Ecommerce SEO Strategies for Beginners: Avoid Google Penalties

If you are new to e-commerce, you need to know the importance of SEO. Since your profits depend on the traffic your site receives, understanding SEO will help you increase the profitability of your business. Google announces updates to its algorithm every year. These updates affect how Google ranks websites whenever someone makes a Google search. 

You do not have to be an SEO expert to understand all this, for you need to learn only about a few updates. And when you follow Google’s guidelines and engage in best practices, you can see that your site rises to the top on the SERP. Here are some tips to promote your site and protect it from penalties. 

Google has released five core updates that have affected search rankings significantly. By understanding the purpose of these core updates, you can rank your e-commerce site higher. 

If you need help with any Google penalty, get the help from the best SEO Company in India.

Google Panda

Google Panda was the first major update and came out in February 2011. The update was initially nicknamed “Farmer”. The goal was to reward high-quality websites and punish spammy sites simultaneously. If your site struggles with low traffic, consider purchasing the e-commerce SEO services of a company.

Panda targets these practices

  • Thin Content: Web pages lack depth and have only a little information. But it claims to address a wide variety of topics.
  • Duplicate Content: Web pages featuring the exact text with little or no variation to distinguish them. Google also targets plagiarized content with this update.
  • Content Farming: Google targets brands that employ substandard writers to write several topics. The content lacks authority, as the brands try somehow to find a spot on the SERP with diversifying keywords.
  • Low-quality user-generated content: Blogs containing low-quality posts lacking authority and full of grammatical and spelling mistakes.
  • High ad-to-content ratio: Web pages featuring multiple paid ads instead of original content.
  • Low-quality content with affiliate links: It is the practice of churning out as much content as possible to stick more affiliate links.
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Tips for Avoiding Panda Penalty

To avoid a Panda penalty, you should write original content that solves people’s problems. Today, matching user intent with your content is more necessary than ever. So, writing long blog posts that feature original ideas backed up by citations and research will get you more traffic. 

Google promotes authoritative content, so make sure your content is original and unique. An eCommerce service provider will help you optimize your site for user intent.

You should also carefully edit user-generated content to ensure that it is error-free and useful for readers. To avoid duplicate content, block Google from indexing your page. Alternatively, you can delete the content and write fresh content for your pages. Work with an e-commerce service provider for writing persuasive product pages.

Google Penguin 

The Penguin update came out in April 2012. The purpose of the update was to punish manipulative link-building and keyword stuffing practices. 

Penguin targets these practices

  • Link Schemes: Google promotes sites having links from authority sites, as Google trusts information from influential people and brands. But some people get links from low-quality sites or sites having no relation to the website. They also purchase links for money to rank higher. Another disapproved practice is linking sites ignoring the context of the passage. 
  • Keyword Stuffing: It is the practice of either stuffing the content with multiple keywords or repeating the exact keywords throughout the blog post.

Tips to avoid a Penguin Penalty


Get links from credible sources to protect your e-commerce site from a penalty. You can also use sound techniques like the Skyscraper Technique for link-building. In addition, disallow all links coming from spammy sites. 

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When optimizing your e-commerce site, make sure you don’t stuff keywords. Focus on writing for real people, and the keywords will naturally find their place. Avoid over-optimizing your site, as it can also hurt your rankings. You can take assistance from an ecommerce SEO agency for better optimization of your website.


Google Hummingbird

The Hummingbird update came out in August 2013. The update aimed at understanding user queries better to provide relevant results. Keywords are still essential for rankings in this update. Even if the content lacks exact search terms the pages can still rank. 

Google uses natural language processing to understand synonyms and related terms to rank those sites higher. This update punishes keyword stuffing and writing for SEO than for people. With this update, Google wants brands to write only satisfactory answers to user queries.


To avoid getting hit by a Google penalty, shift your attention towards long-tail keywords. It will prevent keyword stuffing and help you rank for voice searches. Since people have limited attention spans, use conversational language. 

Avoid using flowery language and long paragraphs that affect readability. Use tools like Google Autocomplete suggestions and Google Related Searches to find what people want. But avoid focusing exclusively on those search terms.

Google Pigeon Update

This update came out in July 2014 to help users find local solutions. It is a big win for local brands, as they can now compete with top brands on Google searches. If they use their website to promote products, they can get much foot traffic and online traffic. E-commerce brands following Google’s guidelines after this update are getting good results.

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Update your GMB listings with your brand name, address, and contact information to rank in local searches. Get your brand enlisted in other directories relevant to your industry. Also, get local links from businesses doing well in the community. Local influencers can promote your brand and will boost your site rankings.

Google Mobilegeddon Update:

The Mobilegeddon update came out in April 2015. By this time, most people had smartphones with them. So, Google wanted to promote sites that prioritized mobile users. From this time onwards, mobile user experience became a ranking factor.

To avoid a Google penalty, optimize for users accessing your site from their smartphones. Your site should load faster when mobile users access the site. Likewise, the web design should be responsive so that the content is readable. Opting for a responsive web design will help you enhance the mobile user experience. Also, trim the sizes of product photo images, for they should not take much space. When you do all this, you can see an increase in rankings for your e-commerce site.



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