Getting de-indexed by Google and vanishing from their search results is almost equal to not existing at all. Google is the world’s most popular Internet search engine, and if your website isn’t showing in their results it can mean the end of the business you’ve invested years to build.
Search engines are still the number one way to drive traffic to a website, and they all have their own rules you need to follow and play by. The most recent Penguin and Panda updates in Google’s algorithms caused many websites to get penalized and even banned, significantly changing the previously established SEO practices.
If you want to protect your website from being de-indexed by Google, here’s what you are not allowed to do when getting higher ranking is concerned:
- Duplicate Content. SEOs that create multiple pages with same content for the purpose of getting more traffic and better rankings by Google will get exactly the opposite – lower rankings on the search result pages, and getting de-indexed for the repeat offenders and spamming websites. Also, you should constantly monitor your website with duplicate detectors, the best one is duplicate content checker PlagSpotter. Notify Google if you notice someone stealing your website’s original content.
- Cloaking. Cloaking is a SEO technique when different content is delivered to search engine spiders and to end users, based upon the IP address or the User-Agent HTTP. For example, you see a website about canoeing in the search results, but when you click the link, it will get you to some Viagra selling web page. It is a deceptive practice that Google does not allow.
- Machine Written Content. Lazy content creators and SEO’s that don’t want to “waste” their time to create unique content their readers are interested in, often use one that’s written with a machine, from scratch, or more often by scraping articles that already exist on the Internet and modifying their content before re-publishing them on their websites. Such behavior is punished by Google with de-indexing their websites.
- Using Keywords Unrelated to your Content. Keywords are not what they used to be in SEO and Internet marketing, but some SEOs will still recommend keyword stuffing to win this game. Google will punish such practice, as well as using keywords that aren’t related to the content of your website and repeating those that are related dozens of times.
- Exchanging Links with Low-Quality Websites. If someone links to you, it doesn’t mean you have to link back to their site too. Particularly not if it is a low-quality website. Google not only monitors your incoming links, but also constantly evaluates the quality of your external links, and will decrease your page rank if sites with low reputation are sending and getting links from you. If you get involved in buying links Google will ban you.
- Using Microscopic Font or Font that Matches the Background. An old-school black hat SEO tactic is to use plenty keywords with minimum size font, not visible to the naked eye, or with same color as the background, in a way hiding them for the user. But, Google will see them and will penalize your website for trying to deceive their spiders.
- Stacking Titles. Using more than one headline for a page, overstuffed with keywords, will not fool Google into ranking your website higher in their results. To optimize your headline, use only the top targeted keywords, and stay in the 70 words limit.
- Point 100s Different URLs to One URL. A strong indicator for Google still are the keyword-rich domains that exactly match the website’s content, so people think they can buy all the available variations, point them to one domain, and get higher rank as their cumulative effect. But this won’t happen. Google will only index one of them, and it may not be your main domain. Don’t risk it.
- Abusing Rich Snippets Markup. The rich snippets we see in Google search results are automatically generated by Google, but if you try to trick their algorithms by creating fake reviews or cloaking, they will disable them for your website. Google does not appreciate activities that destroy the experience of the user.
- Building Poor Quality Affiliate Websites. Affiliate marketing is a great way to make some passive income, but if your website is only about other websites’ products and services, and their original descriptions are scraped and published on your site, Google will de-index you.
- Interlinking. This SEO tactic uses the fact that inbound links are very important for page ranking in its own advantage, by building dozens of websites and linking them to each other. Interlinking is kind of a gray area SEO tactic, but Google will penalize you if you are using it.