5 Myths About Google Penalization

Posted by on Jan 2, 2010 in Blogging advice

There are all sorts of penalization myths going around and I thought I’d share my views about them. Just using the word β€œmyths” should give you the first hint what they really are. πŸ˜‰

Here are the most common myths of why Google and other search engines might penalize your site:

1.Will Google penalize me if I link to non-related sites?

No, unless you link to porn or sites that spread malware and other crap. The Internet is a World Wide Web which means that websites interlink with each other in many different ways.

If you write about your topic you’ll link most of the times to sites that are related to your topic – since you want your visitors to learn more.

Of course it happens that you may want to link to a non-related site but you will in no way be penalized for that.

Example: imagine to how many non-related websites ezinearticles.com links to.

2.Will Google penalize my site if I write about different topics and not just about one?

No, it won’t. In my experience the only negative thing about writing about not tightly related topics is that Google may not figure out for which theme / topic you specialize.

I have a site that is built around 4 very tightly related themes but the majority of traffic comes only from keywords of one theme.

It’s the theme that I started first and it seems that Google decided that my site is about that theme and doesn’t rank well pages from other 3 themes.

It’s not really a penalization thing in my opinion, it’s just a lack of focus.

Example: Look at ezinearticles.com again. There are probably thousands of different themes on it and yet they all rank well if you choose the right keywords. The authority status of the site gives a big boost to rankings of any topic. So I don’t think there’s such thing as being penalized for writing about non-related topics. You just need lots of links.

3.Will Google penalize me if I add 10 pages per week (or 5 pages per day or …) – because that might be too many?

Not at all. There may be some algorithms at Google that check huge spikes of content that are not realistic and may represent spam.

But there is no way you can trigger those algorithms with manual adding of pages.

Example: Let’s stick with ezinearticles.com – they have over 5 million pages and exist since 1999. That means that they have built 5 million pages in around 3600 days or about 1380 pages per day. πŸ˜‰

Update: You can publish 100 pages per day and that’s nothing in Google’s eyes:

4.Will Google penalize my site because my pages are too long (like over 2000 words)?

No, it won’t. Google wants to find the best expert on the topic online and list it on top. The best expert on topic will most likely have the most things to say about a topic. He / she knows the most about it so he / she will write the most about it.

Example: wikipedia.com has extremely long pages, some over 9000 words long (try tennis) and they typically rank top 3 in Google for single word searches!

So your 2000 word pages don’t even scratch the surface.

5.Will Google penalize me for getting links from non-related sites?

The logic is the same as it was with #1 myth. While I don’t see into Google’s algorithm it seems very unlikely that they would put huge importance on the relevancy of the links.

Example: Note that many websites are not really on one topic. What are ezinearticles.com, BBC.com, CNN.com, techcrunch.com, engadget.com and others about? πŸ˜‰

They cover hugely broad topics and yet they receive massive traffic. They also get links from all sorts of different topics and are not penalized. On the contrary, they are rewarded with huge traffic.

If you’re worried that Google might penalize your site for something else not mentioned above, feel free to share your thoughts below and we’ll all together figure out whether there might be something to worry about or not.

And lastly you must realize that while your site is very important to you, it’s probably nothing to Google and its massive database of sites and pages. πŸ˜‰

What Google wants is to provide the best information online to the person who is looking for something on Google search engine.

The average person has no idea about links to non-related sites or some other stuff. They just want to read the info or buy something that they are looking for. And Google’s #1 priority is to give it to them even is that site has been doing something not perfectly aligned with the webmaster guidelines.

I still see many sites on top of Google who very obviously buy links and yet nothing has changed.

So whatever you’re doing manually (and not using some automation tools) will (in my opinion) NOT trigger any penalizations from Google.

What you should do is build a successful online business instead of trying to game the system. Build a large content website focused around one niche and get links to it from quality websites.

If you’ve built a quality site then getting quality links shouldn’t be such a big problem.

After that, the content may grow with user generated content (C2 anyone? πŸ˜‰ ) and links may happen automatically because your site is on top of Google and / or you’ll get link exchange requests because a link from your site will have lots of value.

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  1. This is a very helpful article Tomaz. Especially to SBIers, who hear so much about black-hat behavior that they (well ‘we’ really) probably get a bit too carried away with it sometimes.

    I think lots of newcomers to the world of web business (like me!) worry far too much about things they’ve heard Google penalizes, when Google is probably only out to get the big, blatant, system-abusers.

    The lesson I’m hearing from you here is that if you’re building a genuine niche site, with quality pages created by real people, it’s better to focus on expanding your site than agonizing over the minutiae of a penalization system that Google may or may not actually have in place, and probably won’t impact your drop-in-the-ocean site anyway.

    Thanks for a timely reminder to just get on with the job πŸ˜‰


    P.S. It would be interesting to know whether the things you call ‘myths’ are inferences based on your own experience with your (very successful) sites, or on actual statements made by Google itself?


    Tomaz Reply:

    Yes, my thoughts on myths are based on my own experiences but also on stuff that I read on other blogs and sites. I didn’t see any quotes like that from Google because they like to keep things secret so that no one knows for sure – and therefore you may be very careful – like the scared SBI-ers from the forums were.

    That’s what Google wants – to keep people scared. Better too scared than not scared at all.

    But I surf on the web and I see all sorts of sites which bought links, which link to online casinos from the homepage and all sorts of similar bad stuff and yet I see that those sites still get good traffic and keep their PR.

    So whatever an amateur SBI-er comes up with, even if it borders on the “dark side”, is still miles away from being penalized.


  2. Hi Tomaz,

    Thanks as usual for the great information. It’s definitely always better to base conclusions on actual evidence and experience instead of rumor. πŸ™‚

    I do have a quick question: what is your average bounce rate for your product-based sites, if you don’t mind sharing? Mine seems to fluctuate between 45% and 60% during any given week. Do you think a higher bounce rate can result in the SEs sending you less traffic?


    Tomaz Reply:

    Hey Brandon,

    Yes, my bounce rate is similar but I don’t really worry about less traffic from SEs. Just build more pages or let C2 work for you.


  3. Hi Tomaz,

    Does buying links include link building services such as the website reputation builder from SiteSell or the outsourcing of link building?

    Just where does Google draw the line between what is a bought link and what isn’t?


  4. Hi there, can someone explain to me what the Bounce rate exactly is and how it should be evaluted…
    Thanks & Regards


  5. In a recent past I did two things, and one of them OR both of them resulted in google penalization.
    – Signup for a list of lots of HIGH RANK PR links
    – Downloaded software that finds dofollow blogs

    VEREDICT: decrease in PR.

    Also Tomaz and about buying traffic (not links) what sugestions you can give us ?


    Tomaz Reply:

    Hey Luis,

    I never bought traffic (Adwords or some other source) so I don’t know any tips. I do know that if you learn how to rank well in search engines naturally and put in the effort to get quality links, then you’ll be rewarded with a constant stream of free visitors.


  6. Wow, eye opening stuff! I was completely taken by these myths myself, particularly the one about adding large amounts of content. Actually I’ve been writing dozens of unique, high quality articles and then slowly adding them to my sites an article a day at a time out of fear for being dropped in the (Google, of course) search engines. I’m off to go post a dozen articles at once, haha!


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