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What Are Google Penalties and How Your Pest Company Can Prevent Them

If you own a pest control company, you want to make sure your site ranks — but that can be difficult if you’re using detrimental marketing strategies. When you work with a pest control digital marketing agency, confirm they don’t use any strategy that could incur Google penalties. 

Continue reading to discover everything you should know about Google penalties and how to ensure you work with only the best SEO company.

Google Penalties

What Are Google Penalties?

Google imposes penalties either passively or actively. Passive penalties occur when your website fails to utilize the Google algorithms correctly, which often occurs after the search engine updates its algorithm. Active penalties happen when a website uses unethical SEO methods to increase rankings.

At best, the penalties hurt your rankings. At worst, the penalties Google imposes with manual action can ban your site from search rankings until you resolve the problem.

How To Avoid the Penalties

Confirm your marketing agency uses the following methods to avoid your site suffering penalties.

Confirm the Link Source

While buying links isn’t a bad practice, make sure you purchase the links from a reputable source. Avoid cheap sellers like those you find on Fiverr or other discount sites. If buying links is part of your digital marketing strategy, confirm the validity by checking the company’s reputation.

Don’t Over-Optimize

A solid marketing strategy relies on optimizing SEO to appear higher on search engine results. However, it’s possible to over-optimize your SEO.

Take anchor text, for example. Anchor text is the term for the words that contain a link to your website or other relevant web page. Ideally, the link relates to the anchor text. For example, if you’re linking to a page about preventing termite infestation, the anchor text shouldn’t refer to rodent problems.

Some inexperienced companies believe in filling a webpage with anchor links to increase the likelihood someone clicks on them. However, Google views this as spam and penalizes sites that do this with lower rankings.

Avoid Link Schemes

Link schemes occur when two websites agree to exchange links to mutually improve their rankings. While it seems innocuous, it often produces irrelevant or unnatural links, and Google views it as an abuse of its algorithm. To avoid having your website traffic reduced, don’t trade links.

Don’t Duplicate 

One proven way to prevent Google penalties is to avoid posting duplicate content. If your website has multiple pages that are the same or very similar, Google views it as low quality and won’t bother ranking it.

Confirm each page serves a unique purpose and contains original content.

Eliminate Stuffing

Stuffing occurs when you attempt to fit as many keywords as possible into a webpage. While keywords are necessary for high rankings, optimization requires they’re perfectly balanced and distributed throughout the content. When Google sees keyword stuffing, they view it as poor quality and lower its rankings.

Create Quality Content

The biggest predictor of SEO success is the quality of the content. Google doesn’t want low-quality web pages in front of the user because their reputation relies on suggesting the best web pages. High-quality content includes the following characteristics:

  • Free of spelling and grammatical errors
  • Utilizes multiple forms of media like video, pictures, and audio recordings
  • Remains relevant to the website’s topic
  • Contains unique content not found on other websites

Don’t Hide Content

Hidden content includes white text on a white background, placing content outside the visible area, or placing words behind a picture. When a web developer hides content where the user can’t see it, Google views it as low quality or spam.

If you can’t find a way to make relevant content accessible to the user, you’re better off leaving it out.

Resolve Hacks Quickly

A hacked website quickly drops in rankings because Google won’t risk causing harm to other users or their computers. When your website suffers a hack, resolve it quickly to restore your rankings.

You can identify a hacked website when you find search engine results for your website you didn’t add. The results usually appear in Chinese.

To resolve the hack, you should:

  • Change all your passwords
  • Scan the site for malware
  • Hire a professional to recheck your code

Avoid Doorway Pages

Doorway pages typically contain little relevant content and function to rank high in the search engines before guiding a user to a more relevant but less optimized page. Doorway pages cause problems because they’re often duplicates, low quality, irrelevant, and stuffed with keywords.

Use the Right Host

Choosing the right host for your website makes a huge difference. Many free hosting sites allow user-generated spam, in which they often embed viruses or trojans, making them unsafe for visitors. Even the ads free hosting sites use to recuperate their costs are frequently just phishing schemes.

While paid hosts are expensive, they’re the best option because they avoid damaging your rankings with spam and unsafe content.

Avoid Bad Neighborhoods

In SEO terms, a bad neighborhood shares an IP address with other penalized sites. This occurs most often when you choose a free hosting website, forcing you to use the same IP as the other websites the company hosts.

Even if your site is clean, Google flags it because it shares an IP with other problematic pages. It’s your job to avoid any sign your website is part of the problem. The best way to avoid bad neighborhoods is to use a reputable hosting platform.

Prevent Cloaking

Cloaking occurs when the content you show to Google differs from what you show users. The user content usually contains phishing attempts or malware, which they mask to avoid ranking penalties. If Google discovers cloaking, it has significantly detrimental effects on your search engine rankings.

Let MarketingPests Maximize Your SEO Results

Now that you know how to avoid Google penalties, you can choose an SEO agency that doesn’t utilize these practices. MarketingPests specializes in scaling your pest control business through quality SEO strategies. Whether you need Google display ads or an optimized website, we’ll help you with evidence-based marketing methods. Book a strategy session with us today to start growing your business.

Ready To Level Up Your Marketing?

There’s a lot you can do to position your pest control company well in the online world. Your competitors are going above and beyond to get found online, and you’d better do the same if you want to rise above.

It all comes down to understanding your customer. Once you know what they need, finding a way to draw them is easy. Build your marketing efforts around your ideal customer and you’ll see massive results.

If you’d like to discuss how you can generate better results online, let’s schedule a time to chat. You can pick a time that works for you now by going to scheduling a free Lead Flow Acceleration Session with us.

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