What small business owners and marketers need to know about Google penalties.
Google doesn’t hand out penalties lightly, but when it does, it comes as a shock to most business owners/marketers/webmasters—and serves as a reminder of just how much power Google has. Google doesn’t ask for much, just that we all play by the rules and don’t try to game the system. Following are a few things that Google does not like:
Pages with little useful content, including pages that are set up just to capture search traffic (thin slicing).
Pages that appear to be outliers and don’t mesh well with the rest of the site.
Pages that contain content not relevant to metatags (i.e. description leads searchers to believe the page contains information that it does not actually provide).
Pages that contain hidden text or too many of the same keywords.
Pages that are hacked by another site.
Pages that use aggressive spam techniques.
Pages that appear to be part of a link-building campaign (if this involves a lot of pages, the entire site can be penalized).
Pages that contain links that Google finds suspicious (probably not helpful to the site visitor).
If it isn’t already painfully obvious, Google will usually let you know either a page or your entire site has been penalized via a message on your webmaster console. The only way to remove a penalty is to file a reconsideration request with Google and wait 2-3 weeks.