Avoiding SEO penalties is a must for anyone who is looking to develop a healthy relationship between their side and the search engines. Of course, the most notable search engine of the last decade or so continues to be Google, and creating a healthy relationship between your site and Google’s algorithm is essentially a must.
What Is A Search Engine Optimization Penalty?
There are basically two forms of penalties at the moment. The first form has everything to do with on page. Years ago, you could create a website and stuff the website full of links and content that relate to one particular keyword. The web is not built around semantic understanding. Instead, the web is actually built around character analysis. What Google has been able to do with its algorithm is analyze this data in a way that penalizes anyone who is trying to manipulate search engine rankings with on-site choices. The algorithm is able to analyze data and keyword usage based on normal writing standards, and anyone who decides to try his or her hand at manipulating this on page experience will generally suffer an SEO penalty.
The second kind of search engine optimization penalty has to do with off page manipulation. Since the search engines are not built around semantics (and understanding of quality of writing or the context of writing), the search engines are forced to use data analysis in order to rank sites. Character analysis on page is one way; link analysis that refers to any particular page is another way. The latter of these two has been, over time, the more commonly manipulated approach. Programmers have created a variety of tools that essentially allow people to create thousands upon thousands of links and refer to those links back to their webpages. The majority of these links are seen as poor quality, and for this reason Google has had to look at link creation and link manipulation in order to essentially look into which sites are being rewarded for links to quality and compare those with sites that are being spent with links made by programmers.
We have reached a point in time where the majority of those programs are easily detectable by Google. Also, link purchases and link purchasing programs are monitored by Google as well. Google has an anti-spam team that works round-the-clock to make sure that the most respectable websites are rewarded by its search engine.
Search Engine Optimization of the Future
Many of us in the industry expect that some sort of semantic language reader will eventually reach the search engines, and once that happens reduce the importance of links, at least to some degree. If the search engines and spiders attached to these engines were able to crawl sites and evaluate content based on quality, the search engines would be able to reward the best quality sites as opposed to the best marketed sites. For now, it remains a game of blending quality and consistent marketing in order to advance a site up the serps.