By Michael Bentos
In maintaining a good online reputation, one of your objectives should be ensuring your website is never flagged as spam. This is an important thing to do considering if you are classified as spam, your website will not be ranked on search engine results and people will be unwilling to do any business with you.
Many websites, even those with good intent, have been classified as web spam. The important question at this point is this; how do you keep your website from being flagged as spam? The following considerations will help you.
Create High-Quality Content
The most important thing you need to do is to ensure that you always create high-quality content. A mistake made by most webmasters is that of assuming that simply creating content and stuffing it with relevant content will help with their online marketing efforts. Although this does work, it results are short-lived. When creating a website, it is imperative that you avoid thin, low-quality content.
One of the methods used by Google to identify web spam is looking at the quality of content they provide. Google has ascertained that websites with thin and low-quality content are provided by scraper sites. As a result, such websites are quickly flagged.
To avoid being classified as a web spam, check your website for the following:
- Auto-generated content
- Thin content web pages with affiliate links
- Scraped content
- Doorway pages
You should get rid of any content that falls under any of the four categories. Make sure your content offers real value to your audience before resubmitting it to Google for reconsideration.
Avoid Bad Links
Bad links will drive the wrong traffic to your website and also increase your bounce rates. All these are red flags that will not only affect your search engine ranking but also affect the overall reputation of your website. It is your duty to identify all the bad links and get rid of them.
Bad links fall under several categories. There are those that redirect to pages that are completely irrelevant to the link, those that don’t open at all and so on. You should make an effort to remove all the bad links on your website. It is not easy to remove them manually.
Be Mindful of Whom You Link To
Still on links, it is paramount that you be mindful of the websites you create links with. If the website that links to you has a bad reputation, chances are that bad reputation will rub off on you. This may therefore cause your website to be flagged, too.
Prior to creating links with any website, make sure you do some background checks. Know what the website is involved in and also check its online reputation. You should only link to websites that are related to you; websites that will add value to your website. Secondly, you have to make sure that their practices will not affect your website in a negative way. Do they use black hat marketing techniques? If they do, avoid them.
The same goes for link requests. Before you accept any request, ensure that you review the quality of the websites or blog before featuring that link on your website. This is regardless of whether the link will be embedded in your content or featured under comments.
Improve Your Site’s Security
In 2015, it was determined that there was a 180% increase in the number of websites that are being hacked compared to 2014. This number will definitely increase before the end of this year. The worst thing about website hacking is that it will definitely affect your online reputation. At times, hackers will commandeer your website so that they sell their bad products under your name.
Being hacked is definitely one of the fastest ways your website can be deemed a web spam. It is up to you to make sure that your website’s security is tight. Following these guidelines will help you get started:
- Strengthen your account’s security with long and hard-to-guess passwords. Your passwords must be alphanumeric. You should also not use the same password across platforms.
- Keep your website’s software up to date. Make sure your plugins and CMS have the latest updates.
- Understand how your hosting service provider handles security issues. Pay attention to their policy when it comes to handling hacked websites. Will live support be offered?
- Use tools to let you know of any unauthorized access.
Keep Up with SEO Rules
Last but not least, keep up with the search engine optimization rules. These rules keep on changing and failure to keep up may cause your website to be flagged as spam.
There is no surefire solution to never being flagged as spam. It is a continuing process. The above points will help you get started on this journey.