Google Penguin is coming in to full effect by fall 2015 and this is really unavoidable. In fact, SEO is undergoing rapid changes for the past 3 years. With these changes, there are many changes forecasted in the SEO world. To avoid Google downranking in 2016, here are 9 pitfalls you should know and be ready with changes.
Pitfall #1. Annoying Prompt Ads
Starting 1st November 2015, annoying prompt ads to install site’s app or even prompt opt-in pages that block relevant content will soon be punished by Google. These ads block out the relevant content users want to view until they can find the tiny “close” button. Visitors are often frustrated, thus user experience is negatively impacted.
Well you can still use these ads, but be prepared to lose everything you’ve worked so hard to earn. It would be good to make a few changes to such ads in time for this SEO 2016 update.
Pitfall #2 Anchor Texts
SEO specialists are taking higher risk to use exact anchor texts in SEO since the first Penguin update in 2012. Whether you are intentionally or unintentionally abusing anchor text can resulted in penalization for over-optimization. It is advisable to have 5 to 10 links to a wider variety of anchor texts and few major keywords. It was proven via a study by Moz that using a few exact match anchored links from highly relevant web pages deliver better rankings.
Pitfall #3 Targeting Specific Pages
It is better to start building your link profile by performing a link evaluation via Google Webmasters account. According to Neil Patel and other experts, a good link profile can improve ranking effectively. It is better than targeting specified pages to rank on Google.
Pitfall #4. Unfriendly Mobile Site Design
This is definitely one of Google’s top SEO 2016 ranking factors. A well optimized for mobile friendly websites can deliver better ranking. This means as simple as too small texts and close together links can result in a website being rated non-mobile-friendly. The improved user experience via mobile browsing will further improve conversion rates and your SEO ranking. Here’s where you can create mobile friendly site for free with more than 1,000 types of attractive templates.
Pitfall #5 Link building Violates Google Guidelines
Despite the comment by John Mueller back in February 2015 that webmasters should avoid link building due its unnatural trait, Google has recently made clarification to this statement. Buying, selling or asking for links is acceptable as long as it didn’t violate Google Webmaster Guidelines, according to its latest statement. You may want to review your current link building approach to prevent being penalized by Google for this breach of rules.
Pitfall #6. Lesser User Engagement
Low user engagement to your website is the leading contributor to lower search engine ranking. Therefore to improve user engagement, you will need to understand their behaviour and preferences of your target audience.
One way to do this is to perform A/B testing. It involves apply similar yet slightly different colours, fonts, offers or word choice to determine which results in the most clicks and conversions. Then apply the most optimized result to improve site user engagement. For A/B testing I use LinkTrackr which I personally find it very useful.
Pitfall #7. Poor User Experience
In this competitive world we are not only talking about how good your content are but how well you can deliver good user experience. Google consider user experience as one of the major factor winning SEO 2016. Bad user experience can have negative effect on your ranking. A mere quick click away from your site can raise a red flag that indicate your website’s poor user experience. You can optimize your website to improve better user experience by keeping it visually appealing (here is where I got my free image), easy navigation and consistently update with high quality content.
Pitfall #8. Lack of Content Uploads
Updating your website with just one or two post per month is not sufficient for SEO 2016 anymore. It is the fresh, unique content that will create magic for your ranking. You need to find out the need of your target audience and focus on providing them high quality fresh content. One or two new posts per week should be able to keep your site up-to-date. Content freshness is one of the Google factor to rank higher.
If your site is about sharing SEO knowledge, I am sure you will have lots of hot, trending topics to engage your audience – since Google algorithm is constantly changing!
Pitfall #9. Low Quality Content
I would advise you to stop content creation if you are not in your optimized state of mind. Google penalize websites with low quality content as this deliver bad user experience. Again, Google ranking is all about delivering better user experience.
Thin content such as doorway pages, automatically generated content, thin affiliate pages or copied content is going to affect your ranking. It is time to start creating fresh, unique content if your previous content is designed for search engines and not users.
Conclusion on SEO 2016
Google is getting smarter with every algorithm update. Unethical tricks that some webmasters implement to manipulate search engine rankings no longer work in their favour in SEO 2016.
If you’re at a risk of getting downranked from Google start making important changes so that you can avoid any future issues. If you would like to know more about SEO Pitfalls to Avoid Google Downranking in 2016, do leave me a comment below. I would love to share more of my experience with you.