How to Avoid a Google Penalty

Are you worried about getting an algorithmic or manual penalty? In most cases, you shouldn’t, but if you are dabbling in SEO, you need to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules.

To help you avoid any current or future Google penalties, I’ve created an infographic that shows you what you should and shouldn’t do.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

How to Avoid a Google Penalty

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


To summarize, if you want to avoid a penalty, you should avoid a few things:

  • Duplicate or thin content – make sure your content is adding value to your readers.
  • Rich anchor text – when building links, make sure your anchor text isn’t keyword rich. Ideally, you should focus on creating valuable content instead of building links manually. Valuable content will generate natural links on its own.
  • Focus on relevance – when building links, make sure you get them from relevant sites.
  • Use the “nofollow” tag for paid links – if you are guest-posting or buying links, consider using the “nofollow” tag for those links.

How else can you avoid a penalty?

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):


  1. Steve Estimable :

    Neil, great infographic on avoiding google penalty.

    My take on this infographic is to Use the “nofollow” tag for paid links – if you are guest-posting or buying links.

    Neil Q: How else can you avoid a penalty?

    Steve A: Not knowing and not asking the right questions to track what your agency is up to.

    Have super day without penalty!

    • Neil Patel :

      Steve, it’s definitely best to perform an audit to see what is going on with your site & as you mentioned asking the right questions will help you avoid a penalty.

  2. Also avoid buying links.
    Tier 1-2 linkwheels are big fraud stay away.

  3. Bill Smith :

    Thanks for the list Neil. Where did you build your infographic?

    • Steve Estimable :

      Bill, If i may add my two cents.

      Neil has a blog post on who might offer more then your request.
      The link:

      He also have another one more in depth on
      The link:

      *I would suggest the second post has he also offer to download a step by step infographic creation guide that you can use today to create your own infographics.

      P.S: Check this screenshot where he answered a similar question previously.
      The screenshot:

      I hope it help a little bit.

      Have a nice day!

      • Meeehhnn, Steve you killed it all, great followership from you,

        Neil I appreciate your efforts

      • Neil Patel :

        Steve, thanks for helping out with the question.

        Bill, if you look at those resources you can get started on making infographics. To be more specific I have a designer that creates mine, but when I first started I used a lot of the resources mentioned in the links Steve provided above.

        • Hi Neil,

          Jumping in here because we are talking about infographic. Does submissions to infographic directories still work? You recommended it in the first link that Steve provided.


          • Neil Patel :

            Jane, I would be careful where I submit infographics — It’s better to be safe and cautious.

  4. William Zimmerman :


    It’s such a relief that relevancy of link is increasing!

    Thanks for the great post again!

    Have a great weekend man!!

    All the Best,
    Bill Z

    • Neil Patel :

      Bill, it definitely is. It shows that Google is focusing on optimization techniques that many people utilize. Context and relevancy matters.

  5. Hi Neil what about buying social engagement sharing. ?

    • Neil Patel :

      Nick, I would avoid it. Having organic social growth is always better.

      • Would it be safe using a gig on fiverr that does bookmarking on a product url that could be removed if any problems occur. also social engagement shares Twitter Pinterest that’s been drip fed ?

  6. As always your content is an authority to be on the right side of Google.

    However; I had a query that our website is related to stock market and we have certain pages where we have autorefresh script added to make sure that traders are able to see live stock quotes and charts which are updated auto in real time. Does it tantamount to violating any of th Google policy?

    • Neil Patel :

      Indian, it doesn’t sound like you are violating any of the rules set forth. It sounds like a flash script or something of the sort is running to provide real time quotes. If you could provide more specifics on how it works on your site that would be helpful in assessing if you have any red flags.

      • Thanx Neil for taking time and answering the query. The link in question is where we have added a Java autorefresh script which automatically refreshes the page after every 15 secs so that the user is not required to refresh the page and still gets the latest chart of the Nifty.

        Your response will be appreciated as seeing the Google updates I was wondering if it tantamounts to artificially inflating the number of page views on the site; though we know that it is for the user end for whom we have installed the script.

        • Neil Patel :

          That could be the reason, by autorefreshing it could be causing you to get the inflated results you are looking at. I would suggest you do some research & please share with me!

          • Yes, my query remains the same that does Google consider this type of activity i.e using autorefresh code in page as tentamounting to our violating any kind of its rule as we do not want to suffer any penalty due to ignorance.

            Thanx Neil for your time and answering each and every query. If I get any further update on the issue, will post it here. Your response will be appreciated as we will accordingly apply the same on our website.

  7. Thanks for sharing the wonderful content. My Website get penalized by google and completely deindex. I am still working on it. Thanks for valuable resource you share with us.

    • Neil Patel :

      Caroline, I am sorry to hear that. The good news is you can go back and try to fix some things — let me know if you need help along the way.

  8. Great info Neil.

    The more I study SEO is the more i’m convinced that ranking is not difficult if we’re approaching it from a legitimate business perspective focused on providing real value for our target audience. If we do things ethically and think and research before acting we can spare ourselves lots of trouble. Sure Google isn’t perfect and a few innocent people get hit but overall there’s great value in doing things the right way.

    • Neil Patel :

      Robyn, that’s a great summary of the points that are made in the infographic. If you are doing all the right things then Google has little to no reason to penalize you, essentially.

  9. Patricia Hall :

    Great information as always, Neil! Quick question about the “physical address” for those of us who work from home — would a P.O. Box be considered enough for a “physical address?” for building a brand signal, as you suggest? I doubt it. And yet for my business (a hyperlocal website) there is no need for an office — the work can all be done from home, I’ve got my county occupancy permit, we don’t receive visitors/customers, etc. Of course, I don’t want to put my home address out there, so if a P.O. Box is not sufficient, I guess the “physical address” is one easy thing that I just won’t be able to take advantage of, right? Thanks again!

    • Neil Patel :

      Patricia, a PO Box is more than sufficient. It’s important to provide something that is local — it doesn’t have to be your home address. As long as your PO Box is remotely close to you that should be fine.

  10. Thanks so much for this guide Neil,

    Very helpful. I have been following your ‘Complete Guide to building your blog audience’ step by step and just uploaded my free-ebook. And I am now focusing on driving more traffic to my site.

    These tips will surely help me avoid mistakes and hopefully increase the credibility of my site.

    Another stellar job as always.

    What I appreciate most is that you take your time to go into the specifics.

    Have a great weekend.


    • Neil Patel :

      Toye, glad I can help. I think going into specifics helps people avoid the same mistake that I have encountered in the past. We all learn by making mistakes — and we all help each other by sharing those mistakes.

  11. Harry Bingham :

    This is a very useful post, but I tell you what I’d REALLY love, and that is a “how to recover from an algorithmic penalty” post. Our site (a literary agents database) was hit two years ago beause a 3rd party SEO company posted some terrible links on spammy websites. We fired the company as soon as we noticed what they were up to, disavowed & dismantled the bad links. We also went on producing great content, building great genuine contextual links from relevant sites in our niche – and we’re still way down on where we were. Does the penalty ever end? is there nothing we can do? Our link profile now is the best in our niche, and yet we’re still on page #6 of the most relevant Google search. Your thoughts would be very welcome!

    • Steve Estimable :

      Harry, good request on how to recover from an algorithmic penalty.

      These are 3 blog post by Neil you’ll possibly find some answers to your questions.

      How to Get Out of The Google Penalty Box

      What You Ought to Do If You’ve Been Punished by Google’s Penguin Update

      Finally: An Easy-to-Understand Link Building Plan to Help You Recover from Penguin and Panda

      I hope it helps a little bit.

      Have a beautiful day!

      • Neil Patel :

        Steve, you beat me to it. I was just going to provide some similar links — thanks for the help.

        Harry, to answer your question — the penalties are likely to never end because Google has placed an emphasis on ensuring that top web results are free of spam. It’s actually a good thing — we as marketers just have to stay on our toes.

  12. Ahfaz Ahmed :

    Hi Neil

    Great Infographic indeed. I have some questions regarding it. In the section symptoms you mentioned about demoted PageRank. But I think that Google has stopped making PageRank updates visible to the user. Though they are updating PR but we cannot see it. So how can we determine this ?

    And I saw a small decrease in my rankings a few months before. I think the reason behind it was I posted some web design posts on my graphic design blog. So was my blog hit by a penalty or it is natural if we post irrelevant content. I mean do this decrease in rankings counts as a penalty ?

    Thanks for the infographic. It will really help me to avoid some mistakes and stay safe from penalties.

    Ahfaz Ahmed

    • Neil Patel :

      Ahfaz, I am unaware of Google making PR invisible. There are a ton of resources for one to check their PR. However, you are right in that they are de-emphasizing the relevance and value of PR.

      To your second point — if the web design posts are completely unrelated to your niche market and your website then that may definitely be a reason your rankings dropped. I would run an audit to see what may have went wrong.

  13. Rohan Bhardwaj :

    Hi Neil,

    Nice infograph. Google’s penalty is something no one wishes to have. SEO is indeed changing. The guest post was taken by swarm and now we need to take care in every step.

    Following the rules mentioned above will result in good ROI.

    Take care.

    • Neil Patel :

      Rohan, thanks for the tips and feedback.

      The game has definitely changed over the years — but it’s still winnable 😉

  14. Peter Kanayo :

    Neil, thanks for your epic share as usual. As for no follow link do have an idea of what the proportion should be? I mean in percentage

    • Neil Patel :

      Peter, you shouldn’t care too much about the ratio. The only difference is do follow passes PR & no follow does not.

  15. Great post Neil, great infographic on avoiding google penalty.


    Hi Niel – when you speak of content can you advise or do you have a post as to how much words a typical blog post should have? I’m still struggling with this as a new blogger. Thanks in advance.

    • Neil Patel :


      Check out these resources:

      I think these two posts should be sufficient to answer your question and guide you. Let me know if you have any questions.

  17. I was thinking of going into some serious organic search traffic. This came at the point in time of need.

  18. Farcas Gelu Danut :

    Sorry for offtopic, Neil. Is a problem with Hellobar?
    I don’t use now for my websites. Sorry! 🙂

    • Neil Patel :

      Farcas, can you be more specific with the question? I don’t quite understand.

      • Farcas Gelu Danut :

        Neil, i’m sorry for my poor English language. My language is Romanian. Hellobar block my WordPress editor.
        I used Hellobar, i do’t use now (new version).

    • Farcas Gelu Danut :

      If i use Traffic Travis is penalty risk? Tnx, Neil.

  19. Neil,

    Thanks for the report, it was as though you were speaking to me directly, few weeks ago my website on alexa was hovering 3m plus,

    yesterday and even this morning it was in the region of 5m plus dropping only for me this evening am seeing the website at 21m lossing about 17m down the rank.

    My question is this what is the real problem what am I doing wrong .. I had a similar problem with the website on this signature and am beggining to lose it

    feel my efforts are wasted

    • Neil Patel :

      Uzoma, I just clicked on the link and looked through your site. There are definitely some content issues I would look at. You can create more in-depth content and work on your design elements — I think that would help. Have you analyzed your site through my free tool?

  20. Thanks for the visual tips.Great to see them visually in info-graphics.

  21. Sachin Saini :

    its awesome info for save to Google Penalty
    thanks Neil

  22. Thanks Neil! Unfortunately my site is content thin and image rich by nature. I hope I knew that before I started the website. But that’s something I’m personally passionate about, so I guess I’ll focus on other SEO strategies.

    A quick question, do multilingual sites that provide same content in multiple languages considered duplicated contents for Google? What’s the best way to inform the search engine?

    Thanks and have a great day!

    • And not sure if it’s just me or what, a good portion of the infographic, under the “Use Guest Posting Sparsely” section, is black. Don’t want to miss anything!

  23. Nick smith :

    Hi Neil hope your well

    Is tier linking safe ?

  24. Rich Friesen :

    Thank you for another great article, Neil! As far as anchor text goes, so many sites are now using anchor text that seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject at hand. Maybe Google likes this, but from a user’s perspective it’s extremely annoying when you think you’re going to find some more pertinent info on the subject and you get taken to a page and have no idea why they sent you there.

    • Rich, great point. Ideally you want to avoid getting sent around to different sites without consent. It’s best to keep things in context to avoid penalties and bad reviews.

  25. Every time i shared your content but i never took the time to watch your infographic. I really like this one .Thanks for the list Neil

  26. Chris Brindamour :

    Neil, wow this infographic is chock full of value! Any suggestions on how to check all this out to make sure there are no issues?

  27. Ivailo Durmonski :

    Hi Neil,

    Another awesome post, thank you. I have a quick question about the anchor text. Should I use this to link pages/posts inside my site, or this is only when I guest blog?


  28. Thanks for the helpful infographic. I had a site that was penalized a couple years ago…I had made just about every mistake in the SEO book! I’ve learned my lessons though and now I stick to natural methods that will stand the test of time.

  29. Daniel Obaike :

    Hi Neil,

    Wonderful infographic and very insightful.

    What’s the advantage of buying links and including a nofollow tag. Overall what impact will the links have on my SEO if it has a nofollow.

    Just thinking though.

    • Daniel, this article may help:

  30. You said nothing about blog commenting 🙂
    I know that can help only if you use your real name as anchor text instead of a keyword and only if the comment is related to the post.
    Also is not good to comment on a post where other thousands have already commented using bad keywords and tons of links.

    • Delwar Jahan :

      I have to disagree with you a bit. There are benefits if you can comment first on a post, but why will it be bad if you comment on places where people has already made thousands before?

      If so, a forum posts with signature link would have been greatly discouraged, because that is somehow repeating itself many times in many threads.

    • Adele, great points. My spam filter usually picks up those red flags you mentioned. It always makes it less personal when people use brand names and link spam.

  31. Muhammad Danish :

    Thank You Very Much Sir your way of teaching is really superb this info graphics is very helpful to me , 3 weeks before my site dropped rank from google but i am still confused what happened with my web site can u help me and guide how i will get back ? my site was on 2nd position

  32. Great as always, Neil! Thanks for the infographic.
    In it you mentioned “Use of unauthorized computerized and automated programs for page ranking and site submissions and for checking search rankings”.
    I think you are referring to programs like SEOprofiler and IBT, etc, etc. Is there a more viable option to check your progress, compare and resubmit?

  33. hey there…I am new a blogger template designer, and i want to know that whather i should give “Do-follow” or “no-follow” to the footer links in my templates. and what are the consequences if i use “do-follow”.
    kindly help me to give feedback on this or share some resourses.

    thank you in anticipation

    • Deepak, check out this article

  34. Harsh Vardhan :

    I’m a newbie to Blogging. As mentioned in the Infographic…about link cloaking and nofollow. Should one use /recommended kind of cloaking for Affiliate links while also using a nofollow. Will it attract a Google penalty.

    • Harsh, this article may help:

      • Harsh Vardhan :

        Hi Neil,

        Thanks for your reply. Had been waiting for the day for this reply.

        The article you refered is a nice one, but does not answer my query. I want to know the SEO implications of such cloaking. How does Google look at it ?

  35. Nathan Ellering (@njellering) :

    Hey Neil, first of all, I’m a huge fan. We’ve shared quite a bit of your stuff through our content marketing newsletter!

    My question is this: I’ve been doing a lot of research on republishing posts (let’s say, for example, republishing your blog posts on LinkedIn Publisher or Business2Community). Some sources I’ve seen say that the whole duplicate content thing isn’t a threat anymore. Is that just plain not true?

    For reference only, here is a link to a site that says duplicate content doesn’t matter:

    Or maybe, is it that you should publish your own content on your site first (say a month?) then republish to make sure your own content is crawled first before the duplicate?

    I’d really value your opinion as I see you as an expert on this topic!

    Thanks, Neil! Nathan from CoSchedule

    • Nathan, that’s a great question. In sort it can hurt your SEO efforts if done wrong.

      Check out this article:

  36. Hey Neil,
    Have you started your Nutrition blog ?? If not, when is it scheduled for ?? and whats the name of blog ?? I am waiting for it for long time.


    • Jitendra Rathore :

      AJ, Neil had already started his Nutrition Blog and here is a link for that —

    • AJ, yes I’ve started it. Here is the link:

      Updates soon.

      • Neil, thanks for reply,
        If its the not the same email list, can you please add my email to your list for further updates on this blog ?


  37. Hai, Neil
    After the Google’s Mobile friendly algorithm update my blogs organic search visibility increased is it Good sign? or bad?
    I blog @

  38. Neil Super infographic on avoiding google penalty.

  39. Guest posting could give negative value when article is posted on low quality sites.

  40. Awesome post Neil. Great Info. Thnx.

  41. Hey Neil,

    awesome blog post, as usual.

    I’d like to know what would you recommend if I have a blog and someone copies my whole text. Of course, in the end of the text, there is a link to the source. Is that OK (duplicate content) or I should ask them not to copy my text and not to link me.


    • Also, there is a lot websites that copy my blog posts and they do not link me back. They just copy and in the end, they write my website’s name. Without link.

      Are there any benefits?

    • Nedim, duplicate content is never okay. You should contact them to remove it.

      • Hey Neil,

        thanks for the answer. I’ll ask them to remove my content, but the question is what if they don’t want?

        I think Google is not stupid and Google knows who have created the original content and who just copied it.

        Thanks again.

  42. Hiren Hirpara :

    hi neil,

    Your Infogarphic link is not work please chack it.

  43. What a piece of information. In simple word the picture tel the entire story and it is like everything a newbie blogger want to know about blogging.
    I have 1 question regarding anchor text: Most of the time we comment with the user name and link attached, Do want to say that one should put the brand name also sometimes to make anchor links diverse in nature?

  44. Taj India expedition :

    You need to think about this post again Than Post it in proper format . Thanks Mohan

  45. Mark "Elmo" Ellis :


    A most excellent web graphic! I have a regular site for my copywriting business, however my blog is a Will that hurt my rankings?

    Will a regular URL help my SEO versus using the .blogspot URL?

    Just wondering.

    A Big Fan!

    Mark “Elmo” Ellis

    • Mark, I think from a user perspective a regular URL looks better than a blogspot one. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great results with a blogspot one. Just test it out and see if it works — You can do a redirect to a new domain…

  46. Very helpful post, thanks a ton

  47. Nasim Khan :

    Neil, this is by a long shot the most valuable post I read about the Google penalty and how to keep away from it.

    Because of your tips we figured out how to better pinpoint our site’s shortcomings and ideally we’ll soon be headed to recuperation.

    I figure numerous distributors like me are frantically searching for valuable post like this.

    Much obliged once more!

  48. Peeyush Rajput :

    wow! Neil you have once again done a fantastic job and this infographic is really an awesome one.Thanks a lot my friend for these tips, I will always remember them.

  49. Naman Nepal :

    Completely disappointed with the infographics. There’s nothing much of anything new.

    Every single time a major google update happens to take place, I find tons of websites, even big names in the market like SEJ, Moz or so writing about what needs to be done to avoid a Google Penalty and they list the same thing about writing proper contents, maintaining good in and outbound links, and so and so.

    I’ve been trying to find someone in the web who writes what actually happened in the Google Algorithm (someone from the Google might know everything ’bout it) in the update that occurred.

    These sort of lessons make me feel that SEO is a hoax and you can do everything but keeping your contents by yourself and not optimizing your website like you mentioned in one of the previous post.

    And as you say, if you write something and a fifth grader does not understand it, you’re doing something wrong- Do you actually feel that this is right? Delivering the same thing but changing the way you do it? Maybe a deeper write-through on it will solve my queries. 🙂

    • Naman, what specifically do you think can be done to solve this problem?

      What do you feel is lacking in the infographic. I always take feedback seriously — so if you can line item specific items that would be helpful.

      • Naman Nepal :

        Neil, what I wanted to convey you about the infographics is to be specific about the type of the Google Update. Say like the recent Google update was based on the Mobile Compatibility of the websites or how good the website was optimized for mobiles.

        The things mentioned above- regarding writing long and better contents, linking back, interlinking posts are like the Nursery rhymes every bloggers follow.

        If you keep writing about what exactly the Panda or the Penguin update did on the website, or how actually a website can be recovered after being penalized, those would make the difference. Writing the same thing about great posts, links, or social shares every time does not make any difference in bloggers who want to know about the ‘REAL THING IN GOOGLE UPDATES’.

        This might actually be confusing from our point of view because I’ve had some interactions with people from Google and they even don’t have much idea about what actually the update does or how the algorithm differs any websites past and the future traffic trend.

        But still, there must be something that you could dig up with much ease than us.

  50. Dr. Muddassir Ahmed :

    Great blog!

  51. Torben Grue :

    Great infographic!

    I have been working in the SEO industry for some 17 years now (no kidding) and if you have been in the game for so long you will (like me) probably have used all kind of tricks over time that (at that time) was best practice and used by everyone to get the necessary results.

    The game has (luckily) now changed and you are rewarded for your great content and (in most cases) not the latest SEO trick.

    • Torben, I tip my hat off to a veteran like you. I am sure you understand all the nuances and important factors behind ranking content.

  52. A like these great infographics! They’re clean and straight. 🙂

  53. Ben Johnson :

    Hi Neil — great infographic as usual. The only questionable thing that stuck out to me was the last tip about looking at decreased/grayed-out toolbar pagerank to detect possible penalties. Someone else made mention of this above as well, and Google did in fact announce back in December, 2013 (the last time they updated toolbar pagerank) that they had no plans to update it again in the future. Previously, they had rolled out updates ~quarterly, but there haven’t been any signs of life now for the past two years or so now. Unfortunately, that means that even though toolbar PR is still visible, you can only see what the value was back in 2013.

    • Ben, that’s a good point. I think that information is still helpful for people to see if they are still atop PR. However, it’s not as important in the grand scheme of things. It’s a vanity metric.

  54. Valerie Leroyer :

    Hi Neil!

    Great post, really!

    But I don’t understand what you said about guest posting: “Guest post links shouldn’t make up more than 20% of your link profile”? Why is that so??

    I’m interested in your stats, because I’m planning quite a few guest posts in the next few months before launching my blog.
    Or we know, that guest posters get their links usually in the author bio, most exclusively, especially when the blog hasn’t launch yet.

    What are the risks (and what risk) that Google devalue my links??

    I would love if you could comment on that Neil! Thank you.

    • Valerie, great questions.

      Check out these articles:

      They will provide guidance for your questions. You don’t want to seem like a link aggregating site which is what a log of guest blogging sites look like, ultimately.

  55. This is the most valuable information I have found anywhere to help me with my blog! Every other resource I have found is either outdated or it doesn’t go beyond telling you to use “Quality Content” on my website. This information is super helpful! I am new to the site but I will definitely be back to learn more from Neil!

  56. Hi Neil,

    I have a general question which i haven’t been able to find an answer to sofar,…

    How would you deal with the following:

    You have a site that covers muliple niches (like a magazine), and you are trying to keep your backlinks those niches.

    so for example your site covers: Cars – Health – Music – Sports – Gadgets

    Would you:build links from all the niches your site respresents even though the niches are totaly unrelated?

    Do you think Google’s algorithm would still detect the relevance between the backlinks and the represented niches?

    I’m sure lot’s of people are wondering about this, i’d appreciate any suggestions you have on this matter,…

    • Steve, what you could do to solve for the problem of varied niches is to create a lifestyle site. Talk about things that certain segments of the population would find interesting and shareable. You should consider segmenting the site into subdomains.

      • Yikes, how about changing the permalink structure? i”m currently using “postname” , i could set it to category.postname and use 301 redirects (site allready has 38 posts and a few backlinks) would that work too, or would you really advice subdomains?

  57. Hi Neil,

    Definitely incredible article.

    I found out a lot from this short article and it has many great ideas right here. It’s very valuable and beneficial.

    Thanks for sharing !

  58. I love your work. You inspire and educate us on your blog. You can really help a lot on How to Avoid a Google Penalty. Great blogs!

    • Sarah, glad you find the blog helpful. Please let me know if you need any help with anything else.

  59. shiva guru balaji :

    Wow good research on the topic. Loved it. Keep it up Neil..!!

  60. Vijay Pradhan :

    Neil, Awsome infographic on avoiding google penalty.
    It’s very valuable and beneficial.

    Thanks for sharing .

  61. Hi Neil

    Regarding aged domains, say i want to start a finance blog and i find a site on with a PA=61 and DA=53. The problem is the site has nothing to do with finance at all. It is some website about Jesuit following. The link profile does not look spammy. Do you think its possible to repurpose the website without losing its strength that it has. The name is a brandable name. Could this work, do you think Google would frown upon it and slap me.

    • Neil Patel :

      Wayne, it is very likely that you can get smacked with a penalty — you would have to be very clever in your approach. Check out my articles on domains:

  62. Great tips Neil. I can really use this in my job. I just started working on SEO and content marketing. I was trying to get more information that I could use in my work. We’re working to make our pages gain higher rage rank and I just need to know the possible penalties if you violate Google’s policy.

    • Neil Patel :

      Leo, glad I could help. Let me know if you need help with anything that wasn’t covered in the post.

  63. Hi Neil!

    At the last two infographics there is a loading issue with firefox. Only about the first quarter loads, the rest of the pic is black. I´ve reloaded the page quite a few times, it stays black. Also when you click on it to see it bigger.

    greets bernd

  64. Sanket Gupta :

    Learned some new tips.I think now i can do something for my blog if i follow this infographics

  65. Awesome and useful article as always! Thanks Neil!

  66. Thanks for this great info Neil. But sometimes even after following all the guidelines we get affected by google update. What to do in that scenario? Also sometimes google refreshes or releases an update and doesn’t reveal the name.

    • Neil Patel :

      Amit, I just try to stay ahead of trends and read as much as possible on the subject — that’s how I avoid major setbacks.

  67. Avoiding google penalty is a myth, no matter what you do you will get affected by loopholes present in the update.

  68. Oh the old duplicate content argument. We ARE talking about duplicate content within your own site right? Not like if there is the same text on two different sites right? As in the way many sites may publish the same news articles. Or the same image? Right? Otherwise you wouldn’t offer embedding code for your infographic. Right?

  69. Tom Miller :

    Beautifully designed infographics, a complete informative package. Thanks for sharing it. I really like it.

  70. Adrian Borcea :

    Hi Neil,

    How do we know which are the unauthorizated programs for checking search ranking?

  71. Les Résoteurs :

    Beautiful item with good graphics
    Sorry for my English !

  72. paula ratcliff :

    Just wanted to say thank you for the infographic thank you Neil for all your hard work I learn a lot from your blog.

  73. AB Associates :

    Superb way to explain this article through infographic, but I want to know, Guest Posting or Blog Commenting are still effective or they are outdated???

  74. Very useful information, comprehensive enough, thanks for the post

  75. Neil,
    Buoyed up by the fact you seem to answer all comments, and are clearly an outlying expert in this area, I’ve got two questions:
    1. We get a lot of organic links through reaching out online. To track the effectiveness of these I’m often tempted to give referring sites a URL plus UTM tracking link. Is this a bad idea? I’ve always had a hunch google might penalise.
    2. One of our USPs is that we offer free teaching resources for schools. We optimise for this and related terms because they’re relevant to the site. Are you saying re anchor text that I should no longer use the phrase “free teaching resources” to link back to us? Or should I just mix it up a bit. ie sometimes free resources for teachers, sometimes free teaching resources etc. I wasn’t 100% clear.

    • Neil Patel :

      1. You shouldn’t use UTM for organic links. UTM variables are more for ads.

      2. Don’t use any anchor text, it can cause a penalization.

  76. Scott True :

    It is my understanding that duplicate content WILL get indexed. There are many legit reasons for having it. I work with auto dealers that sell similar cars and Real Estate brokers that have the same listings shown. So duplicate content, from what I understand, is not a reason to be de-indexed or penalized. What happens, though, is that Google will rank the best result. Most likely, the best result is one that has great context, UX, and signals/links that indicate it is the result people want to see.

    • Neil Patel :

      Scott, you are right on the money with this summary of duplicate content. Thanks for sharing.

  77. Michael Leedy :

    Once again.. you’re knocking it out of the park… and I’m glad I checked out his post, as I’ve JUST started to dabble with SEO.

    Conventionally, the training that I’ve gotten my new info from brings up several of the same points you’re sharing… reiterating what doing those things MAY work for a second… they won’t last for long and then you’ll get slapped, which defeats the point of posting on purpose!

    As usual; Thank you.. I appreciate the value that you’re sharing!

  78. I’m a newbie to Blogging. As mentioned in the Infographic…about link cloaking and nofollow. Should one use /recommended kind of cloaking for Affiliate links while also using a nofollow.

    • Neil Patel :

      Whey, this article may help:

  79. Thanks Neil, I loved this post and agreed to almost everything except the penalty symptoms. You mentioned drop in PR which is already dead as confirmed by Google officials. So can you please clear what are the exact penalty symptoms so that I can track better. Please!!

  80. Harekrishna :

    Great infographic. Graphics are more effective instead of text to understand anything. You have covered all the points with small text and images those are important to avoid penalty. I am planning to create an infographic.

  81. Neil as far as duplicated content is concerned I was wandering if You have ever tested tags?

  82. Neil as far as duplicated content is concerned I was wandering if You have ever tested googleoff: all, googleon: all tags?

    • Neil Patel :

      I haven’t — any tips?

      • Basically one could use the googleoff googleon tags to prevent Google from indexing content on your page.

        If you would want to have Google not crawl your duplicate content the code would be:

        Your duplicate content

  83. Shambo Ghosh :

    Great Post! Day by day it is proving that search engine result page provide us best result and for this reason Google bot is updating. If we are not maintaining above points then our website should be hit by Google penalty. All irrelevant things are disliked by Google.

  84. Peter Oshiomole :

    Google will keep been way ahead, very smart indeed. Thanks for showing me how to stay out of wrath of google.

  85. Great article as usual Neil and great info-graphic.

    Just one question – in your conclusion, you advise to add no-the follow link to guest posts.

    How important would you consider this, for example would you recommend no following a guest post on a well ranked and authoritative site, and if the percentage of links to your site from guest posting was around 5%?

    • Paul, I believe it’s quite important. You should be mindful of a number of factors when considering a no follow though — you listed some above.

  86. Reshma Mariam :

    HI Neil

    In your opinion is it possible to run online branding without depending on Google? If yes, then what would be its success rate?

  87. Senaru Homestay :

    Thank you Neil for this great post, this is very helpful.

  88. Excellent infographic. Images tend to be more efficient rather than textual content to comprehend something. You’ve covered all of the factors along with little textual content as well as pictures individuals are essential to Google avoid penalty.

  89. Study Abroad :

    Thank for the information. With the great increase in SERP one needs to adhere the above instructions so as to have a ease in using Google search. Information will be very helpful when we do any search or surfing.

    • Glad you found it helpful. Let me know if you need help with anything else.

      • Pratibha Premchandani :

        Hello Sir,

        I am a new bee in Digital & SEO marketing…. Have started writing few blogs & unique content. You are a great inspiration to me. Wish to work for you some day…

  90. I am facing google penalty since last 10 days. How to deal with it?

  91. Dheeraj Yadav :

    Hey Niel
    how much time does it take for new blog get ranked in google for easy keywords.

  92. Arlene Prunkl :

    My question of yesterday disappeared without being answered. What’s going on?

  93. Basheer Orsala :

    Hello Neil,
    Its a great infographic showing how we can avoid Google penalty and can run long term business.
    Keep posting such infographics.

  94. I buy new domain at blogger but after some days ranking down why

    • You would need to tell me a little more about your situation in order for me to help. How often are you blogging? How old was the domain, what is the URL etc.

  95. I buy this domain 2 months ago. It is about pdf books type website on blogger. when it was in blogspot then it was higher in ranking but when I changed domain then low traffic why

    • How did you change the domain? Was the old site properly redirected to the new one? If it wasn’t, then your new domain is starting off as a new site.

  96. Thanks. Neil I will try to improve my website ranking again in SERp.

  97. thanks sir for another informative post, this place is full of knowledge. Tired of bookmarking.

    • You’re welcome Sujoy. You can always just subscribe to the updates so you its delivered in your inbox

  98. Thank you Neil. I appreciated your hardwork and research about this article. Well, I have started a new blog and i wanted to make it authority. I hope these tips will help me to avoid any issues with Google.

  99. yet another informative article, learned a lot of new things. Gonna implement them all, thanks for sharing sir.

  100. :

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about find a law.


  101. Hello Neil sir,

    thanks for sharing this article and letting us know what to do and what not to. Will surely keep all these things in mind while making link building strategy.

  102. Afraid of that happen to my site, that useful article.
    Thanks for share

  103. Hey Neil, First Of All, I am big fan of yours.
    Well, After the Google’s Mobile friendly algorithm update my blogs organic search visibility increased is it Good sign? Please let me know. You can find my blog at intHow

  104. Hi Sir,
    That’s really an interesting post to read about Google Penalty. Recently one of my website got penalized with thin content penalty. Though content was completely unique on it. I am editing all articles and posting new content. Will this help in revoking penalty ?
    My blog is

  105. Hey Neil just let us know what things we should follow to avoid any current or future Google penalties from Google.

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