Top Five Google Penalties

Top Five Google Penalties

Google is the most-used search engine in the world…and everyone dreams of their business name showing up on the first page of Google. This means Google must work really hard to assure that no URL cheats to get there.

Those  of us who don’t “pay per click” and instead rely on organic or natural search results must follow some basic do’s and don’ts to avoid Google’s “punishment” for violating their quality guidelines. Can your business afford the time it takes to recover from being dropped to last place in search results? Probably not, so here what not to do:

Keyword stuffing is using lots of keywords to rank your page artificially. Instead, use natural language and say what you mean. Example: Car wash services are not all alike. Some car wash services charge too much, other car wash services don’t offer a final dry. Our car wash services are the best!

Thin content: Google’s job is to deliver quality content to users. When a site’s content has little or no value to the user and exists only to crowd out competitive sites from the search results, Google rejects it.

Thin affiliate websites: avoid merely copying a merchant’s website to sell the same product yourself.

Duplicate content: some people actually duplicate their competitor’s website content while merely changing the name.

Spammy content: it’s when one scrapes together text from other ranked sites with no regard for the user experience.

Every site we build has Google Analytics embedded in the site’s code and our clients rest easy knowing that their business website is and will remain 100% clean from Google penalties. But the real key to higher rankings is strong content written optimized for keywords for an audience you understand, adding links, and making it visually appealing to read.

Memorable Branding

Branding is a deliberate action taken to influence people’s perception of your product or service. Successful branding has left a lasting imprint on the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of customers for decades. How is your branding? What does it say about you and your business? It it memorable?

The first commercial jingle was for Wheaties with a quartet singing over radio station WCCO in Minneapolis on Christmas Day in 1926.

Have you tried Wheaties?
They’re whole wheat with all of the bran. 
Won’t you try Wheaties? 
For wheat is the best food of man. 

They’re crispy and crunchy 
the whole year thru,
The kiddies never tire of them 
and neither will you.

So just buy Wheaties, 
the best breakfast food in the land.

With the advent of television, the first TV ad played on July 1, 1941, for Bulova watches during the baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. It cost Bulova a whopping $9.00!

Who hasn’t looked out over a mountain valley and felt the urge to cry out across the canyon “Ri-co-la!” while convinced that “Nobody does it like Sara Lee.”

Small business owners rarely have the ad budget to make jingle history, but we all need to be memorable in our area of service when a “need” or “desire” pops into a local’s head. If we know our audience, have a plan in place, give ourselves enough time, ask for help, and put in place a process to evaluate results and adapt in real time…any business can become memorable.

If your logo, brand, or marketing materials needs a refresh, we have over 20 years of experience, talent, and imagination in digital and print media. Drop us a note at and remember, we’re digital marketing experts but branding is our passion.

Blog Using Long-tail Keywords

Every business wants their website to be on the first page of Google. Everyone! That’s why it’s so tough to get there. But there is a way to improve your chances. Blogging improves your chance to get indexed on an Internet search — if you follow one very important, but easy, rule…

The Rule of Long-tail Keywords

These are phrases that a visitor might use when they search for a product or service, especially when using voice search.

Let’s say you sell new and used golf carts. Someone in your zip code sank their golf cart lakeside while dodging an alligator near the 7th hole. They need a replacement cart, but can’t afford a new one. There’s a good chance they will log onto Google Search and type the term “used golf carts near me.” This term is specific: cart must be pre-owned, the buyer does not want to order online, and the term “near me” will trigger the ZIP code of the buyer, automatically narrowing it down to be “near you.” 

Use long-tail keywords early in your site’s content to describe in detail what you offer or the problem you solve. Then use them again in blogs where you tell a problem/solution story in your own words. Blogs give site owners the opportunity to add more specific keywords to their website every month or every quarter — without even touching the main content!

Blogging also gives you an acceptable, inexpensive marketing opportunity to connect with your base through periodic emails. If you focus your message on the connection you have with your customers, you can improve the conversation while you improve your search engine rankings.

Be sure to avoid filling a blog with awkwardly-phrased keywords that might hurt the user experience. Long-tail keywords integrated into your opt-in/-out blogs will help to improve the search engine’s understanding of your content. And remember, blogging is not selling; it’s a conversation.

Learn more about adding a blog to your website »

Learn more about the value of long-tail keywords here »