You can spend hours upon hours implementing SEO tactics, have amazing Google rankings but the second you disobey Google’s ranking factors, all your countless hours of hard work can be reversed. As we all know, Google’s algorithm is constantly changing which makes our job as SEO specialists slightly more tedious. Changes to algorithms can greatly impact businesses and their revenue which is why it’s so crucial to always keep updated. Change is inevitable and something you must be accustomed to especially within the online world. The best thing you can do is stay in the loop and learn how to best prepare for the changes which do occur. We have identified five common negative Google ranking factors and how you can manage them.

DUPLICATE CONTENT

There are various definitions of what duplicate content can be perceived as by Google. The first form of duplicate content is essentially reproducing content which is already visible on other websites. The second form of duplicate content relates to your own website and having the same content shared across your own domains and URLs. To resolve this issue, ensure you have only one domain name and set up 301 redirects to combat this in the event you do have duplicated content within your own website.  Also remember to always keep your content original and relevant to your audience.

DUPLICATE META INFORMATION

Similarly, duplicated meta information can also be detrimental for your SEO. You should always ensure each of your web pages its own individual meta descriptions. Having duplicate meta descriptions may not directly impact your SEO rankings however they do impact your CTRs (click through rates) in search results. Google prioritises content which has high CTRs which leads to higher rankings so ultimately meta descriptions really do matter. To avoid any issues with duplicate meta description, always keep your meta descriptions as unique and original as possible.

TOO MANY OUTBOUND LINKS

Having outbound links on your website can be beneficial for your SEO, however having too many can decrease your website’s credibility. By having too many outbound links, this can potentially be viewed by Google as ‘black-hat SEO’ tactics which are unethical and can damage your reputation. The best way to avoid being penalised for having too many outbound links is to always use outbound links in moderation.

PAGE LOADING SPEED

Page loading time is so important because it directly corresponds to the user’s experience. Google rewards those who make extra effort to ensure their websites are functioning efficiently and have good page loading speed. A website which takes too long to load, is at risk of enduring high bounce rates. You can test your website’s speed by using Google’s Page Speed insights. This will reveal which speed your website is currently tracking at on both desktop and mobile. If your website is falling within the red zone, you will need to make changes to increase your page loading speed. Simple changes such as optimising large images can significantly improve your loading time.

LOW DWELL TIME

When SEO specialists refer to your website’s dwell time what they are referring to is a metric created by Google which measures user engagement. It includes the time each user spends viewing your website, bounce rates and CTRs.  Having a low dwell time reflects poorly on your website and it can impact its ‘user friendly’ element. Ideally you want users to be engaged the second the click on your website and find value from the content you provide, being able to easily click through each page. The best way to avoid any discrepancies from Google for having a low dwell time is to ensure your website is easy to navigate, it is optimised for an enhanced user experience and provides valuable content.

Google has an endless number of ranking factors, each aimed at providing searchers with the best websites possible to answer their queries. If you don’t adhere to these ranking factors, you can lose all the hard work you have invested into your SEO almost instantly if you do not resolve the issues which have been brought to light. By addressing the five ranking factors stated above, you maintain your SEO and avoid being penalised by Google.