The Most Common SEO Problems Causing Penalties in 2014


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Make sure you know how to avoid problems that may cause you to be penalized by Google: We have helped many clients recover from both partial and site-wide penalties of varying degrees and we think you’re ready to know the insider tricks on how to avoid manual actions all together.

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  • The Site-wide Match actions impact an entire site.
    Will drop traffic and will effect rankings

    The Partial Match actions impact individual URLs or sections of a site.
    Harder to discover which pages are under penalty, but does not drop traffic to the same degree
  • Unnatural Links to your Site
    - Affects Rankings, sees threads of link schemes
    Unnatural Links to your Site – Impacts Links
    - Does not affect rankings
    - Google sees the bad links as primarily out of your control
    Unnatural Links from your Site
    - Deceptive or artificial outbound links
  • Things you generally have control over as a site administrator
  • These are the two most common penalties because they are passive
    May not be anything you’ve done and can go unrecognized for a long time
    Little evidence of dishonest play but what’s left behind
    Intentions are to game the system
    Link building like crazy used to be recommended, now coming back to haunt SEOs
  • Outdated knowledge
    Keyword stuffing was great 6 years ago, doing it now can earn you a penalty
    Link building has changed
    Site markup has changed

    Not knowing your own site
    The structure, the user experience, the canonical pages, the keywords per page, the granular stuff which affects SEO on a basic level
    Install an SEO plugin (All in One or Yoast) to help with basics, look at your analytics and webmaster tools data OFTEN so that you can recognize changes or patterns more quickly
    Do a bi monthly look at your backlinks- how many new ones do you have? Did you ask for them? Is there anything strange about them? Are you a victim of negative SEO?
    Quicker you can diagnose a problem, the less down time you have due to penalty

    Not visiting your own site
    How will you know if your site has been hacked or someone implemented changes unless you are routinely doing a visual inspection? Google your site, click through as a user would and see if everything looks normal on a semi daily basis

    Not verifying work from agencies
    You should trust your media/SEO agency 100% and build a relationship with them. but does what they preach match with what they deliver? Absolutely look into any links built for you/changes implemented and ask them what is good about them. Sheer # is NOT a good thing.

    Lack of education
    Find a few reputable SEOs and follow them. Tweet them questions, understand what’s currently working and STAY UP TO DATE
    Anyone can have a website, but there are simple things to know about not getting a penalty.
    Don’t be spammy
    Don’t stuff keywords where they don’t belong
    Don’t abuse markup
    Don’t spam guest posts
    Don’t create duplicate sites on purpose without noindexing them completely
  • Assess which penalty you have
    Look in GWT under Manual Penalties for a description of which one you’ve been given
    Look up the full description from Webmaster Tools Help
  • Calculate the scope of the fix
    If it’s partial, try to understand which pages it’s affecting
    If it’s sitewide prepare to get familiar with your site
    For Unnatural links, download your backlinks from GWT and Your Backlink data of choice – Majestic, Opensite or AHREFs
    The more links, the more time it will take
    Understand your Resources
    What’s involved in the fix?
    Reviewing Links can be a long and tedious process
    Is your site suffering immensely from the penalty or can you survive for a few months?
    All based on individual
    Ask for Help
    From a friend to read over your Reconsideration Request
    From an agency to review backlinks
    From Webmaster central if something seems off
  • The Most Common SEO Problems Causing Penalties in 2014

    1. 1. Presenter: Brynna Baldauf SEO Specialist @little_bry
    2. 2. @little_bry WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
    3. 3. @little_bry 1. Types of Penalties 2. Most Common Penalties 3. Common Mistakes Resulting in Penalty 4. Tips for Overcoming Penalties 5. Tools for Overcoming Penalties AGENDA
    4. 4. @little_bry The Site-wide Match actions impact an entire site. The Partial Match actions impact individual URLs or sections of a site. TYPES OF PENALTIES
    5. 5. @little_bry Unnatural Links to your Site Unnatural Links to your Site – Impacts Links Unnatural Links from your Site TYPES OF PENALTIES
    6. 6. @little_bry • Hacked Site • Spammy Structured Markup • Thin Content with little or no added value • Pure Spam • User Generated Spam • Cloaking and/or Sneaky Redirects • Hidden Text and/or Keyword Stuffing • Spammy Freehosts TYPES OF PENALTIES
    7. 7. @little_bry Partial Match – Unnatural Links to Your Site Partial Match – Hacked Site MOST COMMON PENALTIES
    8. 8. @little_bry Outdated Knowledge Not knowing your own site Not visiting your own site Not verifying work from agencies Lack of education COMMON MISTAKES
    9. 9. @little_bry 1. Take a deep breath 2. Assess which penalty you have OVERCOMING PENALTIES
    10. 10. @little_bry OVERCOMING PENALTIES
    11. 11. @little_bry 3. Calculate the scope of the fix 4. Understand your Resources 5. Ask for Help OVERCOMING PENALTIES
    12. 12. @little_bry • Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics • 3rd Party Tools SITE ANALYSIS
    13. 13. • Google Webmaster Tools • 3rd Party Tools LINK ANALYSIS
    15. 15.
    16. 16. QUESTIONS? Contact: 888.476.1881
    17. 17. NEXT WEBINAR The Clicks That Got Away: Use Remarketing To Capture Conversions July 10th, 11am PDT / 2pm EDT Register: Natalie Barreda Digital Advertising Analyst