Google’s content algorithms are always evolving. If you have suddenly realised that your website traffic has dropped significantly, then it is possible that the content on your site has been penalised. Doing business online means that you have to proactively manage your website traffic and a part of this is staying updated with the algorithmic penalties that Google enforces. Here’s an overview of some of the most significant penalties:
The initial Panda algorithm was launched in 2011 and the goal of this algorithm is to penalise websites with poor content. The algorithm has been updated since the initial launch and Google continues to run it a few times each year, which means that even if your website is affected and you fix the issues on your site, you might have to wait a few months before your website traffic will be restored to normal.
According to the Panda algorithm, weak content can mean anything from content that is duplicated and redundant to sloppy, hastily produced content. This can seem a bit arbitrary, so you might have to do a stock take of all the pages and articles on your site to pinpoint poor content.
The Penguin algorithm was released in 2012 and it was created to identify spammy links on websites. Around 3% of all websites on the internet were affected when it was launched and Google has continued to improvise this algorithm and make it more sophisticated. Unnatural link building practices include links that are sourced from low authority sites or links from only one or two sources.
In 2015, Google announced that they would be penalising websites that aren’t mobile friendly. If your website isn’t adapted for cell phone screens and other mobile devices, then you are losing out on sales and