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Search Engine Optimization SEO Lessons

Is My Website Penalized by Google?

How do you know if the domain name you purchase for your website is penalized? That is one of the most difficult questions to answer even for the top SEO experts. Unfortunately, there is no easy to use Google directory that lists penalized websites. How do I know? Because this very website that you’re reading this blog article on is penalized as of the day of this writing.

I have had a lot of success with my techniques as have many of my colleagues. After owning this domain for nearly a year while performing some basic yet effective SEO methods on the website, the ranking of the site even for low competition keywords has been terrible. In fact, I can’t even rank for my own company name. So how can you determine if your site is penalized? Here are a few methods you can use:

Check for Past Owners – The registry that looks after your domain suffix (.com, .ca, .net, etc) keeps a record of all the owners and is visible through a whois tool. The tool will show you the current owners details (unless they’ve paid for privacy) and how how many times the domain has changed ownership. You can also find the year the domain was first registered. Unfortunately, for some of the more detailed information, you will likely need to pay a fee. One website that offers a lot of information is whois.domaintools.com. If you’re domain name has never been registered before then you have nothing to worry about.

Check for Unique Content – Recently, I discovered that three blog articles were added to the website by the contractor I originally hired to build the site. Using an online plagiarism checker, I found that the content was quite literally plastered all over the internet. These articles were no where near unique. Google wants to see that your website is unique. It accepts some duplicity so you don’t have to rush to check every single piece of content on your site. Just make sure that the majority of your articles or content is unique.

Check your Backlinks – What’s a backlink? The simple definition is that it’s a link to your website on another website. Backlinking is an integral part of an effective SEO marketing campaign. As a general rule, if a website receives a significant increase in backlinks and then the backlinking stops, Google sees this as being unnatural. If it’s severe, Google may even deindex that domain. In otherwords, it will not be listed in any search results regardless of how hard you look. A great tool for checking your backlinks is www.ahrefs.com.

Just a quick note, there may be a slim chance that you will run across a website that has received 20,000 or more backlinks in a very short period of time. A very small few internet marketers do this in very competitive, very profitable niches. However, this technique doesn’t last forever. When it stops, Google hits that site hard. It’s not a method for any real business.

So, if you’ve performed SEO methods on your website and haven’t seen any results, it’s possible that your website has been penalized. Need some help checking your site? Feel free to contact us for a free and quick assessment. We can also provide SEO marketing services to improve your results too.

Clinton is owner of The Complete Webdesigner, a Kelowna Search Engine Marketing based company.

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Search Engine Optimization SEO Services

Importance of SEO

Importance of SEO

You must have come across the term SEO, and are probably wondering why many are on the move towards getting their websites optimized. At first glance, one can assume that SEO is only a means to improve the quality of a website, and to pull in more visitors to it. But if you understand SEO better, you will realize that SEO can do a lot more for you whether you are a business owner or someone who is trying to do effective marketing.  SEO is actually the key to accomplishing your online goals.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization or simply SEO is the strategy used to manipulate search results relevant to the keywords entered.  In short, SEO can help your website appear number one in the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Position). If for example your website is used in marketing automotive parts, then through SEO, your website can beat other similar websites in the Google, Yahoo or Bing searches by listing number one, or at least in the first page of the results. You should understand that if you cannot make it there, then you are not visible to your target audience. Whatever your goal is for running a site, it may not be accomplished if you are not using SEO.

Benefits of Using SEO

SEO can get your website a step ahead of the competition. So what can you get if you make it to number one? Below are just a few of the many ways by which SEO can work to your advantage.

  • Increase website traffic. What would you need a website for if your target audience can’t see you?  You entered the online world because you want to achieve something, but that won’t happen if you are not visible. With your website in the first page of the SERPs, the audience can feel your presence, and check what you have to offer. Whatever your purpose is – to give information, to sell products or services, or to help market other businesses – you are closer to it if you increase traffic to your site.
  • Internet marketing. More and more consumers nowadays are turning to the internet when looking for an item to purchase. This is the reason most businesses, apart from the classical forms of advertising, also use the internet to disseminate information about their products or services. SEO makes use of internet marketing techniques such as email marketing, press releases, coupon distribution, etc. to attract more buyers.
  • Increase brand awareness. With better web presence, you are allowing the target audience to remember the brand you are marketing. SEO helps create an impact to online consumers, which is very important if you intend to make a hit not just today but also for a long time. Even when you are only catering to a small geographic area, you are still likely to face competition. Other similar businesses in your area can be doing it too, and you should not let them reap all the rewards that come from that.
  • Develop customer loyalty. Through SEO, your presence is always felt by your customers. For as long you are able to deliver their expected quality, SEO will do the rest in getting your customers to stick to your brand. Customers can easily turn to other websites at one instance that you are not found. Changing from one brand to another is just a click away; and it only takes SEO to prevent it from happening.
  • Improve credibility. Many consumers think that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing select websites by reputation. That, if your website is on top of the list, it is undoubtedly credible. But the truth is that, it is SEO that controls the game. Nevertheless, it is also a fact known to many, that search engines are likely to remove from its index those websites that have a bad name. Therefore, it only makes sense that you show the audience that your website can be trusted; and that is possible with the help of SEO.
  • Increase revenues. This is usually the ultimate goal. You are aiming for more traffic to your site, and for consumers to think about your brand because these have monetary benefits. In terms of business this could mean higher revenues, and if you are doing internet marketing, then this would indicate more commissions.

Conclusion

SEO is what you need if you are serious about accomplishing your online goals. But SEO is very broad subject, and it can take years of practice before you are able to master the technique. The competition in the cyberspace is getting stiffer, and if you will not act today, your website may not get anywhere. It will help to consult an SEO expert who knows the ins and outs of optimization. That is, if you do not have a lot of spare time to devote to studying SEO.