How to Avoid Google’s Manual Actions

Google has established general webmaster quality guidelines that serve to support Google’s efforts to find, index, and rank websites in search results listings. If you (or your web developer) perform an action on your website that Google views as negative or in violation of those guidelines – an illicit, deceptive, or manipulative practice – you will find yourself in trouble with Google sooner or later.

In cases where spam is the violation, Google’s own algorithms automatically detect the violation and demote the website in search rankings. Google also relies on humans to review web pages manually. If these reviewers find a violation of the quality guidelines, they take a manual action to address it. Depending on the circumstances, the manual action could be lowering your website’s ranking, removing specific web pages or content, or, in extreme cases, removing your website completely from Google’s search index.

Information relating to all manual actions taken can be found in your website’s Manual Actions Report. You might also receive the following message on the dashboard of your search console: “This site may not perform as well in Google results because it appears to be in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”

Google takes a manual action any time they detect that a website is attempting to trick or manipulate their search engine results and website rankings. While a manual action by Google may appear to be a negative for you or your website, it is not; manual actions are taken to ensure everyone plays by the same rules when it comes to website security, content, SEO, etc.

Manipulation of a website occurs in many forms. A few examples follow.

• Hacking of your website
• User-generated spam that appears on your site’s user profiles or guestbook or forum pages
• Artificial or deceptive external links that point to your site with the intention of manipulating your page ranking
• The content on your site is of little value, low quality, and not unique, such as occurs with content that is generated automatically or from blog posts from others
• Images and pages appearing differently on Google’s search results from those on the page or image where a user actually lands when they click on the image, an action called cloaking
• Overuse of keywords and phrases with the intent of manipulating search rankings

How to Handle a Manual Action

First and foremost, when building your website or developing content for it, understand and adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. As long as you follow the rules, do nothing that intentionally attempts to manipulate your website’s search rankings, and take steps to keep your website secure, you should not be worried about your website receiving a manual action. In fact, web developers should be doing everything they can to avoid appearing to trick Google and instead provide the best possible experience for users and visitors to the website. Of critical importance is to ensure all aspects of the technical SEO for your website are set up and working optimally so that Google can find the website and be certain it is working well and within the guidelines.

Should you receive a manual action notification, review it and take steps to address the issue. Once you have fixed the problem, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google’s webmaster team to manually review your site again.

The web developers and designers at Perfexion, Inc. take the performance of every client’s website seriously. We manage websites and regularly monitor SEO and search results. If we find something off or unusual, we check all analytics and reports to find the issue and then take immediate steps to correct the problem. When your website is properly ranked and reaching your target audience, you can trust we are following the rules.

Contact us to learn how we keep your website safe, ranked appropriately in search engines, and out of cyber jail. We want customers and visitors to your website to find your content valuable and relevant to their needs. Most of all, we want them to feel they can trust you and your website and feel secure doing business with you.

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* https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/03/nohacked-year-in-review.html

Home Page Must Haves

Website Home Page Must-Haves

The home page of a website has mere seconds to impress and engage those who visit it. People who visit a website for the first time are usually looking for certain information upfront – information that indicates they are in the right place. When users’ initial questions are addressed right away, they’ll be more likely to remain on the website, look around, and respond to a call to action. Think about what you look for or expect to find on the home page of a website you visit for the first time. Then think about what you do if you are unable to quickly or easily find the information you’re looking for. Chances are, you click away and search elsewhere.

The content on your website home page should inform, build reader confidence in your business, and showcase you as credible and trustworthy. Every business is different, so content will vary from one website to another. But the following nine elements are must-haves for every home page.

  1. Spell out what you do – Inform visitors in simple, straightforward terms exactly what your business does. If the purpose of your business is not immediately clear, people will leave your website and go to one that clearly spells out what they do.
  2. Explain how visitors benefit from using your products or services – Beyond saying what you do, make clear the main benefit (or benefits) your offering provides or the problem it solves.
  3. Client testimonials – Strategically place several customer reviews on the home page, as these highlight your experience and build trust. Testimonials that mention the service you provided and the clients’ satisfaction are all you need.
  4. Awards, recognitions, associations, certifications – These showcase your professionalism and expertise, and give you credibility in your industry.
  5. Overview of service offerings – Mentioning your products and services on your home page and linking them to more detailed information serves you three ways. You: 1) better inform visitors about what you do or sell, 2) make it easier for them to click the link for more detailed information, and 3) help your home page rank higher in search engine results.
  6. Contact information – Don’t hide or bury key information such as your phone number, email address, and mailing address. By providing this information, you let customers know your business is legitimate and that they can easily communicate with you. The footer of the page is where most companies place their contact information.
  7. Social media links – If you also market your business on social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, or Twitter, you probably want to get the word out as much and as often as possible. Your homepage should include clearly identifiable icons for each to make it easy for users to Like, Follow, Share, and Retweet!
  8. Images and graphics – Quality images that are unique to your business let visitors know what to expect and go far in building credibility. Use stock images sparingly, and make sure all images are high resolution and sized properly.
  9. Call to action – Decide what you want visitors to your website to do once they’re there. Do you want them to subscribe to your email list? Clip a coupon for the offer of the week? Complete a form for more information? Place a logical and clear call to action for whatever makes the most sense for your business.

A home page should provide upfront information about your business that your target customers most want and need to know. Incorrect or insufficient information either forces the user to click around to find what they want, or worse, causes them to leave the website without looking any further. Even if other pages on your website contain exactly what they are looking for, if the home page is unclear, visitors are more likely than not to click away. And when visitors click away after visiting just one page, the bounce rate for your website goes up.

Look at the home page of your website with a critical eye. Does it contain the information a new visitor needs to understand who you are, what you do, and the value you bring? If not, take time to update the home page to add these critical elements, or hire a professional web design and development company with the digital marketing expertise to make sure the home page for your business makes the best first impression it possibly can.

Philadelphia web design company Perfexion, Inc. specializes in web design and development, including search engine and digital marketing. They are experts at building websites that meet users’ needs and add value to the business they represent. Perfexion thrives on helping clients be as successful as possible. They collaborate closely with you to understand your business and put that information to work in every website they build.

Contact Us Today!

WEBSITE pfxn.com
E-MAIL hello@pfxn.com
CALL 610-783-7660
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