SEO Tip of the Week: Avoiding Penalties

SEO Tip Of the Week : Avoiding Penalties

90 Digital CEO Nick Garner gives us tips on avoiding penalties in this edition of’s SEO Tip of the Week.

Penalty Risk Factors – how can you avoid getting penalized? Get a membership with Majestic, stay in line with competition

Hi this is my SEO tip of the week – extended version!
Getting a penalty is a world of pain if you are are unlucky enough to get one. If you never had a penalty, then you won’t know the grief and uncertainty there is surrounding reinclusion. The best thing with a penalty is not to get one in the 1st place…

I’m touching wood here…because I don’t want to tempt fate, but here are my tips for penalty avoidance.

On a high level, it’s always important to remember Google needs good websites to rank. If they don’t find good sites, users will go to another search engine and Google will lose all that $$$$ ad revenue. So building a good site which has editorial merit, which attracts great links is the ideal.

The reality is most iGaming sites can never be ‘good’ and so have to rely on link building and link buying to rank. This puts you right in the middle of Google’s spam team target zone.

Anyhow I use a tool like or ahrefs (majestic is my favourite) and use it to keep a close eye on link profiles as compared to a site’s competition. In this case, competition is going to be sites you want to out rank (of course!)

I look for 3 main things:

  1. The velocity of my link and linking domain growth over time. If you are hammering those new links and your link growth is way above your competition, or if you have a fresh site and suddenly it’s getting a ton of links and linking domains, then you will stand out and sometime Google human reviewers will come by and check you out.
  2. Quality of links: I find fewer links, but of a better quality i.e. higher trust flow is better than a ton of spam links. However saying that , spammers prove that ‘spam links’ do work and they can get the most awful sites ranked on huge phrases, but it’s obvious they are spam and when they eventually get human reviewed – down they go! So it’s at least creating the impression of links earned through ‘editorial merit’ (hard in iGaming I know).
  3. Volume of links and linking domains: this ties in with velocity i.e. sometimes too many is plain dangerous and will attract attention you don’t want.

So as a general rule on avoiding a penalty I always say compare your link profile against your competition, stay in the pack but just be a little better on quality of links coming in and stick at it.

Of course it’s luck of the draw sometimes on whether you get a penalty or not because it’s ultimately down to the judgement of a Google employee on whether you are knocked out or not. It sucks I know, but it’s Google’s website and they can do what they like with it.