Does My Website Have a Google Penalty?

google penaltyWhat is worse than simply losing a couple of ranking position in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs)? How about getting hit with a Google penalty? Typically you’ll know if you’ve been hit by a penalty as Google will usually send you a message prior warning about suspicious links or activity. If you’re confused, keep reading on, this post will clarify as there is a significant differences between temporary and manual penalties.

What’s a Google penalty?
Two fundamental types of Google penalties exist. The first is a temporary penalty and if basically a by-product of a one of Google’s algorithms upgrades. For instance, the Penguin update targeted websites with too many over optimized links. This implies a website that had too many exact-match anchor text links.

Then there is the manual penalty.
This is obviously much more serious than a temporary penalty and is an intentional penalization from Google for various black-hat SEO techniques.

What Happens if Your Site Gets a Google Penalty?
The effects of a Google Penalty can vary from a moderate to serious drop in rankings to being taken off the index entirely. If you happened to receive a “manual action” or “unnatural links penalty” on your website, breathe a sigh of relief because it is not forever.

“The penalties, which may range from months to years, do have an intrinsic end date and are related, according to Google Engineer Matt Cutts, “the severity of the problem that Google sees.” There are no notifications sent when a penalty expires and if one has expired, the manual spam actions viewer changes and no penalty is shown. It is important to note, that if the viewer shows no penalty when it is checked, then there is no penalty. However, Just because the penalty has expired does not mean a site in compliance.” – JDSupra.com – SEO | Law Firm

Being proactive in regards to a Google penalty is entirely up to the website owner. It is best to assume the issue has not gone away, and to clean up the website diligently before resubmitting it for a second manual review.

The great news is, most penalties happen just because a website owner has made a simple error or something beyond their management has happened. It actually requires a lot of effort to be removed from Google’s index, and if you are participating in conduct that can lead to removal, you should probably alter your ways before Google catches up with you – which they eventually will.
Since a penalty can appear from many places, and for many reasons, it can occasionally be hard to pinpoint just what occurred. This checklist will assist you to take the essential measures to recover your site, and narrow down the reasons why it was penalized in the first place.

  1. Analyze your traffic in Google Analytics: If your traffic looks ordinary, and a sudden drop off (or maybe no traffic at all), that is a fairly good indication of a potential penalty.
  2. Only Several Website Pages Are Now Showing in The SERPs. You might be looking at a penalty issue, if only several of your website’s pages show up when searched. Nonetheless, you might also just be having issues with your robots.txt file. Assess that before you presume the worst. You’ll know if your website was taken removed from Google’s index, if, when you perform a search for the website, nothing at all shows up. Then, it is fairly safe to presume there is a penalty in place, and you’ve got lots of work ahead of you.
  3. Check To See If Your Dropped Rankings Align With A Recent Update. Moz maintains track of all Google’s algorithm updates, you should be able to correlate an update to the time when you noticed an issue with your site. Once you have decided that an update has been released by Google, learn the best way to address it. For instance, when the Panda upgrade was released by Google, they clarified that it was meant to target low quality content. Site owners had to raise the quality of content on their websites, to be able to regain from a Panda hit. If there has been no recent update, you can rule that out, and continue searching for other options.
  4. Check your site in Google webmaster tools to see if they have penalized your site.

The Best way to Remove A Google Penalty
Once you have discovered if your website has really suffered a penalty, temporary or manual or whether you’ve simply been affected by an algorithm update, and then you have taken the proper measures to repair the problem(s), THEN and only then should you submit a Reconsideration Request to Google.

Google states that if you have had a manual penalty – the only real method to recuperate from an algorithmic upgrade penalty is, FIRST – fixing whatever issues the update targeted then submitting a Reconsideration Request. However, if you are still uncertain whether your website has endured a manual or algorithmic penalty, there’s no additional penalty for submitting a Reconsideration Request anyhow.

Follow the directions here. Google does review each request so it may take a little time to get an answer.

Google Penalty Follow Up
The reply you are expecting when you hear back a reply to your Reconsideration Request is that Google no longer finds any issue with your website, and the penalty is lifted. But that is not likely if you received a penalty that is manual.

In Conclusion:
We know that enduring a Google penalty can be quite disheartening and is certainly frustrating, but if you rose through the SERPs once you can brush yourself off and do it again. Remember, if you give quality – Google will eventually see that. Check our help center for further instructions for Google Penalty Recovery. Take the action to enhance everything from content, to back link building, website optimization and structuring. The best method is stay in the loop about Google’s algorithm upgrades, review your website analytics on a weekly basis to track your progress and that will be the best start to keep a website in good standing.

Recommended Posts