How to Keep Your Site from Being Penalized by Google

Building a great ecommerce site is an important first step in your business’s success, but making sure it adheres to good SEO practices and Google’s rules is even more important. There was a time when there were no rules for SEO, and all you had to do was stuff keywords and links everywhere and anywhere you could. Unfortunately, that led to search results filled with spam, content mills and link farms. Understandably, people didn’t like that very much and Google responded harshly with new search algorithms. The first was code named Panda. It was quickly followed by Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon. Panda knocked sites that it considered low quality (the exact criteria it used isn’t known for obvious reasons, but it’s safe to say sites with lots of duplicate content, keyword stuffing, spam links and so on were targeted) out of the top results. Overnight spam sites and content mills that had been raking in advertising dough because they had high search rankings found their traffic gone, and many of them went completely out of business.

So how do you keep this fro happening to you? It starts when at the very beginning, when you check available domain names. Don’t be tempted to choose one that resembles the domain of a popular site, thinking it might get you some instant traffic. Google frowns on this (hey take an even dimmer view of buying a domain that is a purposeful misspelling of a popular site’s domain in order to try and trick people into thinking it’s the legit one). Chose an easy to spell and remember domain.

When creating content for your site, make sure it is original and offers value to the reader. Chose your links carefully and never accept an offer to buy links. Google can tell when links are not organic-that is when they’ve been bought or spammed.  If you are looking for a good way to get traffic, make sure you’ve got accounts on all the top social media sites-Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Then use them wisely. Share interesting and entertaining content from your own site and from sites related to yours and your products. Engage your audience by asking questions, posting polls, and responding to their comments and posts. Make the content you post on each account unique somehow-different phrasing, tags, images, etc. Don’t just auto post the same exact thing to all your accounts. Users can tell when posts are “canned” and it’s a big turn off!