Whenever you are making changes to your website, creating new content, or doing anything to improve your online rankings in Google, you need to ensure that everything is completely above board. Any ‘blackhat’ SEO techniques that are deemed as ‘spammy’ or ‘disingenuous’ in the eyes of Google could end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for.
What is a manual action from Google?
Here it is direct from the horse’s mouth:
“Google issues a manual action against a site when a human reviewer at Google has determined that pages on the site are not compliant with Google’s webmaster quality guidelines. Most manual actions address attempts to manipulate our search index. Most issues reported here will result in pages or sites being ranked lower or omitted from search results without any visual indication to the user.”
In other words, if you try to manipulate Google or ‘break the rules’ in any way, shape or form, your website and your brand’s online visibility will suffer for it.
What are some typical manual actions from Google?
In order to avoid getting into trouble, it is worth getting an idea of what your typical manual action looks like:
- Third-party spam abuse: this is why you need to run a tight ship when it comes to forum websites or allowing comments on your blog posts; because if any third-parties start posting spam on your website and you don’t take action, Google will.
- Unnatural links: any links that Google deems as being unnatural, deceptive, or artificial in nature will result in a manual action. This is why you must be wary when you encounter a digital marketer who offers you “thousands of backlinks for cheap!” More often than not they are fake and you’re being ripped off.
- Hidden text or keyword stuffing: in the old days of SEO people would write extra content with focus keywords on their website and then change the colour of their text so that it would be invisible to the naked eye, however, the word count would contribute to their SEO. A similar ‘blackhat’ technique that involves over-using your keywords in your content in order to try and trick Google into rewarding you with higher rankings. Both will result in a manual action from Google.
- Content with little to no value: if you are throwing up AI automated content without giving it a second glance, or scraping content from other websites, or simply writing incredibly poor content that adds no real value to the user at all, it may result in a manual action. In this case, crap content won’t necessarily result in penalisation, however, Google will not bother ranking your website at all, which will render your website largely useless.
How to avoid receiving a manual action from Google?
If you wish to avoid any and all trouble with Google, the first and easiest step is to familiarise yourself with their webmaster guidelines. When you know the rules inside and out you’ll never have to worry about breaking them unknowingly.
Alternatively, if you would prefer not to have to dive too deep into this world (which can get very complicated and exhausting) the alternative is to outsource all of your digital marketing requirements to the experts.
Just make sure that before handing the proverbial keys to the castle to a third-party, that they are a well-reputed company with plenty of social proof to support their legitimacy. Take this SEO in Abu Dhabi as an example; with hundreds of 5* reviews and case studies from satisfied clients, you can have faith in the fact that they will never do anything that will result in you receiving a manual order from Google.
Peace of mind.