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How Does a Website Get Blacklisted by Google and What to Do About It?

With each Google search algorithm update (such as the notorious Google Panda and Penguin at the start of 2010s), many low-quality websites have been blacklisted, simply because they contain many ads and little to no valuable content.

Since these algorithms have been moved into the main search engine, their updates are no longer publicized. However, the search algorithm still receives updates and changes to align with the most contemporary SEO practices.

If you think you’re at risk of being blacklisted, add high-quality content to your website, and do it fast.

There are many other reasons that can get a website on Google’s blacklist. Find out more so you can protect your site.

Can Google penalize a website because of link trading? Yes!

Artificial linking

A link to a website from another website is a thumbs up so long as the latter is reputable. But when the linking website has little to no authority, and features no valuable content, it’s a big thumbs down.

The Google PageRank algorithm is just one part of the overall search engine and won’t give you a complete picture of a website’s performance. So, when judging a website’s authority, checking the PageRank is not enough. Use the input you get as a visitor to that site. Is the user experience good enough?

Buying, selling, or exchanging links

Websites using paid link networks to buy links are frequently penalized, as are those that sell links or become involved in link exchange schemes. All practices involving dubious link trades lead to blacklisting. Even harmless link exchange between two websites with relevant content can be bad. Google sees this as artificial attempts to boost a website’s PageRank.

Can Google penalize a webpage for bad on-page SEO techniques? Yes!

Keyword stuffing

Websites that abuse keywords, using them in excessively high densities (usually upwards of 4-5%) are inviting a penalty. Keyword stuffing is a bad practice. Avoid it!

Hiding text

Text can be hidden in a variety of ways, in an attempt to mislead the search engine bot or visitors. It can:

  • have the same color as the background
  • be too small for users to see
  • appear only when the Google bot accesses the page (a practice known as cloaking)
  • or be coded so that it appears off the page

All of these make for bad SEO.

What to Do if Your Website Is Blacklisted?

Stop using any bad SEO practices such as artificial linking, keyword stuffing, or hiding text. Add high-quality content that provides value for users. Organic SEO services can help you with that.

Having high-quality content will also protect you from further Google algorithm changes, and help you to maintain a high ranking.