Don’t Let Search Engine Penalties Drag Your SEO Strategy Down

Penalty assessment analysis is a crucial component of MacRAE’S SEO strategy. With each and every client, we conduct a thorough website assessment. This assessment will allow us to identify any issues or penalties that many be affecting your site. Once we have identified any issues, our SEO experts will come up with a comprehensive plan to rectify them and mitigate the damage. With MacRAE’S, search engine penalties will never again drag your SEO strategy down.

What Is an SEO Penalty?

Search engines have established a range of different guidelines to ensure that the content they index meets certain standards in order to prevent spam and maximize user experience. When a piece of content violates one of these guidelines, the website that has published the content is penalized. There are many types of SEO infractions and, therefore, many different types of penalties. Examples of common penalties include:

  • Rich Snippet Penalties: Rich snippets are the lines of text near a Google search result that give information in response to specific queries. They can be used by businesses to display information about products and prices, location, or customer reviews. And because they are intended to provide users with a preview of what kind of information a website contains and draw users’ attention to a specific result, they have become a valuable component of SEO strategy — and are also often exploited by spammers.As spammers increasingly exploited rich snippets, Google instituted a rich snippets penalty. Google specifically punishes websites for “techniques such as marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behavior that violates Google’s Rich Snippet Quality guidelines.”
  • Duplicate Content Penalties: Search engines do not like duplicate content. When they have to index the same piece of content more than once, they have trouble discerning which is more relevant to a specific user query. Furthermore, duplicate content is a strategy often used by spammers. Spammers will often engage in content scrap, in which they “scrap” content from another site, make minor changes to it, and post it on their own site. In situations like these, duplicate content has a very negative effect on user experience. In order to prevent websites from republishing the same piece of content more than once, search engines have duplicate content penalties.However, not all cases of duplicate content are spam. Printer-friendly content versions can cause duplicate content issues, as can session IDs (where each individual user that visits a website is assigned a different session ID that is stored in the URL). In cases of legitimate duplicate content, specific strategies, such as 301 redirects, 404 pages, and robots.txt, can be used to avoid penalties by preventing the same piece of content from being indexed two different times.
  • Penguin Penalties: Specifically designed to enhance user experience by fighting spam, the Google Penguin Update penalizes websites using black-hat link-building techniques. Websites with inbound links on link farms or comment spam or any website flagged by Google for malware, pop-ups, or other spam-related issues can be penalized. Websites that have many inbound links with matching anchor text can also be penalized, as this is oftentimes an indication of link-buying schemes. Penguin penalties can substantially decrease traffic to a site — sometimes by up to 60 percent.The intention of search engine penalties is to punish those who are using black-hat techniques. However, in some cases websites may have a simple mistake that causes them to incur a penalty. Search engine guidelines are very complex, and it can be difficult for someone without SEO expertise and experience to develop a website that perfectly adheres to them. Google alone updates its algorithm upwards of 550 times annually. But the consequences of even an honest mistake can be very serious. Because the ramifications of a search engine penalty are very serious, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible.
How Can MacRAE’S Help?

MacRAE’S is here to help you identify where your website fails to meet Google best practices. This includes link analysis, anchor text analysis, content quality evaluation, plagiarism check, Penguin penalty check, and on-page Google Guidelines violations testing to identify problems like cloaking, hidden text, hidden links, etc.

Our penalty assessment analysis will help your brand identify any issues that have resulted in penalties. Our experts will develop recommendations to fix identified issues and lay out actionable task lists and procedures for correcting problems with the site. Our goal is to help you recover your lost traffic and your lost revenue as quickly as possible.

The bottom line? If your website is losing traffic or revenue, it could be because of a penalty. To find out more, call MacRAE’S today.