Who attends forums and blogs SEO is aware that one of the most debated topics in recent years is without a doubt one of the penalties of Google. A strong contribution to the spread of this theme is certainly due to the two most recent algorithms cramping introduced by big G, in fact the first Caffeine and then Panda, have been the cause of a real mass psychosis, which generated insomnia and terror towards webmasters and site owners all over the world, who still, seek help and information to determine or ensure that their sites are penalized by Google.
In this regard, today I would try to do some 'clarity on the subject, listing the most common reasons that cause just a real penalty, or something similar, but much less severe.
Often the reasons for a loss of positions in SERP or the drop in page rank, can be attributed to high-risk tactics SEO-called "black hat", while in other cases a "presumed penalty" may be due to trivial errors of management a website.
Much of the work is still focused on SEO linkbuilding, i.e. on getting links, which are still a major factor in positioning on search engines. There is nothing wrong with that. But of course there are limits. Fact, there are many pitfalls in link building, involving great attention and accuracy in following the Webmaster Guidelines provided by Google.
1) 1000 links for $25 - spam emails that offer hundreds of links for a few dollars cannot be true. I tell you from experience that adheres to these forms of increase links at bargain prices, certainly lead to a penalty.
2) Paid links on High PR website - if you can escape the paid links in most cases, it is quite simple notice when you buy the so-called link sites with high PageRank, the ones where the toolbar indicates Pr 6 or maybe even more. There are a few sites that have page rank so high and so in that sense the paid links are easy to find.
3) Link exchange on a large scale - the exchange of links and reciprocal links are natural for some purposes. I Link to bloggers who link to me every day. On the other hand, a massive exchange links too obvious can be detected algorithmically, and then you would be punished sooner or later.
4) Hidden links in template - currently many sites with templates for WordPress or Joomla are well positioned on Google are just scams SEO, which lead to hidden links in the templates to be distributed in the network. If you use these links to "link building" then do not be surprised if you will be penalized. Some counters of visits did the same thing in the past.
5) Profiles with artificial link with same anchor text - when every link to your site is optimized with something like "SEO Company" seems to force to go unnoticed by Google.
6) Link from unrelated languages - an English-language website that gets thousands of links from Russia or China brings many doubts. Google engineers are good enough to compare the language of your site with the number of sites that link to you. At best, your rank will rise only in Russia and China. Otherwise it will fall everywhere.
7) Getting too many links within short time - not more and more links there are the better. Also obtained good links too quickly can lead to being penalized. Google controls the speed of the link - i.e. how long earnings link - and if you get more links than it deserves, you risk a penalty even though they are perfectly legitimate.
The links pointing outside are crucial to any website, especially for blogs. Many webmasters have blocked the external links to try not to lose PageRank. Google engineers have discouraged this practice and suggest instead of using external links. Nevertheless it is advisable to only link to reputable sites and dealing with similar issues, otherwise it can be risky to use them.
8) Broken link - too many broken links on a page cause a notice in the algorithm of Google. This may not be a penalty in the strict sense, but it could cause a sudden drop in ranking if there are one or two broken links on a page.
9) Links to "bad neighborhoods" - even worse 404 errors (i.e. broken links) are the direct links to the so-called bad neighborhoods. Spammers use this technique to deceive you. Many of these links are part of a process of decline. The sites in question disappear and who acquires the domain uses it as your "domain parking".
10) Too many external links or none - a website that has more external links those actual contents may lose its visibility on search engine. This may not happen suddenly, but have equivalent effects. In addition, the sites that do not have any external link, or just use the links no follow believing that it is a practice effective SEO may be penalized in full.
11) Links hidden in third-party services (menus, widgets and counters) - Free services for websites often have a sneaky business model. These links are hidden within what they offer. It can be a CSS menu, a sidebar widget or a visitor’s counter. Every so often these links are not just hidden, they are also off-topic and truly spam. Checked and the source code that you add to your sites. Google, of course, does not allow hidden links.
Despite Google always states that "content is king", this can also lead to problems. If there is a king in your kingdom, and the king is dressed in rags will be evaluated negatively by Google robot.
12) Duplicate content - The duplicate content on your site or elsewhere can cause a significant drop in the rankings. Although Google does not consider this a disadvantage, many webmasters who have had this problem do.
13) Contents of low quality - The Panda Update Google focuses on the content of low quality. Texts superficial and too loaded with keywords on some pages will downgrade your entire site on Google.
14) Content copied - text taken from other sites and shown on yours is a sure way to lose rankings.
15) Unreadable Content- Content can ungrammatical be considered to be copied and then modified incorrectly (ie, some words are replaced by synonyms to fool Google), so you better make sure that a human user can understand what you write. In addition, the text formatting is crucial. The quality rater working for Google monitors this aspect.
Not all reductions in traffic and ranking declines are a penalty, and some are due to stupidity or negligence. It’s important not to forget some of the technical aspects of web development to avoid getting own goal.
16) Robots.txt - Robots.txt file is not really necessary to improve the SEO. Rather can avoid other problems. I locked the indexing of one of my sites by Google. I suspected a penalty and so I wanted to first check the Google Webmaster Tools to find the error.
17) Nofollow - I saw your blog authoritative excluded from the Google index because they activated the WordPress privacy mode. This simply means that the whole blog is set to no index and nofollow, which is equivalent to block it with robots.txt
18) Duplicate titles and descriptions - when your site uses the same title and description for each page, or one very similar, not wonder if it will not appear in search results. It's not even a penalty, it's only logical.
Analysts argue that Google is not a search engine, but rather a company advertising as almost all the revenue comes from the corporation Google ads that appear in search results and on websites of third parties. However, the pressure on Google has grown over the years because of the problem of sites MFA (Made for Adsense, made for adsense) which pollute the index of Google. The Google "Panda" was an intervention designed precisely to curb this phenomenon.
20) Too many ads (little content compared to the amount of ads) - since Google "Panda" has become the topic of the day, many experts have noted that a large number of ads, especially in the Google Adsense ads, can result in a penalty. I agree with this view.
21) Affiliated Sites worthless - Google always explained that the affiliate sites are ok, but only if they offer additional value beyond what serves the site link it. Be sure to add value, or sooner or later will face a penalty.
The filters in Google
Some of Google penalties are only applied filters automatically. If many penalties may be manual, some filters are obviously algorithmic.
22) New domain (sandbox) - the so-called sandbox filter is active for years, but has never been officially recognized. It 'applied when you change domain or part with a site and a completely new domain. Without the proper signal that warns Google of displacement, this penalty will be applied to the old sites just change domain. Use a 301 redirect to the old sites and try to get a significant number of influential links in the first days of the new domain is active to beat this filter.
23) Multiple h1 tags - a book has a title. In the same way a web page has a title with h1 tag. Google believes that multiple h1 tags are a trick to spam the index, and penalizes sites that use multiple h1 tags. Use h2, h3 and other tags in place.
24) Keyword stuffing ("keyword density" too high) - one of the oldest spam techniques is called keyword stuffing. Until now, the false Seo specialist advised webmasters to have a high "keyword density" on its website. Huge mistake! Be sure to enter the keywords that interest you in the texts present on your machine. Website, but do it in a natural way and give meaning to what you write, thus avoid putting keywords in a forced manner. It’s more important to keep the text readable than any percentage of keywords.
Neither a penalty nor a mistake
In some cases, a loss of rankings or traffic volume has nothing to do with you or your site. May have changed something and this was made a sudden penalty.
25) Modify the algorithm - Google changes its algorithm, and refines the time. The main changes are called update, and sometimes involve dramatic changes in the search results. The only thing you can do is figure out what has changed and why your site does not meet the new factors as before positioning.