Google’s Penalties

It never fails to astound me how people constantly opt for the cheapest deal. Cheap search engine optimization is a misnomer, if you want the best SEO you have to pay for it. If it was cheap and simple, then for £50 or £100 per month everyone would be Page 1.

I’ve worked on many campaigns at SEO Liverpool but up until about 4 months ago I was only aware of two real Google penalties. The outright ban, where a site will be completely removed from the Google index and the minus 40-60 penalty.

About 9 months ago I started talking to a local company about helping them with their SEO efforts. As usual, we sounded each other out and it looked like we could move forward. Typically, we had no contact for a few months, then unexpectedly, my contact called me up and said that all of his Google rankings had disappeared. He explained that the only thing his site was ranking for was its name. The site came up no.1 for his two word company name and no.1 for the domain. However all of the other positions the site had with the homepage, albeit not good ones had disappeared. I had a little play around and even when I tried searching for some unique text off the homepage (in quotes) it didn’t come up.

So I asked this guy a couple of questions, you know – have you made any changes recently that could have caused this to happen? After about 5 minutes, he confessed to talking to a guy he knew, who’d gave him some help… he was cheap… etc. His sage advice was to place lots of area names at the bottom of the homepage, which he did… in tiny text so that nobody could see!

I told him in 5 seconds “The site has been penalised, you put hidden text in and attempted to deceive Google”. We got rid of the hidden text, I told him what to say to Google on the reinstatement request and his site was back to where it was previously within a week.

The point of this little story is that SEO evolves at an incredible rate. If you’ve missed ‘Panda 2.0′ and probably the most devastating ‘Search plus your world’, then you might as well not bother calling yourself an SEO. Remember, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. A search engine will penalise you! Use a respected SEO company, and understand that your nephew, his mate or the fella down the pub doesn’t have a clue.

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