How to Improve Your Google Rankings Without Getting Penalized

How to Improve Your Google Rankings Without Getting Penalized

If you’re trying to figure out how to improve website ranking in Google, working on improving your website’s SEO can be one of the best things to do.

Improving your SEO is one of the primary ways to get more traffic to your website, but it can also be a tricky process.

The truth is, there are right ways and wrong ways to improve your site. Using blackhat SEO techniques can lead to disastrous results and may backfire. This can leave your site with worse rankings than it had before.

Luckily, as long as you pay attention and make sure to do things right you can avoid getting on Google’s bad side.

If you’re wondering how to improve website ranking without getting a Google penalty, then read on.

What is a Google Penalty?

So what exactly is a Google penalty and why does it matter for your site?

A Google penalty occurs when your site has come under scrutiny due to any number of issues. As a result, your site is negatively impacted and you fall in Google’s search rankings.

Google may decide to penalize your site due to recent algorithm changes or a manual review of your site.

Google penalties are best to avoid at all costs, as search engines account for much of the traffic many websites get.

Types of Google Penalties

There are many reasons your site may receive a Google penalty. Google is coming up with algorithm changes regularly and occasionally makes major changes to what it looks for in a high-quality site.

However, there are some main things that have been well-known to earn Google penalties.

If you’re trying to figure out how to improve website ranking in Google, take note of the following reasons Google may penalize you.

Unnatural Backlinks

While high-quality backlinks can be crucial for the success of your site, poor quality links can have the opposite effect. Google looks to other sites around the web to determine the worth of your business’ website.

By paying for backlinks or listing your site in spammy directory sites you are playing with fire. Spammy and untrustworthy backlinks can quickly earn your site a Google penalty. It’s simply not worth it.

Thin Content

In the eyes of Google, quality is preferred over quantity. If your site features thin and less than valuable content, you’re risking a penalty.

Avoid mistakes such as duplicate content, content that is spun, or content that features little actual value, but is filled with affiliate links.

Google considers all of these types of content to be thin. Having spammy content that is not valuable to visitors may earn you a penalty and make your progress more difficult when trying to figure out how to improve website ranking.

Cloaking and Sneaky Redirects

Cloaking occurs when you show some content to Google but not to your visitors. Sneaky redirects are when the pages that Google indexes on your site differ from what visitors are led to when clicking on the result.

Both of these issues are seen as troublesome by Google and make it appear as though you are being deceptive.

Cloaking and redirects are usually intentional, but there are times when your site may be giving off these signals when you don’t realize it because of how your site is set up. Be careful of redirects and cloaking and fix any issues that occur as soon as possible.

Hacked Site

 

If your site has been hacked or compromised in some way you may also receive a penalty from Google. Google tries to direct its users to high-quality content only as well as content that is safe.

If your site has vulnerability and security issues it’s likely to be left in the dust in future search results.

Be sure that your security is up to date on your site in order to avoid hacking. If you discover that your site has been hacked, remedy the situation immediately.

User-Generated Spam

Similar to a site that has been hacked, other people can compromise the integrity of your site by leaving spam comments and links all over your site.

Be sure to keep a watchful eye on spam comments and limit these by using a tool such as CAPTCHA or by approving comments manually on your website.

How to Improve Website Ranking

So now that we’ve learned how to avoid a Google penalty, what are the best ways how to improve website ranking?

There are a few steps and strategies that you’ll want to focus on to make sure your site is in the best shape possible when it comes to improving SEO while avoiding penalties.

Analysis First

The first thing you should do is properly analyze your site. Use backlink analysis and SEO tools to figure out how you are doing already.

It can also be a great idea to get a site audit to find out if you are at risk of experiencing a Google penalty and to discover ways how to improve website ranking.

The many tools by MozMajestic, or cognitiveSEO are great places to start and can offer great insight on your site’s backlink profile, social and page metrics. These sites also offer great competitive analysis tools.

Using these tools or undergoing a site audit can help you to see where you may need improvement and where your site’s weaknesses are. Afterward, you can target what you need to work on and move on to other strategies to improve your site.

Correct Keyword Density and Usage

Using the right keywords that are immensely relevant to your business can be very important if you’re wondering how to improve website ranking, get excellent traffic and improve your site in the eyes of Google.

Use keyword research to find the best keywords to optimize your site for. It is especially important to look for long-tail keywords, as these are searched for most often.

You may choose to use a tool such as Ubersuggest or Keywordtool.io to find long-tail keywords.

You can also use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner using the following method:

  • First, you’ll want to have a seed keyword or topic you want to write about.
  • Then, go to the Keyword Planner and type in your keyword.
  • Click on “Get Ideas.”
  • View the keywords tab to show related keywords.
  • Look for keywords that receive a lot of monthly searches.

Be aware, that although you should be using keywords you can take them too far and use them incorrectly.

Some poor quality sites will perform “keyword stuffing” and place an excessive and unnatural amount of keywords on their site’s copy and content.

Make sure to use keywords correctly and wisely at all times, and avoid overdoing it.

Get Backlinks the Right Way

I’ve already mentioned the impact that poor quality and spammy links can have on your website and how these can lead to a Google penalty. So then what are the best ways how to improve website ranking in Google?

Instead of getting poor quality backlinks, you should work on getting high-quality alternatives. High-quality links come from authority sites that have earned respect in the eyes of Google over the course of time.

One of the major ways to get these links is by guest posting and then getting an authority link back to your site.

To find other websites and blogs to guest post for, you can simply search for your industry topics or keywords along with a phrase such as “Write For Us” or “Submit a Guest Post.”

Once you’ve found one or two ideal sites, you can then use a tool such as Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find even more options.

Tools such as the Guest Post Tracker can also help you to find great blogs to write guest posts for.

Once you’ve found a few possible blogs to submit a guest post to, your job isn’t quite done yet. You’ll want to make sure the blog is worth writing for.

One of the best ways to do this is by checking the site’s “Domain Authority” using a tool such as the Open Site Explorer.

A high domain authority is ideal, so look for sites that have a number that is at least above 30 at the minimum.

Create Great Content

The real centerpiece of any high-quality website is an excellent content marketing strategy. By writing great content you can offer real value to visitors.

When Google crawls your site and notices a large amount of content that provides value and is not spammy or filled with keyword stuffing, the search engine will take notice.

The importance of high-quality content shows no real signs of changing anytime soon. Content will likely continue to be a cornerstone of separating the great websites from the poor ones.

A content marketing strategy is not something you should ignore.

Final Thoughts

While it can be frustrating to get a penalty or be in fear of one, it can actually be very simple to stay in Google’s good graces.

Just be sure to avoid spammy link practices at all costs if you’re wondering how to improve website ranking and SEO.

Great SEO does take some time to build, but if you follow good SEO practices you will be well on your way to doing great in search engine results.

By staying on Google’s good side, you’ll continue getting plenty of high-quality and engaged visitors to your site in the months and years to come.
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Mike helps small and mid-size businesses drive leads, increase sales and grow revenue online. He designs, develops and executes integrated digital marketing campaigns across paid, social, organic and digital channels.

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