEO tactics, chances are you’re in for a fall.

It’s all a matter of reaching a balance, but said balance must always be deeply rooted in everything that’s already been learned. Or in other words, try not to get ahead of yourself.

Limiting Lines of Attack

And finally, it might be a good idea in many areas of life to find something that works and stick with it exclusively, but SEO is not such an example.

As such, while you might have come across an amazing approach to build back links in huge numbers or run the most award-worthy blog on Earth, it’s vital not to forget how important every other line of attack is.

There is no single SEO process that really has any chance of coming to serious fruition unless used in conjunction with others – broaden your focus and you’re onto a winner.

About The Author

Wendy Palmer runs a small business in Stoke specialising in SEO link building services and other online marketing solutions for local businesses. She shares a home with her husband of four years and the couple’s young daughter.

Is Guest Posting Working Anymore For SEO?

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SEO Guest PostsI was recently reading a really long page called the ultimate guide to guest blogging on SEOmoz. It had a lot to say, but one of the things it mentioned was a couple of blogs they got guest posts published on.

I tried contacting the owners of those blogs, and they sent back messages which seemed to imply that they were no longer accepting guest posts, or at least ProBlogger said they were no longer accepting guest posts.

I tried searching for a few different internet marketing and SEO guest post keywords on Google, and on more than one out of ten of the results I got, people had actually stopped accepting guest posts.

The reason is simple, Google is cracking down on sites which publish guest posts without having proper editorial standards. Blogs who publish guest posts without enforcing the guest posting guidelines are just contributing to the same content spam as the article writing sites labeled link farms.

So Does Guest Posting Still Work?

I was under the impression that it was one of the only things left that does still work in terms of making high quality back links to your site.

Getting a link from a high quality guest post on a high authority site should impress Google enough to give you a positive change in your SERPs, and not a negative change, but who really knows what they see as quality these days.

Even the highest authority sites from yesteryear may have been punished through having spam links pointed at them, even if they didn’t make the links themselves.

For example, some grey hat internet marketer published a guest post on their site four years ago, and decided to make back links to it with software, before the algorithms changed to make that a punishable offence.

I still accept guest posts on my site, but I try to be very clear to people that I’m looking for nothing but original, high quality, relevant and well written content for my site, and that’s what also makes it a high quality back link for you.

I accept guest posts on SEO, internet marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, pay per click advertising, squeeze pages, e-books, affiliate marketing, and all of those things, but it has to be good, it can’t be spun by a machine, and you can’t use a machine to build back links to it afterwards, as that’s really potentially deadly to my site.

I appreciate having people write for me, but I can see why other sites simply close down their guest posting facilities, because it becomes a matter of taking hours a day to sort through the spam guest post submissions by SEO companies promoting a site to see if there are any real high quality ones in the mix.

You don’t want to ruin your reputation as a site owner by publishing too many guest posts, but at the same time, it is necessary to get a bit of help every now and then with creating the content that it takes to keep your blog up to date.

Anyway, if you want to find out more about writing a guest post here, or anything else you want to discuss, send me a message, my email is in the sidebar.

Doing SEO for a YouTube Video

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How To Do SEO For A YouTube Video

This article is about how to do SEO on a YouTube video, specifically in mid 2012, after the latest round of changes to the algorithms of Google.

First, let’s go into what those changes are, and why it’s important to bear that in mind when trying to rank any page.

The first thing you want to keep in mind is that a low quality spam back link has always been low quality, but now it’s potentially dangerous to your rankings.

If you want to rank a YouTube video, you don’t buy a Fiverr blast of 10,000 random blog comments.

You also don’t get a spun article submitted to 1,000 article directories, you don’t links, or anything like that.

If you want to say that you do, then go ahead, but most people have realized by now that Google are seeking relevant, high quality, authority back links. Links which look natural, show relevance, and appear to be a real “vote” for the web page by other people, and that is the key to the off-page SEO of anything.

Social media shares are more important than ever these days, with the no follow links from Facebook and Twitter being ironically more important for ranking than the do follow links from sites like Digg, Redgage, She Told Me, etc.

The sites which were specifically set up for no other purpose than to improve the rankings of your site, no longer help your site rank if you abuse them, and as such, I barely even bother to add more than a handful of links to any specific page I’m trying to rank, unless it’s a very high competition phrase.

SEO For A YouTube Video

The most important thing to understand with a YouTube video is that Google can see the title, and the description, and the tags, and that’s about it, except for the bounce rate, the view count, the comments, the likes, the subscribers, the back links, the embedded views, and whether someone tried to artificially alter any of those things.SEO For a YouTube Video

Some people buy YouTube views from bots, thinking that’s going to help them. It will most often cause a lot more harm than good, as You Tube can see everything that’s going on, and it’s important to understand completely how you are getting views if you decide to use any sort of paid promotion method.

If nobody comments, or shares the video, or nobody subscribes to the channel, or clicks the like button, then it doesn’t look good, and if it has a uniform bounce rate, or anything like that, it shows up, and gets punished.

They also take into account where the traffic came from, and it’s especially good if you get traffic from the suggested videos in the sidebar, or at the end of other videos.

This shows them that people are interested in seeing your video from the way they respond to seeing the title and thumbnail.

It is possible to alter some of these figures, just through different promotion methods, and what I usually do is swap tweets with other people to promote it quickly to a fairly targeted audience who are hopefully interested enough to watch it all the way through.

It’s targeted because they have to click on a tweet that says what the video is about before they watch it. It’s similar to any other form of advertising, although Google takes tweets into account in their search algorithms, and it also creates back links on social directory sites like Social Whale, Favit, TweetMeMe, and others.

I might write a few articles about the video, or embed it in a blog post or two. I will try to get as many people to watch it as possible, but not in a way that I’m getting views that result in a high bounce rate.

I used to make videos that were just like thirty second ads, but then I realized that that’s not really what people want to see, what they want is to have entertainment and information given to them in a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing way.

If you don’t start off with a good video that people want to watch, then all the SEO in the world is not going to help you rank your YouTube video on the first page of Google. The bounce rate will see to that, and due to all of the ways that Google can tell who your viewers are, you can’t really change that without making quality videos.

That’s how you rank a YouTube video on Google, it’s all about the quality, and if you aren’t sure of how to make a good video, there are many different types of software you can buy, courses you can take, or people you can hire to make a high quality video for you, like me for example.

If you want to talk to me about my video making skills, send me a message, my email is in the sidebar. I can do really basic videos, or the more you spend, the better it looks.