As a website owner, receiving a Google penalty is bad news. Just think how you would feel if you log into a Google Webmaster dashboard to discover your traffic has dropped significantly – overnight. 

SEO penalties are a digital nightmare. With that being said, some webmasters are not even aware that there is an issue with their website. Keep reading to learn some off- and on-page optimization tips that will help you avoid SEO penalties. 

Avoid Spun or Duplicate Content 

You are probably tired of hearing “content is king;” however, it is something worth repeating. It still holds true today, especially when considering the ranking parameters used by Google. 

However, as a busy business owner, you don’t have time to create high-quality, original content constantly. You may want to “spin” something someone else wrote and post it, but this is not a good idea. 

Regardless of the content spinning software you use, Google’s algorithms will know what you have done and penalize you for it. If you want to achieve good results in search engines, you must create and publish high-quality, original content. 

Excessive Ads Over “The Fold”

Google places value on UX (user experience). Because of this, you have to think about your users when creating your web pages

If your page and content don’t deliver immediately on the promises you made, it is bad UX. While you can put a few ads on your site, make sure that you don’t sacrifice user experience by doing this. By focusing on your users’ experience, you can achieve improved SERP performance and keep people coming back to your site for additional resources and quality information. 

Avoid Hidden Links or Text

It may be possible to make links and text “invisible” to visitors by making them the same color as your page’s background. However, doing this won’t hide it from the Google spiders. 

In fact, this is considered a direct violation of policies outlined by Google. It is also going to result in a penalty. Overusing keywords on your pages has been on Google’s list of “absolute no’s” for more than 10 years now. 

Rather than hiding or stuffing keywords, try to spend time creating content that will help people visiting the site or solve a question they have. Remember, if someone visiting your site has a good experience, there’s a good chance search engines will love the site, too. 

Monitor User-Generated Spam

While user-generated content is a valuable asset, users may misuse this freedom to create backlinks that serve their own interests. 

When a user posts content on your site, they may also post a link to their site in the comments. However, if this happens too often on one page, it will be a red flag, and Google may impose a penalty on your site. 

If you want to ensure you don’t incur a Google penalty, be sure to keep the information here in mind. This will help ensure you get the desired results with your site and that no serious penalties arise from what you have put on your website.