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What are Banned Websites and how do they become banned?

When you hear about banned websites, it often times doesn't necessarily mean what you think it means. People talk about banned websites when they refer to sites that have been penalized by Google for violating some of its policies about search engine optimization. An outright ban on a website, however, is very uncommon, so the term banned websites can be something of a misnomer. But, there are lots of things you can do wrong regarding SEO to have Google penalize your site severely, so that your position in the search engines results rankings can fall dramatically, creating the impression that you must be one of these banned websites.

Basically, the only cure for banned websites is to try and fix your search engine marketing strategy to try to better conform to Google's standards. This can be difficult since Google doesn't speak much publicly about its exact policies for banned websites. But there are many well known tactics and methods that Google frowns upon, and in the end, it can be much easier to avoid using these methods in the beginning than it is for banned websites to try to right the ship and climb back up the rankings.

The key to avoiding becoming one of the roughly 5% of banned websites out there today is to not do anything to overtly or unfairly manipulate your content or site structure that Google will frown upon. These include many so called black hat practices, and below we will discuss two of the most common. Usually, methods that can result in banned websites are listed in the Terms of Service, so be sure to read them.

Buying and Selling Links-Google uses links to determine its Page Rank system, which is one of the biggest influences on your overall position in their search results. Therefore, if they determine that you are buying or selling links in order to falsely promote your Page Rank, they will penalize you as they do other banned websites. This can often result in a 2 or 3 point drop in your own Page Rank, and stated previously, this can be very difficult to overcome.

Keyword Spam-This practice refers to stuffing your content with an overabundance of keywords to make your site appear more relevant to the search engine crawlers than it really is. This is the reason for many banned websites. This practice also includes cloaking, or making keyword rich text invisible to the viewer, and it is the reason for a lot of banned websites. Many experts feel that a good main keyword density should be anywhere from 3-7% for any text, so try to stay within those boundaries to avoid getting a banned websites penalty.

There are other things that can be done that will result in banned websites, but basically it should be understood that anything you do to falsely or artificially improve your website's ranking could earn you a spot on a banned websites list. Remember, this doesn't mean you can't undertake some form of SEO marketing, but try to incorporate it into good, quality content and site structure that isn't trying to cut corners or fool anyone.

Google will often times issue a banned websites warning before they make your sites banned websites, so take heed if this happens. There are all kinds of SEO tools out there to help you find winning strategies to rank highly, so use them. It's easier to try something different with your SEO now than it is to try to fight banned websites back into the rankings later.