If your drug rehab website gets penalized by Google, it comes as quite a blow. By penalizing you, Google is essentially saying, “Hey, we’re not liking something you’re doing on your site. We don’t think your website design is living up to our standards.” It’s easy to take offense at these punitive actions. However, it’s their playground and their rules. It’s pointless to argue whether you deserved the penalty or not. it’s best to correct the problem and get back into Google’s good graces.
What Exactly Is a Google Penalty?
For more than 15 years, Google’s ranking algorithms have been progressing in order to refine the quality of search results it delivers. Its purpose is to raise good quality content to the top of search results. Panda is one very effective weapon in Google’s arsenal.
The Panda update from Google has dealt a blow over the past few years to many online spammers and sites using unethical practices to increase traffic. Introduced in 2011 (and updated more than 30 times since then), Google Panda changed the rankings of more than 20% of all Google search results. Not every web developer knows that… but they should.
As a part of Google’s ranking algorithm, Panda changed forever how Google judges website quality. When Panda judges a website is of low quality, its ranking will drop. This is especially devastating to websites that rely entirely on reciprocal links rather than quality original content.
How Can Your Drug Rehab Website Be Penalized?
Google can give your website either an algorithmic or manual penalty. You’ll usually be informed of a manual penalty from Google, but you may not become aware of an algorithmic penalty so easily.
Algorithmic penalties are incurred due to the following:
- You previously enjoyed page one ranking but that ranking has slipped to page two or three.
- The name of your facility isn’t ranking as well as it did previously. Regardless of how well other keywords rank for you, the name of your facility should rank very high when someone searches for it.
- Google has removed your website from their cached search results.
- When you search your domain name, there are no results.
- You search your domain name but any results show a page other than your homepage.
10 Reasons Why Your Drug Rehab Website Could be Penalized by Google
Google is often upfront about why it implements changes… but not always. In any case, the following 10 issues could be why your detox or rehab website has been penalized by Google. There are actually many more but these are some of the most frequently occurring:
Sitemap data is missing
The XML sitemap is used by Google to go through the structure of your site and understand its contents. This sitemap should be available and up to date.
Duplication of metadata
It’s not difficult to mistakenly duplicate metadata. In and of itself, metadata duplication is not grounds for a penalty. However, its existence may lead Google to believe that there are problems with the website.
Your robots.txt file informs search engines about how to interpret your site. Excluding pages from the robots.txt file is a tricky business. Too many exclusions could potentially be grounds for a penalty.
You don’t want multiple pages saying the same thing. It’s easy to do this accidentally, especially if you have a high volume of pages on your website. To Google, duplicate content on your website means it’s of lesser value and they’ll penalize it accordingly. A content audit can make certain that your drug rehab website contains only unique content. Use a tool like Copyscape to verify it.
Internal 404 error codes
If 404 error codes are popping up somewhere on your website, that’s telling Google some search results for your site are useless. The larger the site, the easier it is for this to happen. Be sure to weed out such errors. When you delete a page, for example, make sure no other page remains links to it.
Broken external links
External links can expire over time because they were deleted or archived. Periodically check to make sure that all of your external links are still valid. If your drug rehab website is large, this can be a time-consuming task.
Over-reliance on meta keywords
The subject of meta keyword research and how to use it is always a hot topic in web development circles. They can be quite useful, but only up to a point. Once you start overusing them, they compromise the content… for Google but also for your readers. Keep your keywords to 2% density or less on any landing page or blog.
If your website has already been penalized, 301 redirect loops may spread that penalty to another area of your website. Even if you remove the redirect, the penalty may linger.
The appearance of various error codes
There are many error codes that Google hates to see, such as “302” (temporarily moved) or “500” internal service errors. Don’t let either situation linger on your addiction treatment center’s website.
Too few outbound links
Google doesn’t like to see websites that don’t link to other quality websites. When you reciting statistics, for example, it’s an excellent reason to link to your source of information.
What to Do When Penalized by Google
You can definitely fix a Google penalty. This is usually just a temporary setback. However, you should keep the following thoughts in mind:
Ask for reconsideration. This would apply if you received a manual penalty than an algorithm penalty.
Have patience. Google can’t act on your requests instantly. It may take awhile before Google re-crawls your website and records that the offending situation is no longer there.
Relax. It’s not just you. Websites of all kinds are penalized by Google. Handle things correctly and it’s only a brief inconvenience.
You can easily remove Google penalties. Keep in mind, however, that this doesn’t happen overnight. All it really takes is effort and a renewed commitment to the highest ethical approach to building your drug rehab website.
Penalized by Google? Consider partnering with a marketing firm, such as Dreamscape Marketing, that has the expertise in drug rehab content and is able to deal with Google’s complex system of ranking websites. If you would like more information about how we can help your drug rehab center website remain leading edge and penalty free, please contact us at 888.307.7304 or email us.