When websites get ranked, they get more exposure and traffic. Hence, businesses in Singapore spend thousands of dollars annually on SEO services. Companies are willing to invest top dollar in SEO as they want to grab a piece of the search engine traffic. Google search traffics are of high quality as more often than not these are the traffic with buying intention. People search online when they want to learn more about a product or service.
Hence, the top position is a lucrative position. According to a study, that top spot drives 33% of the entire search result for the keyword ranked. As a business owner, whether you’re trying to get ranked on your own or through a SEO agency in Singapore, SEO is a highly lucrative field to invest in. However, you must be careful as from time to time, Google will inspect your site. If you have been doing black-hat SEO (trying to get ranked via bad practices), your site may risk get penalised.
What is Google Penalty?
It’s sad to say this but more often than not this question only get asked when it is too late. When your website gets penalised by Google, your website will not appear on the search result. Your organic traffic drops and so is your website conversion. It is a nightmare for any businesses, especially for those that relies heavily on website for sales.
There are basically two types of Google Penalty; algorithm and manual.
Google Algorithm Penalties
What works today might not work tomorrow. This has been the practice of Google ever since search was invented. The objective of Google is to serve information and answers to searchers and make sure they are relevant. Hence from time to time, Google releases algorithm updates that aim to improve user experience. These algorithm updates alter the search ranking of websites and penalise websites that do not confirm to Google standards. In the past decade, there were two incidents of major algorithm updates by Google; Panda and Penguin.
Panda Algorithm Update
Panda updates were focused more on the quality of contents produced. In the past, to rank for websites, many unscrupulous SEO vendors or webmasters engage in dishonest practices. Many tried to duplicate contents and make minor adjustments to it so these contents are seen as new in Google’s eyes. When Panda kicks in, many of these websites were penalised.
Penguin Algorithm Update
Penguin updates were focused more on the off-site aspect of SEO. Google rank their sites based on the PageRank algorithm. Before the update, the more websites link to you, the higher your website ranks. Due to this knowledge, many webmasters try to rank their websites by sourcing for cheap links and link them to their website. When Penguin came, it introduces the concept of Authority. No two links are the same. For example, one link from BBC is better than 100 links from spammy porn sites. Website linked from authority sites are rewarded with higher rankings and vice versa.
Google employ a large number of people to review websites on a daily basis. When Google bots crawled your website, they look for several indicators and factors to decide on your site rank. If they are unable to decide because there’s something amiss, your site might get a manual review from Google’s team. If you happen to see a huge drop in ranking or a total eclipse from the search ranking, your site might have been penalised.
The quick way to see if your website has been penalised is to login and check from your site Google Webmaster Tools. If your site has been penalised, you will find a notification of “unnatural links detected” or similar. This could mean your links may have been purchased or belongs to a pyramid link scheme. Neither practice is condoned by Google. Regardless of the penalty message, your first job is to fix the issue and submit your site again for reconsideration by Google.
Google penalty is a serious issue as it can cause significant damages to your online revenue. As a business owner, it is our responsibility to constantly observe and monitor our website ranking. Whether you’re doing SEO internally or working with a reputable SEO Agency in Singapore, it is important to learn and understand the concept of SEO and how it works.