Does your site fail to rank on Google despite all your efforts? Does your well-ranking site suddenly disappear from the listing? Is being sidelined by Google affecting your business? Do you think Google hates your site? If your answer to all the questions is yes, I suggest you continue reading and find out just what is going wrong and where, and how you can get yourself some Google love. Google provides more than 80% of all search traffic to a site, a fact that highlights the importance of staying in its good books. Listed below are the possible reasons your site has lost/will lose favor with Google.
1. Your Site Doesn’t Have Enough Quality Content To Entice A Visitor Back To It. Google has always been particular about the quality of the content present on a site. According to the big G, the primary function of a site is to provide useful content to the users, that good content will make users go back to the site for more. As they put it, “Focus on the user and all else will follow”; if your site has Good Quality, Original content, it will help you rank on Google.
2. You Put In Large Chunks Of Content At Once, And Then Go On For Long Intervals Without Refreshing It. An add-on to the earlier point, this has to do with content too. If you are serious about having a user-friendly site, you will update your content regularly, not add a bulk of content at once and then ignore to update/ refresh it at timely intervals. Resorting to such a practice will harm your chances of winning Google’s favor.
3. You Engage In ‘Cloaking’- Your Site Shows Different Information To A Searchbot Than It Shows A Real User. Cloaking ranks on top in the list SEO crimes according to Google. They do not take kindly to the kind of deception that is involved in Cloaking – fooling both users and bots by creating a page or site that will appear different to either party. According to Google, “Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to users and search engines…Serving up different results based on user agent…[like] Serving a page of HTML text to search engines, while showing a page of images or Flash to users or serving different content to search engines than to users…”. When found out, a ban from the index will be immediate.
4. Your Site Harbors Duplicate Content. Google doesn’t like duplicate content. Period. So, every site that is found retaining duplicate content will be penalized; it doesn’t matter which site originally possessed the content in question, and the penalty can be as severe as removal of site from the index. To ensure you aren’t wrongly penalized, avoid using duplicate content and regularly check if your content is being duplicated elsewhere using sites like www.copyscape.com and www.duplicatecontent.net and if you find sites infringing your copyright, file a Notice of Infringement with Google immediately.
5. You Practice Keyword Stuffing. Google wants you to rank naturally, wants all your efforts to be centered on pleasing the user with good content. Any other way you choose to rank high on Google is considered the wrong way and can only harm you site, keyword stuffing is no less harmful. Keyword stuffing is the repeated use of certain words and phrases in the text content as well as the code of a site. So, ensure that you don’t deliberately or inadvertently end up stuffing your site with keywords and find yourself at the receiving end of some Google temper.
6. You Have ‘Doorway Pages’ Made Ad hoc To Attract Searchbots. As far as Google is concerned, a site is online to be of use to the users. Having a page that is designed just to draw bots to the site and will be of little use to the users is not something that Google condones. If you do have doorway pages, ensure that they have enough good content on them to warrant their existence.
7. You Link Out To Sites That Are Devalued By Google. Yes, it is important to link to other sites. In addition to the generosity factor, it can also help improve your ranking. However, if you aren’t careful about whom you link to, it can prove to be damaging. Ensure that your link neighbors aren’t spammy sites devalued by Google; always try to link to relevant and trusty sites that are indexed and have high PR. Google might not penalize you for your incoming links because you do not have control of who links to you but it will surely penalize you if you link out to a bad or spammy site as the decision to link out to them is yours alone.
8. You Are Plagued By Low PageRank. When you lose links, and by extension experience a drop PR, Google takes note of it. Link loss and decreasing PR can be attributed to broken backlinks or a conscious decision on the linking site’s part to sever connections with your site, which may be seen as a telling comment on the quality (or the lack thereof) of your site. If you continue to lose PR at rate where it soon becomes nonexistent, Google will probably keep you out of the search index until you have enough links and PR to merit inclusion. So, it is vital to continuously build links and maintain a steady if not high level of link juice.
9. Your Host Is To Blame. Google has no patience for poorly hosted sites. If its spiders visit your site but are unable to access it due to poor uptime and response time, it’s bad news for you. Your site will either end up un-indexed or even dropped from the index. So, use a reliable hosting service and avoid this mistake that will prove to be rather dear.
It may appear as if it’s impossible to please Google, that you have to follow too many rules and restrictions to maintain your presence on the SERPs. However, as the self-appointed watchdog of search, Google is merely advocating the SEO best practices, to make search and Internet-experience better. All you have to do is to remember the points mentioned above and build links using tried and tested methods of SEO like Directory Submission and Social Bookmarking, and you’ll find that Google loves you after all.