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Google Penalties: How Foreign Businesses Avoid Them in Vietnam

Digital Content



Google Penalties: How Foreign Businesses Avoid Them in Vietnam

Google penalty check

Your brand is a newcomer in Vietnam, and you want to get the ball rolling by creating as much relevant content on your website as possible. Still, the company website doesn’t get the visibility it deserves. How could this happen?

Turns out there are some hidden rules you need to be aware of to protect your website from Google penalties. Google penalizes you for anything you did on your website, regardless of how big the violation is.

This is old news; however, some may neglect it, leading to an unexplained ranking drop or a manual action report from Google. In Vietnam, Google Penalties’ consequences may range from hardly recognizable to alarmingly damaging to a websites’ presence.

What are Google Penalties?

‘Google Penalties’ is a punishment by Google for websites that infringe the Webmaster guidelines to manipulate the search results. Google changes its algorithm penalty every year to improve the quality of the search result delivery. It helps improve users\’ experience on the search engine, however, is a threat to any website that wants to outsmart the algorithm.

In 2014, Google made around 500 changes, from minor to major ones, to the algorithm penalty. As a result, some websites witnessed a surge in traffic and rankings; others were devastated by Google penalties and lost their rankings and traffic.

According to Matt Cutts, a former employee at Google, around 400,000 algorithm penalties are issued against websites every month.

google algorithm penalty

Google algorithm penalty

Insights on Vietnam’s Market and Why We Should Avoid Google Penalties

Vietnam’s economy has witnessed rapid economic growth, driven by international trade and foreign investments. The average GDP in Vietnam is projected to hit 5.1 on average by the year 2050. For the country to reach its fullest potential, the Government has continuously welcomed foreign firms with generous profit-based incentives (PwC Study, 2017).

It is worth noting that only 20,000 website administrators are submitting a reconsideration request each month. That means only 5% of these penalized websites are trying to recover.

As statically proven by Truong Minh Tuan, the Minister of Information and Communication, Vietnam is one of the leading countries in Asia with the highest number of internet users – 50 million users, equivalent to 54% of the population in 2020.

Vietnam is in the middle of the transformation from the brick-and-mortar business to virtual commerce.

google algorithm penalty

Types of Google Penalties

Google has been fighting spammers & making changes to its algorithm for God knows how long. No matter how major or minor these changes are, there will be winners and losers in this game. To stay on track, you need to understand the differences between the two Google Penalties: Manual Action Penalty and Algorithm Penalty.

Google Manual Action Penalty

Manual Action Reports are issued when Google Quality team spot a penalty from your site. Google is very transparent about how Google manual penalty work; there is a ‘Manual Action’ tab, can be found in Google Webmaster Tools.

With the rise of digitalization in Vietnam, all industries have become increasingly saturated and competitive. To seize the opportunity, almost every market makes its appearance online now.
Brands go to great lengths to build brand awareness and improve conversion rates for higher profits. When it comes to attracting quality traffic, a good website is just not enough. In actuality, foreign investors need to keep abreast of how Google penalties work and how to avoid these penalties, as to fuel their business.

Google Algorithm Penalty

Algorithm Penalty is when Google sanctions websites that don’t meet its classification criteria. By using the ranking algorithms known as the Panda Penalty & Penguin Penalty, Google goes all out to penalize any webmasters of SEOs that do wrong. This time, no reconsideration request can save you; hence, no manual review from Google employees.

Notably, these manual actions have an expiration time. Therefore, you can submit a reconsideration request to recover from these Google penalties. Most Vietnamese websites make the mistake of not requesting Google to review theirs, therefore, they still suffer from ranking drops. Marketing agencies also provide penalty recovery service to businesses. This Google penalty removal service includes auditing websites, helping websites recovering from both manual action penalties and algorithm penalties. Once you’ve fully recovered, make sure to avoid the same mistakes in the future because this time Big Brother Google will be watching you.

Algorithm Penalty is when Google sanctions websites that don’t meet its classification criteria. By using the ranking algorithms known as the Panda Penalty & Penguin Penalty, Google goes all out to penalize any webmasters of SEOs that do wrong. This time, no reconsideration request can save you; hence, no manual review from Google employees.

google manual actions

Google manul actions

To identify what algorithm-related penalty your website has suffered from, you have to stay up to date with Google Analytics. You then connect the day your website traffic dropped to the latest update on the search algorithm to find out what you did wrong.

Google Algorithm Penalty is separated into two categories: Panda Penalty and Penguin Penalty. While Panda Penalties is concerned with content quality and usability among web pages, the latter is mainly focused on quality inbound links.
We’ll be looking at ways to recover from both Panda penalties and Penguin Penalties.

Panda Penalty

Google Panda Penalty is a penalty named after a Google’s engineer, Navneet Panda. Released in 2011, the penalty prevents low-quality websites from manipulating Google’s search results.

We’ll be looking at ways to recover from both Panda penalties and Penguin Penalties.

The appearance of Google Panda Penalty directly aims at content farms – websites that are populated with thin content and irrelevant advertisements.

Panda Penalty is in charge of filtering websites by rewarding pages that meet its classification criteria and demoting pages that don’t. One issue with this algorithmic update is that only a few low-quality contents can affect the whole page’s ranking on SERPs.

Low-Quality Content

‘Low-quality content’ is when websites loaded with information, still, none of them offer real value to web searchers. In the past, stuffing websites with as many low-quality blogs and articles as one can was everyone’s favorite strategy. Now, you could be doing more harm than good if what you post on your websites is poorly written.

Thin Content

Content that brings little value to readers can be described as ‘thin content’. From Google’s perspective, quality content is by far the most important thing to look at. The content that one page delivers should be resourceful and meet the search intent; otherwise, it is listed as thin content. If your website has very few to no quality content, there’s a high chance that Google Panda Penalty would roll out to get you.

Duplicate Content

Websites with mass-produced content or copy-paste articles from other sites could get themselves flagged for duplicate content. Technically, a duplicate content penalty is the least serious out of the three. It is explained that in some situations, a duplicated text must be used, for example, citations and quotes. To make things easier, when writing content for your website, keep in mind that the Google Panda penalty favors originality in ideas, not just the texts itself.

How to recover from Google Panda Penalty

Fending off a Panda Penalty can be quite tricky sometimes, but it’s nowhere near impossible. You have to show Google that you’ve learned your lesson by improving and optimizing your web’s content:

To recover from the traffic loss to your website, you have to analyze how users interact and engage with your website.
Remove unnecessary content such as low-quality & duplicate content.
In the process of recovering from the Google Panda update, use Google Webmaster Tools to identify broken links, errors, or non-existing external links to your sites.
Last but not least, restructure the whole page set-up to improve user experience.
After finishing all the above tasks, just be patient and you’ll be back in the ranking game in no time.

Penguin Penalty

Google Penguin Penalty was initially released on April 24, 2012. The sole goal of the Penguin Penalty is to identify websites that dominate the search engine by implementing SEO manipulation tactics, which centers around deceptive links. Like its precedent, Google Penguin Penalty was responsible for many sudden ranking drops on SERPs and a nightmare to any webmaster.

Penguin Penalty is how Google responds to unnatural backlinks and spams.

Google Penguin Penalty works by rewarding pages with authoritative, relevant links while degrading pages with manipulative links.

However, unlike Panda Penalty, Penguin Penalty only impacts specific pages, not the whole website. Therefore, it’s easier to recover and have your website ranked again on the search functionality.

How to avoid Google Penalties

Being on the other side of Google’s algorithm is everyone’s worst fear, no one wants to be penalized by Google.

However, unlike Panda Penalty, Penguin Penalty only impacts specific pages, not the whole website. Therefore, it’s easier to recover and have your website ranked again on the search functionality.

Unnatural Links

Google is getting better and better in detecting manipulative outbound links. A website attracts Google’s attention by including a lot of high-quality links to their site. However, in a worst-case scenario, having a high number of links can raise the question of whether these links are trustworthy or not. Without a doubt, this is marked as a violation of the Google Search Algorithm.

This is a common mistake with most Vietnamese businesses’ websites. There are way too many unnatural links used in the websites, that could easily bore readers when they first visit the website. Believe it or not, most websites in Vietnam have this problem. So if you want to really stand out, make sure your page has the most relevant and credible links.

Keyword Stuffing

The keyword stuffing penalty is for pages that are filled with a redundancy of keywords. A lot of brands do this because they want to skyrocket their visibility. However, this technique does come with a price. Keyword stuffing is designed to cheat the algorithm; however, it fails to pursue the goal of delivering relevant page content to readers.

If you keyword stuff your page, you are not writing for your initial target audience anymore; you are writing for the search engine. By doing this, not only do you drive your customers away but you are also straight-up asking for an SEO Penalty.

User-generated Spam

Commonly referred to as black hat SEO techniques, user-generated spam is a means to improve Google rankings. However, if your business aims for long-term success, this is not the way to go. When a Penguin Penalty is given out, your page can be removed from the search engine by Google.

How to recover from Google Penguin Penalty

Google Penguin Penalty is fundamentally different from its neighbor, Google Panda Penalty. These Google penalties primarily come from Black Hat SEO techniques. Therefore, you have to follow these steps in order to recover from Penguin Penalty:

Check all of your backlinks by using tools like Google Webmaster Tools, Open Site Explorer, etc.
Monitoring the quality of your links to make sure none of them can put you under the Google Penguin Algorithm’s radar. In this case, unnatural and spammy links are your biggest enemies.
As a side note, links on your website can be outdated over time; therefore, start disavowing these no-longer-suitable links before they could hurt you.

For a better result, brands should consider increasing more quality links on the website rather than just focusing on removing the existing ones.

duplicate content penalty

Duplicate content penalty

In the virtual marketing world, unique and useful content is the driven key to astoundingly fruitful traffic to a business’s website. Do the content audit once in a while to make sure your all pages are always fresh from the oven. At On Digitals, we only deliver good websites with the best white hat strategies that are Google penalty-free.

Contrary to popular belief, having too many backlinks is not always the best tactic in building a strong website. Sloppy links bring down the overall quality score of your brand’s online presence.

If you take a close look at how most websites in Vietnam work, it’s easy to find websites filled with sloppy links. This is a no-no to any business that wants to thrive in the Digital Marketing World, especially in a country with a lot of competition like Vietnam right now.
Using credible links from high-authority sites can up your link profile, and keep you away from the infamous You-Know-Who: Google Penalties.

By and large, if you continue to follow Google Webmaster guidelines and deliver great content to your audience, no algorithm can penalize you by all means.

Related insights: Google lighthouse is a tool that allows you to measure, evaluate, and improve website quality.

Google Penalties and How We Can Help You

For those who have not yet been impacted by Google penalties, there are marketing agencies that will make sure your website is always in good standing with this search engine. These marketing agencies will guarantee your business’ website rank high to all search engines and then later convert traffic into sales.

If you are a foreign investor looking to set up new business in Vietnam, it is a great idea to work with a reputable local marketing agency in this rapidly emerging country.

On Digitals is a leading full-service digital marketing agency in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Our goal is to help other businesses to accelerate their potential by providing the highest quality service. We believe that mutually beneficial relationships with our customers can make a great impact on the final results. Our customer-centric culture is promised to place ourselves at the forefront of innovation, technology advancement & customers’ success.

At On Digitals, we provide digital marketing solutions such as SEO, PPC, and Social Media. If you are seeking a reliable marketing

However, it’s always better to keep your guards up since Google updates its algorithm every now and then. Although it’s frustrating to keep up with these changes, doing so will help you dodge the Google penalties bullet before you even know it.

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