Sometimes, your link building agency can do more harm to your site than good. Some SEO companies implement risky and shady techniques to play with the search engines and find their way to the top of the search engine results. If these wrong practices are caught by the search engines, they will resort to taking manual action on the given website. Here are a few ways to appear clean and avoid Google Penalties.
Google’s Manual Actions
Some of the popular manual actions (penalties) imposed by Google include the following.
• Hacked Site: This is a very common kind of website compromise where the hackers target out-dated or vulnerable websites to drive traffic to malicious or deceptive sites.
• Snippets Spam: This is a kind of structured data spam wherein the invisible, misleading or irrelevant content is marked up.
• Thin Content: Google is known to penalize the sites that have low-quality pages including thin affiliate pages, cookie-cutter sites and doorway pages. In majority cases, Google is only found to exclude the thin content from the index rather than penalizing the whole website.
• Paid and spammy links: Though there are risks, SEO companies and site owners often wish to run faster and go for buying links which ends them up in link spam. While natural links give slow and steady ranking results over a long time, aggressive and spammy links give faster results of course with a great risk.
How to escape Google penalties
In order to avoid the negative consequences of a spammy link penalty from Google, actions like clean up and disavowal are required. Some of the popular clean up tools you can use for this purpose include Link Detox, Ahrefs, SEMrush and Kerboo. To start with, create a link clean up matrix. The clean-up tools in the above list can make it easy to create a disavow file for uploading to Google Search Console (GSC). After this, you must also forward reconsideration requests to Google. It is a time consuming process to escape from manual action.
Negative SEO Attacks
If you find your site victimized for a negative SEO attack that results in an unexpected spike on your link profile that consists of spammy anchor texts from other sites, you can submit a disavowal file to Google with a request to re-index your most important pages.
How to avoid link penalties
By tracking some important industry metrics, you can avoid link-based penalties. Some such metrics include Moz Domain Authority, Ahrefs Domain Rating, Majestic Citation Flow and Majestic Trust Flow. Here are other actions you can take to avoid getting penalised for unnatural looking links.
Develop a natural link landscape
Some of the characteristics of a natural link profile are images with links, subdomains and links that are not followed. The traffic will significantly improve over time when the link landscape grows eventually in a gradual manner.
Never over-optimize the anchor text
Generally, natural links do not have an anchor text that is rich in keywords. Make sure that your top anchor text terms are the brand names and your site name.
Ensure that the links look natural on the page
Links should not be hidden. They must be found within the text wherever relevant for the users.
While hunting for link opportunities, metrics prove to be a great route map. However, it is not good to dismiss the sites when they do not meet the precise metric threshold. Site relevancy and clean backlink profile are very helpful to identify a seeding site. Since these sites can give rise to trust flow and citation flow, these sites can be an asset for a bright future.