In the eyes of most, receiving a Google Penalty means they have gone too far with their optimization efforts and attempts to hit page one of the SERPs.
However, if we’re going to look at a Google Penalty through a critical set of eyes, we have to say that it represents a failure of any SEO strategy.
To be fair, that might be a harsh position to take.
After all, many website owners who don’t know the first thing about effective SEO practices might get a penalty for doing very little wrong, particularly if they have penalized as a result of an algorithm update.
We’d have less sympathy with anyone hit with a manual unnatural links penalty, but the same lack of knowledge and education could well have a part to play.
Reasons to Avoid Penalties
If the majority of your web traffic hits your site because of organic search, then the problems a Google penalty can bring to you are obvious.
However, the biggest problem is often not the penalty itself, as taking remedial action is actually quite straightforward. The issue is that it might take months, or even years, for you to regain the trust that Google once had in your site. This, above anything else, is the reason why you need to avoid a Google penalty.
How to avoid them will come down to two parties; yourself, and any SEO company that is working on your behalf.
What You Can Do
Whether you’re planning on ‘doing’ SEO yourself or are looking for a professional SEO services agency to do the work for you, the first step you should take is to educate yourself about what SEO is and what it’s about.
Part of the problem for ‘do it yourself’ webmasters who would be better served concentrating on their business is that they think what they know is right, when most of the time it isn’t. Reading up on Google’s resources section and checking out some leading industry websites will give you a good idea of what SEO is all about, help you to do it right, and ensure you choose a great SEO agency should you look to outsource this function.
Finding an SEO Partner
When you’ve built up your own knowledge of SEO you are well placed to then go and find an agency to work for you. Use what you know to ask questions regarding the services they provide, and be inquisitive to what it is they actually do.
Ultimately, you’re not going to know how good an SEO agency is until you work with them, but even if they do cost you your search ranking, at least you can be satisfied that you did as much due diligence as possible before hiring them. When it comes to algorithmic penalties, you have to remember that an SEO agency might be blameless. However, if you receive a manual penalty, you might be able to have it removed if you can demonstrate it was the SEO agency who were at fault.
Avoiding Google SEO penalties is all about education, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring an SEO agency. Build your knowledge of SEO as much as possible, and the chances of your site ever receiving a penalty will recede dramatically.
Guest Post By:
Allan Greene is an SEO expert who works with a number of businesses to help shape their digital marketing efforts. Allan is currently exploring how new social media sites, like enthuse, can help him to grow his business in a different way to traditional networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.