If you are a marketer you have probably been leery of Google’s algorithm changes just like many people who depend on the internet. Google’s algorithms have put some sites into the sandbox, others have been knocked off of their top ranking spot, and still others have moved up in ranking. The algorithm changes present an opportunity for those looking to improve their rankings if they can steer clear of penalties.
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Since Google has been claiming to penalize sites that are over optimized for some time now I think that there must be some other penalties that are planned. What are the things that will get penalties from Google? While it is impossible to know for sure, we can take a look at some things that might tip off Google.
Too Much On Page Optimization
One thing that will definitely tip off Google is on page optimization that is way over done. If there are too many of a specific keyword on a site, this could cause a penalty. If the percentage of keywords used on a site are too high it might look unnatural and therefore cause a penalty. So, for example, if a site’s meta tags, in link text, and title all have the same keyword (especially repeatedly), it looks a little bit like someone is trying to game the system and get a rank for a certain keyword.
Too Much or Too Little Social Media
Another thing that might cause Google to give a site a penalty is an in-congruent amount of social media. For example, if there is a site that is really super new but yet there are thousands of social media links pointing toward the site, it looks suspicious. You wouldn’t really expect to have a whole lot of social media action on a site that hasn’t been around for long and neither does Google.
Some also think that Google looks for a sign of social activity in determining a site’s ranking so there should be some social media. It is my opinion that since Google plus is a part of Google, there has to be some influence on a site’s ranking if it has Google plus links. Youtube is also owned by Google so I think that plays a role in Google’s ranking of a site too. It is a good idea to get some links from social media sites, especially those affiliated with Google.
Poor Quality of Links
This is a big issue for Google. If links to your site come from sites that are low quality, you can expect that there might be some kind of penalty. While there is not much you can do about links that you have gotten in the past, in the future it is a good idea for you to make sure you only get high quality links from high authority sites. Also, make sure you don’t get links from sites that have been penalized. Be cautious about where your links come from.
If you have gotten links from blog networks, avoid doing that in the future. Many blog networks got a penalty from Google. There is nothing you can do about the links you have already gotten but you can avoid getting any more links.
Overall, I think Google is just looking to eliminate those who game the system with obvious over optimization. You have seen those sites, right? Don’t be one of those sites and you will have nothing to worry about.