The short answer: Stop doing stupid stuff!
The longer answer is almost just as simple: Build quality content and get quality links. If you have crappy content and links, clean it up and replace it with quality stuff.
While I’m not a hard-core follower of Google’s guidelines, having a basic understanding of what Google does and doesn’t want to see in a website is important if you want to make sure you stay clear of unauthorized activities. That’s not to say Google can penalize everything or every site that violates its guidelines, but no one wants to be caught by surprise by it.
But that’s just what seems to happen every time Google rolls out a new algorithm update.
Look, we should all know by now that Google doesn’t like manipulation of the algorithm. But somehow so many web marketers can’t just seem to help themselves. So they build out hundreds and thousands of pages of content because, for now, it gets them rankings. Then the hammer falls.
Or they build hundreds and thousands of quick links, because that can vault them into the top positions. And then the penalty hits.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this. My parents always taught me that get-rich-quick schemes were too good to be true. And while get-rankings-quick schemes may pay off in the short run, eventually they’ll come back to bite you.
So instead of going for a quick, temporary win that can destroy what you worked so hard to build, go for the long-win. Don’t do those things that you know Google says not to do, but focus on building quality.
That’s how you stay out of penalty!