It’s a simple question; why and when do Google penalise our websites? And – in one way, unfortunately, it is a very simple answer…We don’t know!
Google has had to adjust to various black hat approaches that have been widespread across the web over the years. We all know that the Google spider has become ever more intelligent so it is imperative that Google keeps on top of the web and to stay at the front of offering the public the finest quality search results. It does this by using a system of reward and punishment of websites based on what it reckons that they proffer to their users.
However, no one actually knows precisely what Google actually considers, when it crawls through the billions of web pages, to decide which websites it rewards and which websites it penalises. There is masses of information out there that will suggest you use exclusive content, clever use of keywords, steer clear of duplicate content across your site and create good content that gets linked too. Similarly, you should also stay away from devious redirect tactics, cloaking, creating content that only the robots can see and stuffing your webpages with too many keywords.
Amazingly, Google have kept secret their particular formula for rewarding and penalising. This is a pretty impressive feat when you think about the amount of things that get leaked on the web these days. All we can do is hypothesize as to what they do by what evidence we have.
So – don’t link to banned websites. Do not link to link farms or Spam sites. Do not stuff your page with keywords…keep it natural. Don’t buy or sell links. Don’t have any hidden text or links, especially links that Google recognises are hidden either in the code or by the text being the same colour as the background. Any other way of gaming Google (e.g, cloaking) or attempting to manipulate the rankings in any way is likely to be open to Google penalties.