There’s no doubt that we rely on search engines to find the information we need. In fact, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. But what many people fail to realize is that search results aren’t random. What shows up most prominently when you search for a given term is determined by a number of factors, including the design of the website and whether any SEO services were used to highlight its relevancy.
But while an SEO and web design company can ensure your business can be found online, there are certain actions that can make it likely that your site will never be found in Google search results. If you fail to follow the rules, your site could be penalized — effectively blacklisting you from Google SERPs. And if that happens, you’re going to have a much harder time getting traffic and sales.
Anyone who provides website design services knows how important it is that a given site appears in search results. In today’s post, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons sites are penalized, how to tell if your website has received a penalty, and what steps you should take to minimize any damage to your business.
Why Google Might Penalize Your Site
There are numerous reasons why your site could end up with a Google penalty. Websites are often penalized automatically, but they can also receive a manual penalty. Typically, this happens when you’ve gone against Google’s best web practices. These might include spammy or manipulative practices, as well as low-quality content or changes to Google’s algorithm. In some cases, this might mean you’ve done something wrong — like forgoing professional website design services in favor of DIY, which might result in adding a feature that Google sees as underhanded. In others, Google may decide that sites like yours deserve a penalty for thin content or even slow loading speeds. For most business owners, it’s important to stay on top of Google’s guidelines and algorithm updates — and to hire professionals who offer SEO and website design services — in order to avoid penalties.
How To Tell If Your Site Has Been Penalized
In most cases, you’ll be alerted of a Google penalty through the official Google Search Console. This is the platform Google uses to communicate with webmasters. The good thing about receiving a penalty notification here is that you’ll find out exactly what went wrong and figure out how to fix it. But if you haven’t checked this platform before or you’re not seeing any penalty notifications there, the first indication of a potential penalty may come with a significant drop in web traffic or search rankings. If other factors can’t explain these losses, you should examine how this data has decreased over time and find out whether Google released a new update to its algorithm. And if your site suddenly isn’t showing up in Google search results at all, that’s a pretty good indication that you might have been penalized.
What To Do If Your Site Has Been Blacklisted
In the Google Search Console, you’ll be alerted to any manual penalties your website has and how to rectify the issue. Usually, you’ll need to remove or adjust the aspects of your site that Google has found to be problematic (whether they’re spammy backlinks, duplicate content, or poor site security). If you’re not able to do this on your own, you’ll want to work with a full-service marketing agency that offers website design services to fix these issues. These professionals can also make it a lot less likely that you’ll face future penalties and that you can get your website on the right path again.
If you suspect your site has been penalized or you simply aren’t seeing the upward trajectory you’d expect with your digital marketing, we’re here to help. Contact the team at Studio98 today to learn more.