Have you ever wondered if your blog is being affected by the Google duplicate content penalty? Obviously, if you’re plagiarizing content or simply aggregating RSS feeds, and that’s your game, you can expect this to happen. But you might be affected by this or other ranking-killing issues without even knowing it. By looking through the following list of suggestions and applying them, you can easily ovoid these problems, and overcome them if you’re already taking a hit.
Update Frequently – The last thing you want is to get trapped in the Google Sandbox. Lack of content and websites that do not update frequently are the most likely to face this problem. It’s understandable that updating a website five times per day can be a sometimes impossible task, but update your site once per day. And when updating your content, be sure not to use too much keyword repetition, if at all avoidable.
Spotless Links – Take a good look at your site and seek out links to external sites that are in your comments and/or posts. Make sure to remove any links that may lead to any type of objectionable material. Having links to external websites that contain this type of material can have a very negative effect on your website. It will most likely decrease your search engine rankings, and as a result, your traffic will slow down. If you are diligent about removing these types of external links, your website will be able to rise back up in the rankings!
Backlinking – Google’s favorite things are links. Without a pretty substantial number of links on your page, you may not rank very highly with competitive keywords. With this said, it is important to note that there are two types of links: Superior links and inferior links. Examples of inferior links would be links that come from link farms, and also links from completely unrelated websites. Superior links are from related websites and aren’t attached to link farms.
Trust - Building a site that is trusted is incredibly important. When you’ve built up a certain level of trust, it ensures that people will return – even if you are offline for three or four days. There are several different ways in which to build a trusted site, but the most important way is through providing quality content that is either highly useful or highly entertaining, and whenever possible, completely original.
Proper Hosting – What would you do if you woke up one morning, and got on the computer just to find out that your rankings, which were page one rankings, had completely disappeared? After the panic subsides, and your adrenaline calms down, what exactly do you do? Call your hosting provider to find out if they have had any outages. If your site is not a trusted one, you very well may have lost all of your content. This is one more reason that maintaining a trusted site is so important.
It is never a pleasant experience to be in the sandbox. The last thing anyone wants is to be penalized for something when they are in the process of building a business. Taking the proper steps in order to ensure that you are within the guidelines is very important. It can mean the difference between front page rankings and 10th page rankings. The above are proven methods used by the pros to make sure that their website is properly ranked. By implementing them yourself, you’ll notice a steady increase in your traffic.
What other tips do you have for staying out of the sandbox? Share your thoughts in the comments below!