There are a number of factors that can have a negative effect on your search engine ranking. Here are some of the biggest factors that have a negative impact on Google’s ranking algorithm.
- Spam links. After Google introduced its Penguin algorithm, if you are purchasing links you could be penalized with a lower search engine ranking. Content that links to spam-related pages also tends to rank lower in search. Google wants to make sure that the pages registering at the top of the search results are there because they have earned the privilege and are from authoritative sources.
- Duplicate pages of content. When you publish the same information on one or more pages of your website, this is considered duplicate content. Sometimes this can happen by accident; for example, after doing a website redesign.
- Unoriginal content. Content that can be found on multiple sites across the web does not offer site visitors a unique experience. Those sites that have original content (content that cannot be found anywhere else on the web) are rewarded with a higher search engine ranking.
- Not being mobile-friendly. There is now more search traffic coming from mobile devices and tablets than from laptops and desktops. If your website is not mobile-friendly (meaning the layout, design and content are not compatible on mobile devices and tablets), your Google ranking will suffer. Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Take the “Mobile-Friendly Test.”
- Overusing Keywords. Effectively using keywords is rewarded by Google, but too many keywords in close proximity can spell trouble. A good rule of thumb is to keep your keyword usage to one for every 100 words and only where they are relevant.
- Slow loading speed. If your website takes a long to time to load, it is likely that your visitors will lose interest and move on to another site. Google does not want to force its users to wait for information they are searching for, so they prioritize pages that load quickly.
- Poor user engagement. This essentially means your website is getting less engagement than other sites on the same results page. This low engagement is a sign that site visitors do not find your content valuable- particularly if after leaving your page they remain on another site for much longer. This is where relevant, unique, original and quality content speaks volumes when it comes to ranking high in Google Search.
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