If Google decides that your franchise website is demonstrating spam-like qualities, it will initiate an instant demotion.
Some factors that contribute to this are intentional, while others can occur by accident. Here are some website tactics never to employ.
Sneaky Link Tactics
Make sure that all links affiliated with your franchise website are legitimate – beginning with the homepage. Never use redirects to alter a user’s destination. This is sneaky and can lead to the site being de-indexed. Give users links only to outside sources that are reputable. Linking to sites that are not trustworthy causes the referring site’s integrity to be questioned.
Many people recognize that Google does not favor links to affiliate sites. To keep these links from being obvious, some employ methods known as cloaking. Employing such extreme tactics will likely result in a penalty from Google.
Google rewards quality franchise content with high rankings and penalizes low-quality content by decreasing a site’s rankings. Beyond poor quality, some sites are actually composed of auto-generated content. If Google algorithms detect auto-response instead of personal activity, it enforces a penalty. In some cases, the site is de-indexed.
Poor Ad Placement
In an effort to make money on advertising, some sites go overboard. Popups – large, distracting ads – are signs of a low-quality site. Additionally, a large number of ads in the upper portion of a page will induce a penalty. Either of these advertising mistakes will lead to lower Google ranking.
Keyword placement is an important part of boosting relevancy ratings and gaining high ranking. However, over-optimization occurs when a site sacrifices quality in the name of word placement. Known as keyword-stuffing, site owners make this mistake in titles, meta-data, descriptions, and headers. Continue to use relevant search terms in key locations, but do not go too far. Search engine algorithms demote sites that appear to be gaming the system.
Once tagged as spam, it is very difficult for a site to recover. Remember that if an IP is tagged that way, every site on the server suffers. Do not put anyone’s site at risk by engaging in these tactics. In the long run, doing it right will lead to better ranking and a broader audience for your franchise website.