Google’s ever-changing search algorithm is intricate. The search giant handsomely rewards those who crack the code, but punishes those who haven’t.
Studies show that the top-ranking position on Google yields a 30% CTR, but that number drops to less than 2% by the tenth position.This makes pandering to Google essential for success, in any online niche. Building quality SEO relies on understanding the most common reasons why Google hates some websites.
You’re Ignoring Mobile
Google has placed an enormous emphasis on mobile optimisation in recent years. And why shouldn’t it? The U.S. smartphone market currently sits at 207 million users. Capitalising on smartphone users means designing a mobile responsive website. Responsive websites’ shared URL, shared HTML, and dynamically changing layout makes them a Google favorite.
People Aren’t Sticking Around
Google measures bounce rate, or the percentage of people that leave your website without navigating from their landing page. A high bounce rate tells Google your page layout is poor. In Google’s eyes, a well laid out page will drive clicks to other pages.
Your Terrible Time On Site
Similarly, time on site is a little like bounce rate, but instead measures how long users stay on your webpages. Google equates long time on site with a quality website. Weak content and poor web design influences users to turn elsewhere, and decreases time on site.
You Scream SEO Exploiter
If your website is dedicated solely to SEO, expect to get dinged on search rank. Google wants to see webpages dedicated to helping users. This means things like phrase domains and keyword stuffing will hurt your search rank.
Your Links Are Low Quality
Google recently released its Penguin 4.0 update that allows the search giant to monitor links in real time. Using low quality links between Google updates is no longer a viable strategy.
Increase your search rank, by linking out to authority websites. These are your .gov, .edu, and trusted new sources. Links to webpages that link to an authority website are also ok. Anything beyond two degrees of separation could hurt your search rank though.
You’re Lacking A Sitemap
Your sitemap refers to a “map” of your website’s page structure. Failing to submit a sitemap makes it difficult for Google to “crawl” your website. Anything that hinders Google’s job will also decrease your search rank, so create your own sitemap and submit it to Google.
Your Meta Tags Are To Blame
Meta tags are short text strings within HTML code that describe a page’s content to Google. Google reads the tags and then determines your website’s focus. Tags that inaccurately describe your website’s content will confuse Google, and lower your search ranking.
Your Site Speed Is Abysmal
Google places heavy emphasis on the end user-experience. Websites that load slowly, are deemed inefficient thus they are penalised. This is not surprising, as 40 percent of users will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
Your Content Is Weak
Content is king in the end user experience. Strong content tells Google that your website is relevant, an authority on your topic, and thus worth recommending to users. Weak content tells Google to ignore your website altogether. A website could shine everywhere else, but without content it’s destined to fail.
Google Doesn’t Trust You
Low trust is a culmination of the previous reasons Google hates your website. Put simply, Google is going to trust websites that cater to users and proper SEO practices. If Google doesn’t trust your website, it has no reason rank it in SERPs.
Keep these ten things in mind, and making friends with Google will come naturally. Just remember… Google doesn’t forgive easily.