By now, every business and digital marketer knows that you don’t mess with Google. Google search rankings can significantly impact your business and brand awareness online. Everyone strives to make the first page of Google rankings, but a penalty from the tech giant could set you back.

Google doesn’t discriminate, so no matter how large or small your business is, choosing not to play nice with Google’s algorithm could spell disaster for you and your company. If you’re a small business, trying to outrank larger companies can be challenging, but it can be done, especially when you actively avoid getting penalized by Google. Google is making some key changes in how they treat websites, so you’ll want a team of web experts in your corner. Here’s what Charley Grey wants you to know and what the new Google penalties could mean for your small business.

Google Penalties Explained

Poor Design, Poor Rankings

Starting in May, Google will start penalizing poorly designed websites, regardless of traffic or current content rankings. Not only will this mean that poorly designed websites will get tucked away in the search pages, but Google will also be looking for websites that don’t optimize for mobile and have poor user experience navigation. If your current website has pop-up ads, is tough to interact with on mobile phones and tablets, and is plagued with broken links, then you will notice a drop in your rankings, regardless of your SEO. If you have a managed website with Charley Grey, don’t fret – we’ve already taken care of this for you.

Content Re-Writes

As SEO experts, we know that keywords are critical for ranking higher than your competitors. However, the upcoming update indicates that Google’s algorithm will soon pick up on keyword stuffing. While the tech mogul has been actively penalizing sites for keyword stuffing already, its BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations and Transformers) is now capable of understanding content as well as, if not better, than most humans. If your website is currently stuffed with keywords, you could have a rewrite in the future. To stay within Google’s good graces, write content that sounds and reads naturally and keep keyword usage to 2-3%.

Tightened Security

Hacking is becoming a major concern for companies everywhere. Even kids today can hack into systems and websites with just a couple of keystrokes, and if you’re not prepared, you could be their next target. Not noticing that your website is hacked can get you penalized by Google. The little spider bots that work for the mega-search engine send site results back to the home base, flagging your website as hacked and not safe for visitors. Not only does this ruin your online reputation, but it can also make customers question your commitment to their security overall. If you want to avoid being penalized by Google now or in the future, then it’s time to button up your website’s security.

Linking to Outside Sources

If your small business is worried about sending site visitors away from your own services and goods, you’re not alone. However, not using outbound links in your business website or blogs can get you penalized by the search-engine tycoon. Outbounding to other credible websites helps you build credibility as a business, but it’s important to use high-quality links to avoid being spammy. If you don’t want people leaving your main pages, just make sure you use outbound links in your blogs to help push your website and pages to the top of the Google search.

Avoid the Penalties & Elevate Your Website

As a small business owner, you don’t have the time, energy, or even the expertise to be tinkering around with your website. So, you need the managed web development services from Charley Grey. We sell peace of mind so you can continue to work on the other things that matter. Contact us today, and let’s grab coffee! Call (317) 207-2015

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash