There are a couple of things that Search Engines look at when ranking your website in search results, for various keywords. These include original content, number of links pointing from other website’s to yours, your overall online presence, the quantity of relevant content on your pages. People have tried long and hard to manipulate Google’s search algorithm by trial and error of various methods. The bottom line being that you just can’t fool Google. Although there may be more than 2,000 factors which determine how your site is ranked, there is a sure-shot list of points which Google hates and will punish you if you do those things. This article aims to highlight some key points which you should definitely avoid if you want to be in Google’s good books.
Google hates copy cats. The whole purpose of Google is defeated if it is not able to serve up fresh, genuine and relevant content for a user’s search query. When a person look for something using Google, he is dependent on Google to provide the most accurate websites which will provide the information sought. If Google does not catch the attention of the searcher, he will look for the information elsewhere and Google would have lost out on potential ad revenue in the process. Google says:
“Purely scraped content, even from high-quality sources, may not provide any added value to your users without additional useful services or content provided by your site; it may also constitute copyright infringement in some cases scraping google. It’s worthwhile to take the time to create original content that sets your site apart. This will keep your visitors coming back and will provide more useful results for users searching on Google.”
To get back links from external websites, webmasters buy many domain names and put up rudimentary content with a link back to the parent website which they want to boost in search results. Google calls these doorway pages and penalizes doorway sites themselves and also websites using doorway pages. Since these websites or pages are “typically large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase” they offer no value added benefit to Google users.
“Google frowns on practices that are designed to manipulate search engines and deceive users by directing them to sites other than the one they selected, and that provide content solely for the benefit of search engines. Google may take action on doorway sites and other sites making use of these deceptive practices, including removing these sites from Google’s index.”
People also use such dummy websites to automatically redirect visitors to the real website and mislead the user about where they are being taken. The dummy website will show up on Google Search Results, but the user is ultimately taken to the real website which has nothing to do with the search results.
Paid Links are basically links which are not earned due to quality, but are instead bought from websites which are willing to make a quick buck. This dilutes the quality of content for the search results and leads to irrelevant or misleading information. Google classifies buying or selling links that pass PageRank, excessive link exchanges, large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links and even using automated programs or services to create links to your site as Paid Links. These are all liable for being penalized and even removed from Google’s Search system.
Google’s Webmaster Support says that “If you’ve ever received a comment that looked like an advertisement or a random link to an unrelated site, then you’ve encountered comment spam.” Comment Spam is visible on many blogs, which have popular content. Spammers post a comment or remark about the article and surreptitiously insert a link with their own brand or promotion in it. Comments are usually in the form of random praise about the article or some obscure sentence related to the article content and sometimes is outright junk text. All these qualify for the penalty by Google.