How to avoid SEO penalties in sectors affected by algorithms

When trying to rank on Google through search engine optimization, there are some industries that are much more competitive and prone to algorithm updates than others.

Industries like casinos, insurance, loans, hosting, and FX are highly competitive, and many SEO professionals will turn to black hat techniques to secure positions.

Google is the most used search engine by consumers; make regular weekly changes to the algorithm. As a result, businesses may find that their initial SEO progress is reduced by a fine which can ultimately lead to significant loss of traffic and revenue.

The guide below provides some vital tips when trying to rank in the most penalized and volatile search results on Google.

Choose a good domain

When trying to rank for a highly competitive keyword, SEO professionals might consider selecting a domain very similar to the “big money” keyword. There is certainly evidence that having a competitive keyword domain will give you an SEO boost. For example, or

However, in today’s marketing landscape, this isn’t all that essential and Google looks more at brands than just keywords within a domain name.

Businesses that have an exact match domain or a partial match domain (e.g. loans or insurance are in the domain name), however, will need to be a little cautious. This is because there will likely be more mention of “dangerous” words, such as insurance and loans, much more in the content, metadata and links acquired.

SEO professionals need to be aware of keyword stuffing or excessive use of sensitive words, their brand anchor text as this is likely the first thing Google will look at if they intend to penalize a company.

Strong competition analysis

Competitors are a good starting point for any SEO professional. Those that rank on the first two pages of Google’s search results will provide insight into what works and what doesn’t.

Not only can SEOs then emulate the right kind of techniques for that industry, but they can also see who has potentially made it into search rankings and been impacted the most by algorithm updates and penalties.

As the casino and insurance industries are known to have their own kind of algorithms, SEOs working in these markets will need to pay close attention to whether the landing page or home page is used to rank. You will also need to consider URL structures, meta titles, and how often a keyword is mentioned on a page.

With language in mind, SEOs will also need to pay attention to the type of rhetoric and language used within competitor views, as well as what links are used.

Consequently, looking at competitors is essential to rank in a highly specialized and competitive industry. Well established firms in the market are likely to have faced the initiatives and overcome sanctions in the past to secure such strong positions.

Using low-risk link building strategies

SEOs who assist companies in the most penalized sectors will need to pay more attention to the links built and acquired.

For starters, getting branded links to a home page will always be low-risk. Spreading these links on different resourceful blogs and guides will help build a company as an authority, while still appearing organic.

Linking to home pages and guides is much harder to penalize than if the links are embedded within “money pages” or hyperlinks to words like casino or loans. However, companies need to make sure their content isn’t sparse and includes real statistics, graphics, and images that validate their assets.

It is important, therefore, for SEO professionals to examine what percentage of links go to your organization’s home page, money pages, and guides; looking at the competitors and their division can be very helpful here. In fact, using tools like Majestic can show you this right away.

Be careful with the link anchor text

When choosing anchor text for a link, SEOs should ideally be cautious. In general, no legitimate site will offer hyperlinks to “auto insurance” or “top casinos”. Instead, SEOs should look for hyperlinks to phrases like “find out more here” or “check your suitability”.

Hyperlinks to phrases that can be executed, such as “$ 300 a month quotes”, are also likely to be more effective. Using a mix of these techniques will look more organic within the money pages.

The use of synonyms can also be helpful when considering which phrases to hyperlink. For example, the word “auto insurance” can easily be mistaken for “auto insurance”. Rewording is also a popular technique used by SEO professionals: instead of “auto insurance policies”, try “insurance for your car”.

Avoiding abbreviations is also a common technique used by SEOs. Instead of saying “VPN”, “virtual private networks” can be used to anchor text more naturally.

Patience is the key

Overall, the competitive industries mentioned in this article are so valuable that they attract a lot of attention from SEO professionals, and that means black hat techniques that are trying to trick the system and generate fast traffic.

While conservative techniques will take several months to make an impact, businesses can rest assured – you’ll sustain good quality rankings and traffic, and avoid future penalties.

Companies that make sure to watch competitors carefully and avoid abusing big keywords in their content and links should be fine!

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