Did you know that committing a simple, careless mistake can get you a Google penalty? Yup, you heard it right. With Google constantly improving its search algorithm, simple mistakes can get you in trouble whether you’ve done them knowingly or unknowingly. As such, it is important to make sure that you don’t do anything that will harm your search rankings. Otherwise, all of the time and effort you have put into improving your site’s search rankings could go down the drain just because you’ve committed a minor infraction that Google deemed punishable.
Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg, shared three simple SEO mistakes that can potentially get you a Google penalty and how you can avoid them.
1. Link-leveraged business relationships. It is a common practice among website owners to trade links with each other. However, if this isn’t properly executed, it could lead to a Google penalty and reduced search rankings and web traffic either for one or both parties. To avoid this problem, Neil recommends removing low quality back links instead of doing a simple domain disavowal.
2. Affiliate programs. Affiliate linking is like a double-edged sword in a sense that it can either help your site or cause harm to it. Many companies and online businesses engage in affiliate programs because they are usually spam-free. However, if one or two of them goes overboard with affiliate linking, they can get into big trouble.
If you don’t want to be penalised by Google, affiliate linking should be handled properly. First, Neil said you should use a trusted “affiliate relationship provider” to conduct 100% of the affiliate program rollout. He explained that this option is ideal for those who don’t know how to create an affiliate program from scratch. Second is to create a dedicated landing page for large affiliate providers. And finally, to maintain site integrity and to ensure that the affiliate links are working properly, you must test them from time to time.
3. Influencer outreach. Teaming up with influencers in your niche or industry is a great SEO strategy as it gives you better online visibility, audience exposure, and incoming traffic among other things. However, if you have chosen the wrong influencer to support your cause, Neil warned that the “link value” coming from their site might ruin your SEO.
To get the most out of an influencer outreach program, you must choose your influencers carefully. Avoid those with low-authority and spammy websites. Also, you should ask your chosen influencers to use no-follow links and you must create a specific landing page for your influencer campaign. This should help you avoid a potential Google penalty.