When you start looking into SEO, or search engine optimisation, one of the first things you'll discover is that there are certain things Google and the other search engines are looking for when they decide where your website should sit in the search results. These include rich content, use of keywords, links pointing to your website and more.

At the same time, Google is also looking for red flags that will cause a website to appear lower in the search results.

Some of these make a lot of sense. For instance, website errors have a negative impact on your search ranking because they create a poor experience for the people visiting your website. Google wants to ensure that the websites they recommend give searchers what they want (thereby creating a good user experience), so they will avoid recommending websites that don't contribute to that experience.

However, some of the other elements Google is looking at might surprise you. Fortunately, we've done the groundwork for you - here are six areas you can review to avoid a Google penalty.

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