No one wants to trigger Google’s spam filter, but the fact is that it happens. With manual penalties, you will be informed by Google in Webmaster Tools, so it makes it easier to fix the issue. Algorithmic penalties are a bit trickier, though, because you may not know that you triggered a spam filter or why. The only indication you may see is a drop in traffic or rankings.
Below are ten easy ways that everyday web owners like yourself can trip a spam filter. Let’s get started!
1. Domain reputation. Who had it before you? What was their reputation? Do you have a domain name that is a misspelled version of a popular brand? Or maybe you’re using a domain that contains a trademarked name. Bottom line: Whichever domain you choose, make sure that it has a clean past and doesn’t contain spammy content.
2. Beefing up content. It’s acceptable to spruce up old content with new facts and figures, but if you suddenly take a bunch of your content, add trending words and post them as new, the spam filters are going to have a problem.
3. Comment spamming. Valuable, honest comments from real people are always best, so avoid facilitating comment spamming on the pages of your website.
4. Duplicating content. You’ve heard that the best content is 100% original. If you decide to duplicate content across multiple subdomains instead of creating unique text, you’re asking for trouble.
5. Inconsistent content. If you repeatedly show the search engines one thing and your human visitors another, Google’s spam filter will pick up on this. Not to mention, visitors won’t appreciate this either, and you’ll lose instant trust.
6. Machine generated content. Google appreciates websites that have a conversationalist tone. Speak to your audience in your content, and steer clear of content that sounds like it was generated by a robot creature.
7. Redundant anchor text. Spam filters see a red flag when sites use “Click Here,” “Read More” and other redundant phrases. Choose more accurate and unique anchor text for these links.
8. Frequent error codes. Error pages that produce “Session Expired” in the search results as well as 404-Pages are frustrating to users and tells the spam filters that your website has some kinks to work out.
9. Blatant advertising. If you know your demographic, take the time to develop marketing strategies that will relate to them. If you target them on social media through blatant advertising and messages, this will make your site look spammy.