A few tips to keep the ban hammer from landing on your Web Stories

In a recent article, we explained what Web Stories are and how you can take advantage of them to help your SEO ranking strategy.

However, in order to properly utilize this relatively new feature and prevent google from penalizing you, we have complied six rules to abide by. These are essential aspects to keep in mind. Remember, if you use these features like Google wants them to be used, the algorithm will favor you over your competitors.

Without any further ado, here’s what to avoid to prevent Google from banning your Web Stories.

1. Copyrighted content

There’s simply no room for plagiarism or copying other people’s property. This goes for all kinds of content, whether it’s sound, video or text. Google will prevent your story from ever being featured and this may even hurt your own domain. So, it’s better to stick to original content, or, if you want to reference someone else’s work, get their permission first.

2. Wordy or long content

Web stories are supposed to be bite-sized pieces of content—something for people to consume on their way to work or during their morning coffee. For this reason, the text included therein has to be less than 180 words. Anything more extensive is unlikely to yield results. Videos have to be less than 60 seconds long.

3. Mediocre–quality assets

Aesthetics are important. Google is heavily invested in user experience, and quality visuals are key in this area. Thus, your pictures and videos shouldn’t be low resolution, stretched out or pixelated. This is a very popular requirement outside of Web Stories, when you run ads across popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Adwords, etc.

4. Lack of context

They’re called Web Stories for a reason; they need to have a theme and a narrative for the pages to be relatable and effective. A story without structure is likely to receive a ban. One easy way to avoid this is to try answering WH questions in your story (who/what/when/where.) This is a sure-fire technique to build a solid context for your story.

5. Clickbait

In the context of Web Stories, clickbait is classified as incomplete stories where users must click on a link and be re-directed to your site to finish watching or reading. Web Stories are NOT the place for black-hat SEO or shady clickbait techniques.

6. Overly commercial

Affiliate links are allowed in Web Stories as long as they form a small part of the overall content. However, if the story morphs into an ad from start to finish, then expect it to be banned right away. If you’re looking to advertise a product or a service, you can try Adwords or your own website.

That’s it! These six main points have been emphasized by Google. Keep them in mind next time you’re creating a story and they might just bring thousands of users to your homepage.

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