If you’ve been trying to get your business some organic exposure in search engines like Google, it can be an extremely frustrating endeavour when you’ve been slogging away at the project for 6 – 12 months and you still don’t have the rankings you deserve.
Even more frustrating is if you’re entrusting an SEO agency to run your campaigns, and you’ve blasted through thousands of dollars and still aren’t seeing an increase in rankings or website traffic.
After a while you may wonder if Google might just hate your website for some reason?
It’s a fair question, but let’s be very clear.
Google does not hate any web site.
But there are a few things you may be doing (or not doing) which are simply making Google prefer your competitor’s websites over yours.
Google Hates Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is an old tactic that people used to use for years to game Google and Bing search engine rankings by repeatedly inserting words in key positions throughout website content.
Keyword stuffing use to work 15 years ago, but it is now a spam tactic that usually creates more problems than solutions.
Search engines are WAY smarter than that these days.
It was once an effective SEO strategy which worked for many webmasters back in the days when Google wasn’t as advanced and keyword research tools weren’t available like they are today.
However, nowadays this outdated technique has been proven time and again to be ineffective because search engines have evolved past being able to tell what words on your website should rank higher or lower by sheer volume alone.
Today this technique can lead a reduction in organic rankings, loss of valuable traffic from top-ranked pages, and event manual site reviews leading to the complete removal/demotion of offending sites from major search engines altogether!
Basically all your hard work goes down the drain.
Google Hates Slow Load Times
It’s simple, Google hates slow websites.
This is evidenced by the fact that they recently released a study detailing how even minor delays in page loading time can create negative browsing sessions for users and lead to increased bounce rates regardless of site content or user satisfaction.
Websites that are not responsive have a hard time handling the ever-changing needs of mobile users too.
Google has taken notice and is now ranking websites based on how fast they load to ensure website visitors get what they’re looking for without having to wait around too long.
The way we use phones in this day and age quickly changes with our needs, whether it be waiting at home or while out on the go.
Those who do not keep up could soon find themselves buried beneath all other sites if their sites are too slow and frustrate users!
Google is serious about creating a great (and speedy) experience for its users and as a result has released details of new rankings metrics that will come into effect in May of 2021.
These metrics are collectively known as Core Web Vitals.
Google’s Chrome team announced three new metrics for measuring website performance in the context of CWV.
Without boring you with the technical details around CWV, it’s a 3 part system which allows Google to determine how slow your website is when a user loads it up.
Those websites with poor CWV scores will quickly find their rankings dropping.
Google Hates Non-Secure Websites
Google wants to create a fast, and secure internet for everyone to enjoy.
Therefore their ranking algorithm will often tend to penalize websites that are not secure.
In order to protect their users, Google takes a more stringent approach to ranking non-secure webpages lower in search results.
If you visit a website and it doesn’t have the lock icon, then it’s not secure and Google doesn’t want to send it’s users to unsafe websites.
Google Hates Thin Content
What’s the definition for “Thin Content”?
It can be hard to pinpoint a specific answer because there isn’t an official standard on what makes content “thin”.
Generally speaking though, thin content would consist of shorter posts, without much substance behind them either being promotional or informational.
We’ve all seen articles which are thin when it comes to content.
They use a lot of words, but they aren’t actually providing much information of actual value.
So Google is always changing it’s algorithm to try and weed out thin content because those web pages don’t really help users get what they need.
Google wants website owners, bloggers, videographers etc, to put some more thought into their work instead of just throwing something together for the sake of getting a post up on time.
Google Hates Spammy Links
Backlinks are links which come from an external website, and point back to yours.
Search engines like Google view these links as a “vote” for your website, and to this day they are still one of the most powerful ranking factors.
Spam links are those that link to a site with the intent of gaming the search engine algorithms.
This is typically done by buying backlinks which is definitely against Google’s guidelines.
What Google will see is a website that’s all about Plumbing (for example), and then hundreds of backlinks from other websites which have nothing to do with Plumbing.
Those external websites will also likely be hosted in other countries like China for example.
Google knows that there is a very low chance that these new backlinks are natural.
Google has been fighting spammy links for a long time and so they’ve become very efficient at either simply ignoring those links which aren’t relevant, or punishing your website with lower rankings for trying unnaturally influence their search engine.
People also ask…
Is Google penalising my site?
The easiest way to check is to refer to the information provided in Google Search Console. This platform provides an insight into what Google thinks about your website. Among many interesting stats, it will tell you if there is a manual penalty applies to your website.
How can I improve my SEO?
Broadly speaking, your organic rankings will tend to improve if you focus on creating a large volume of high quality content which solves problems for users.
However sometimes that may not be enough, and you may need to engage the help of an SEO agency to help you achieve your goals.
Should I focus on SEO or SEM?
Both SEO and SEM or Search Engine Marketing (Google/Bing Ads) have pros and cons so it’s important to understand which campaign type is best suited for your short and long-term goals. Refer to this article for a more thorough explanation.