Google’s algorithm updates have been crashing sites one by one.
Google began in 1998 with a mission to deliver relevant search results starting with checking users’ search queries against several criteria. Among them is the frequency in which the search appears on a given web page. If the query appears frequently, then the page ranks higher in search results. Businesses then understood the importance of the ranking in the search engines so they paid their way through the top.
Businesses started putting stock phrases in their sites to get traffic but this keyword stuffing strategy isn’t good for Google’s core mission and basically, Google isn’t one you trick and mess with thus the war between Google’s algorithm and the people who play with it or otherwise known as the SEO geniuses.
The giant search engine releases updates to its algorithm every now and then to address this issue. The updates are subtle and aim to tweak the requirements for high-quality content. Google is now serious with the writing quality of the content including the sentence length to the level of grammar. They can be as tedious and technical as they want to be to ensure that the content is relevant and of stellar quality.
Other SEO tricks such as unnatural links from other webpages and use of unnatural language are also looked upon.
What is a Google penalty?
Google’s penalty is a loose term that happens to sites or web pages that are negatively impacted by Google’s algorithm update. These sites are penalized if they are not following the Webmaster Guidelines. When your site is manually penalized, it means that your site is being reviewed by a Google employee after being tagged for not meeting the guidelines. The penalties are serious but can be resolved.
If you are penalized, make sure to address the problem and find a solution. Your site will fare badly if you leave it penalized for a long time. There are guidelines available for every penalty that you can read and use as a reference.
Not all dropped rankings are due to penalties, sometimes it’s because your competitors are improving their content better than you.
Why is this important?
Marketers value rankings because it brings traffic and it widens out the potential pool of clients you may have. But with Google keeping tabs with the content of your sites, it is important to always make sure that you produce high-quality and well thought of content. It’s not the quantity that contents but the quality that matters.