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A Complete Beginner-Friendly Guide to Google Penalty

Google Penalty—like a penalty in professional sports? It works similarly to that. Google penalty means that your website is no longer on the search results and your ranking for your targeted keyword has dropped. 

This change can cause you most or even all of your traffic to your website. Your target audience can’t find you anymore leading to a reduction in traffic and revenue. 

Google Penalty can be a pandemic—it needs to be solved as soon as it’s noticed.

Guide to Google Penalty - One Search Pro Digital Marketing Agency

What is Google Penalty?

Google Penalty is a punishment from Google when your website violates the google webmaster guidelines mainly.

Most of the time the penalty is due to an algorithm change or a manual penalty caused by Black-Hat SEO process.

If your site’s traffic reduces suddenly and your ranking has reduced, then you need to check if you’ve had a google penalty or not.

A website’s traffic in 3 months after a Google Penalty. Source: Consuunt

Most of the penalties given by Google are caused by an algorithm change. There are two types of algorithm change, Panda and Penguin. They are updated frequently to remove all bad websites from the search engine results. 

The Panda update is usually focused on how good the quality of your website is—”it” reduces thin and poor content from ranking in the search results. 

The Penguin update is based on backlinks. It identifies poor backlinks that make the website look authoritative. 

Google penalty comes in a number of ways the length depends on your offense and how quick you try to take measures to resolve it. They are Algorithmic penalty, manual link spam penalty, Private blog networks, Site-wide Penalty and Excessive reciprocal linking.

Why Should You Check Your Website for a Penalty? 

We all know that businesses and blogs succeed when they rank well on Google. 

Google ranking is one of the ways you can improve your business success fast—it’s one of the best sources for targeted traffic so it makes sense to rank for keywords on this traffic machine.

Now, you’ve gotten your website to the top and you’re relaxed—you might get hit by a rock anytime.

Google algorithm updates can happen when you least expect them, and it’s necessary to be constantly in check of what your website is doing wrong.

You should be able to tell if your site is affected by a new algorithm and you need to take corrective action as soon as possible before it hits your traffic badly. Knowing the reason why you’re penalized will ensure easier troubleshooting and you can work towards correcting it.

But what if you wait out the penalty? Unfortunately, waiting it out won’t do your website any good as you’ll lose all your traffic and you might get delisted from the search results.

A sudden decrease in traffic will signify if you’ve gone against Google violations.

Sometimes, you might even be signified by Google themselves. And sometimes, Google penalty isn’t a small issue and you should regularly check if you’re acting against Google violations.

One tip to avoid this is to ensure that your website has great content and is user-friendly. If your website has those, Google will love your website and it might get a push.

A coffee website after rebranding and creating good content. Source: Global Graphics

Please note that the two aforementioned aren’t the only things you can do to get to the Google SERP, they’re tons of other things you need to ensure—which will be discussed as you read on.

Google loves websites that answer the searcher’s query, gives them a good experience, makes them spend more time on the website. The overall thing is, if your website gives searchers more quality than they ask for—your website will be on Google’s heart.

There’s also one thing that makes most websites get google penalties: Paid backlinks.

Most users have the notion that buying backlinks will increase their ranking. In truth, organic backlinks will, but your website will be cleared away from the search results if you buy backlinks for it.

Gone are the days when people buy $10 backlinks to rank on the Google search engine.

If you’re into this, you need to stop because if you get a penalty, your website might be penalized forever.

Most common indicators that your site is losing SEO visibility in the Google Search Engige. Source: Ahref

As said earlier, Google loves websites that are original—original content and naturally earned backlinks.

If you can achieve that, then Google will reward your work with a push in the search results.

But how? What will absolutely happen if your website get penalized?

What Happens If Your Website Gets A Penalty?

A Google penalty might be a pandemic for some websites who solely depend on organic traffic to thrive. The most noticeable change is the reduction in traffic but there are a plethora of things that can happen if such happens. Let’s dive into the effects of Google penalty:

Indicator #1

Reduction In Traffic

This is one of the most common problems that arises after a penalty hits a website – when you notice that your website that usually has hundreds of thousands of monthly views drastically reduced, you need to check your Search Console for any issues. 

This is the punishment most users will receive having triggered some Google violation, in which you will witness a drop in ranking and non indexing of webpages. 

This is the punishment most users will receive having triggered some Google violation, in which you will witness a drop in ranking and non indexing of webpages.

Indicator #2

Page Removal From Indexing

Once search engine spiders can’t crawl your content, then you can’t rank for any keyword and phrase—that means your website will get low page views. You can easily check this by using the Google Penalty checker from FEInternational.

The tool shows you the major Google penalty and the extent at which they’ve hit your website. The tool uses the most significant algorithm changes and some of the manual ones. 

You can also use tools like SEMrush Sensor to check your website’s health and how well it’s doing in the SERP.

SEMRush Sensor has a lot to tell you about Google Penalties indicators from showing you SERP volatility of your websites over the last month, checking backlinks, content and anything that can affect your website. 

Indicator #3

You Get Removed From Google’s Favourite Books

Remember we said earlier that if your website gives searchers more quality than they want, your website will be on Google’s good books.

Violating a google seo penalty or the penalty itself will make Google turn it’s back at you in seconds—as it should.

Solving the penalty and getting Google’s trust might take a while depending on the gravity of your offense.

An algorithm update might take months to fix because you’ll have to figure out what caused the issue and wait for another algorithm update. 

But for a manual one, it gets solved easily if you notice it as soon as possible – Google penalty is caused mostly by lack of SEO knowledge and the use of black hat seo techniques. 

Google Penguin Algorithm update. Source: Panguin

As we said before, the manual penalty will come with a warning from Google but if an algorithm change hits you, the situation becomes more difficult – it takes time to find a correlation between your website losses and Google’s latest actions to rectify the problem.

Please note that traffic reduction and website ranking position is caused by general problems and in 90% of the time has no relation to algorithmic changes.

To avoid algorithmic changes hitting your website, we recommend you take frequent SEO audits on your website.

Indicator #4

Your Whole Website Can Be Affected

One of the main reasons why you should check your website for penalties regularly. You don’t want a situation where you think your website is ranking well but Google has wiped it off it’s entire search engine results page. It might happen due to spam user generated content, unnatural backlinks and sneaky redirects. 

Three Obvious Ways To Tell If Your Website Has Been Penalized

Recognizing a Google Penalty can give you the reason why your traffic reduced and you can also take corrective measures for a google penalty recovery.

The most common way to check for a Google penalty is use Google search console or Google Analytics. 

Some third party tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs also provide an audit to your site to check if it’s not violating the Google Webmaster Guidelines. 

1. How to Check for Google Penalty on Google Search Console

If you haven’t heard of Google Search console and you own a website—then you’re not going to easily figure out some issues your website has.

Google Search console is a free tool used to check indexing status and how optimized a website is. 

The search console is also used by Google to communicate to webmasters or users about potential problems or penalties their websites have – before you can access it, you need to create an account. 

Login into your Google Search Console account: Now you’re in your Console account, we want you to note something. As we stated earlier, they’re two types of penalty: Manual and Algorithmic. The Manual penalty is imposed by the Google Quality team for a number of reasons, it might be sitewide and affecting only some pages.

In this case, you’ll get a message from Google in your Console account telling you the problem and a list of actions you can take to solve it. After taking those recommended actions, you can submit a reconsideration request and you’ll get a reply telling if the penalty has been removed.

The Algorithmic penalty is automatic, it’s not done by the Google Quality team so you won’t get a notification in your search console and you also can’t file a reconsideration request. You can only use your search console account to check if you have a manual penalty or not.

Go to the menu bar, click on Security Manual Actions / Manual actions: If you see ‘No issues detected’ then your site is free of a manual penalty. If there’s a manual penalty, read the message carefully, follow the instructions provided and request for another review.

2. How To Check For A Penalty In Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is the best way to check if your website has been hit by an algorithmic change. If you see a drop in traffic during the dates where Google released a new algorithm then your website was hit and that explains the traffic drop.

  • Login into your Google Analytics account
  • Select your site from the dashboard and go Acquisition –> All traffic –> Source / Medium 
  • Select Google/ Organic: Reports of your traffic from Google would be seen here.
  • Compare the dates there was a major traffic drop to the date that a new algorithm was introduced.

3.  Lost Rankings

Now that you know some of your sessions and traffic is lost, you should start looking into your search engine rankings.

There are few ways of checking – Google Search Console, Ahref and SE RANKING

Using GSC to Identify Lost Rankings

Go to GSC —> Manual Actions. If everything is in order, there shall be no error message found as per below –

Using AHREFS to Identify Lost Rankings

Ahrefs is another straightforward-way to check your rankings positioning. First off, create a New Project by adding your domains for checking – then add your specific keywords to examine its ranking performing in the column as per below –

If you’re unlucky enough you can see something like this:

Using SE Ranking to Identify Lost Rankings

SE Ranking is another straightforward but yet effective way to check and track your keywords ranking performances.

To start off – go to Rankings –> select your preference Date and you’ll able to see the below:

One good thing about SE Ranking in SEO tracking is the Note feature in the tools where any event that’s significant in terms of your website’s SEO can be recorded in the graph. If you are unlucky enough to see this – you’ll able to see the below

4. Other 3rd Party Tools

They’re a plethora of third party tools that you can use to check if you have a penalty – In Fact they provide in depth information and graphs on how your website has fared SEO-wisely and in every way. 

Depending on your budget, some are free but the premium ones are advisable to use because of the correct recommendations they provide. 

Examples of these tools are Fruition Google penalty checker, SEMRush sensor, Penguin Penalty checker tool from Barracuda Digitals, Rank Ranger Rank Risk index, Cognitive SEO signals and FE international website penalty indicator.

The Six Types of Google Penalties You Should Know

The most common type of Google Penalty that people know is the manual penalty, In fact most people think that the algorithmic penalty is a manual one. 

In this section, we’re going to discuss the common types of Google Penalties that happen all the time. Let’s get to them.

Google Penalty Type #1 Algorithmic Penalty 

What is Algorithmic Penalty?

Google algorithm does a simple job of searching web pages that contain the keywords used to search and then assigning a rank to each page based on some factors like the number of times the keywords appear in a page and more. Google uses this index when a user enters a search query. 

Why Does This Happen?

Algorithmic penalty occurs in two different ways because they’re two types of the penalty itself, triggered by the Panda and Penguin updates. 

Panda updates are focused on content: content originality, duplicate content and thin content. This update is used to clear out websites with sub par content on the search results. 

Meanwhile, the Penguin update is used to check how original the backlinks are. The update identifies websites that try to use low quality inbound and outbound links to look authoritative. 

This means, if you’re hiring $10 fiverr service to buy backlinks, your website will be hit by the Penguin update. The thing is both updates are minor, but every website is vulnerable no matter how small it is. 

How To Avoid Penguin And Panda Algorithm Penalty

  • Avoid getting links from websites that have been penalized and banned from Google. If you have them on your website already, disavow them. 
  •  Get rid of duplicate content: Websites with similar content across their pages and domains will send a bad signal to Google. Google will count the website as low quality.
  •  Clear links from websites not related to your niche: Some websites get links from sources that aren’t related to their niche thinking they can fool an algorithm.

It’s impossible to get authoritativeness from this because Google will think the website is low quality.

  • Spam and forum links: You might have noticed that some blogs don’t allow comments—they’re getting rid of spammers that might cause their website a downfall. If you have them on your website, delete those comments and get rid of them. 
  • Advertising link must be nofollow: If you have ads linking to any of your content, remember to add a nofollow tag to ensure your ranking wouldn’t be affected. 

Google Penalty Type #2Manual Review Penalty

What is Manual Review Penalty?

This is caused as a result of the violation of a Google webmaster Guidelines. The nature of this penalty is unknown until you get a notification from Google and recommendations to resolve the issue.

Google worker explains the Manual action step by step. Source: Google Search Central

Why Does This Happen?

You get a manual review penalty when you have violated the webmaster Guidelines. Google workers when they notice any foul play on your website, give you a notification and recommendations too, to resolve it fast.

How to Avoid Manual Review Penalty by Google

To avoid getting a manual review penalty is simple, follow all the Google Webmaster Guidelines. 

Google Penalty Type #3Site-Wide Penalty

What is Site-Wide Penalty?

Occurs when a website is put on Google’s black book that is the website can’t be found on the Google SERP. A simple action of de-indexing was done by Google to clear the website off the results. 

Why does this happen?

Site wide penalty is mostly caused by spammy content and links. Spam links, comment spam links all cause Google to give a site a general penalty.

How to Avoid Manual Review Penalty 

Check your website for spams regularly with an SEO audit, you can hire someone to do it for you or use tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Ubersuggest. Figure out the spams and disavow or get rid of them.

Google Penalty Type #4Manual Link Spam Penalty

What is Manual link spam penalty?

Google Robots are very quick to discover sneaky link building practices. 

Why does this Happen?

Sometimes, the Google webspam team might be reviewing sites for link authenticity and when foul play is noticed, they give a penalty. All things considered, manual punishment can be a serious task and you may think about how somebody from the Google team ends up on your site and punishes it.

 You can call it any name you like but it could be a spam report from a competitor’s website that has made the group investigate your site’s link profile. Sometimes, reports from Google bots might lead to a manual survey leading to a penalty. 

How to Avoid Manual Link Spam Penalty 

Stop paying for link building, it won’t work. Check for websites for links that aren’t related to your niche and disavow them.

Google Penalty Type #5Private blog network (PBNs)

What is PBN?

This might be considered one of the safest zones to build links fast but as we said earlier, Google Bots are fast to pick out websites involved in unnatural link building.

Private Blog Network (PBN) is different from manual link spam Penalty because PBNs are built using expired domains. These domains used to have a site that built up a level or authority and links in the eyes of the search engine. 

These expired domains are purchased and turned into a site that’s part of a private blog network. 

Manual link spam Penalty is an action taken by the Google webmaster team to check the link profile of some websites manually. 

Why does this Happen?

 A private connection of blogs or websites owned by the same person to link to each other is a risky move and you’re endangering the visibility of your website. 

Sooner or later, all the websites will be discovered and penalized equally. Private Blog networks are manipulative in nature and can cause damage to your sites’ online reputation when once caught.

How to Avoid Private Blog Network Penalty 

The same rules apply: Get your backlinks naturally. Here’s the trick — create good content and you will see the links come naturally to your site. 

Google Penalty Type #6Excessive Reciprocal Linking

What is Excessive Reciprocal Linking?

Link exchange commonly used by bloggers for mutual benefit and for authoritativeness.

Why does this Happen ?

This occurs when fellow bloggers and websites are exchanging links mutually for authoritativeness. 

How to Avoid the Excessive Reciprocal Linking?

 Avoid this type of link building act as it will destroy the reputation of your website.

8 Common Reasons Why You Get Penalized By Google

Reason Website Get Penalized - One Search Pro Digital Marketing Agency

It is crucial to understand the reasons behind the penalty so that you can decide on your next course of action – We have summarised them into a table for you

Reasons for a Google Penalty What is it?ExamplesActions to Resolve the issue
1. Unnatural linksDeceptive, artificial and manipulative links either paid or exchanged for rewards that direct to your websiteFooter links, Author link, Paid editorial links, Resource pages linksYou need to stop purchasing links and use Google’s guidelines to link
2. Cloaking
Website content is presented to users in a different way compared to search engine spiders. Cloaking is done so that search engines can display a page that’s not in the real sense present.Redirecting users to a separate page that hasn’t been indexed by search engine crawlers. Identify the affected areas of your site using the Google search console to compare pages you see and the ones on Google. 
fix the URLs that redirect users to a different page than the expected. 
3. Keyword StuffingA content or all content on your website are highly stuffed with target keywords with the aim of ranking high. This is part of Black Hat SEO. Stuffing content on website with keywordsIdentify affected areas on your website with tools like Google Search console, SEMRush etc.Check for texts that have the same colour as the page background, CSS styling and alt tags with stuffed keywords. Fix those issues immediately and request a consideration.
4. Redirects
Another Black Hat SEO technique that directs mobile devices users to pages that aren’t crawlable or seen to search engines robots. It’s a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines.Redirects might happen in three ways: 
the webmaster created the pages intentionally. 
Code that creates redirects are added
 A script is added by hackers to display ads that redirects mobile users to malicious websites.

Ensure your website wasn’t hacked. 
Check your Google Search Console by going to Security Issue Report under Manual Actions—if these reports show no hacking reports, then you need to check the third party elements on your website.
Remove them one by one and use the Chrome Mobile Emulator to check if there’s still a redirection. 
5. Slow page speed

 
You might have encountered a website that loads slowly and you ended up leaving the website. 
This factor is taken seriously by Google when evaluating websites, as the shorter the load time, the better and user friendly the page will be. 
Check page speed from speed checker such as Pindgom, dotcom monitor, KeyCDN speed test, Varvy Page speed optimisation, Page scouring, Scurri load time tester, Google PageSpeed Insights and many more.
To improve your page speed, here are a few tips for you: 
compress the content, upload content with small sizes
Use servers that are physically located in the country you’re in
Divide load pages into subdomains and use each subdomain to load CSS, images and scripts.
6. Duplicate ContentGoogle values originality. When you post content that is copied and pasted from another website then you might land your website a penalty. Changing colour and format of duplicated content Very common among online stores: Using manufacturer’s product information word by word.Duplicating images and tables. Create original and quality content that will make your readers come back for more.
7. Error PagesError pages can be in the form of 404 error pages or broken links that don’t enable the user to have a smooth experience online. If the links on a website are outdated, Google will assume that you’re not a competent webmaster and don’t care about user experiences.Error or 404 pages on website pagesReview all the links in your website periodically to ensure you don’t have broken pages.
Via Google Search Console: Google has created a section where they track all the errors in your website and you can work on them. 
Via Screaming Frog: To check for broken links, just paste the URL of your site and you’ll get a report on every page of your website. If you find a 404 page, delete it.

The Easiest Way To Resolve Your Site’s Google Penalty Issue

We know it might be stressful to determine the penalty you have and resolve them.

You can get professionals to do that for you! Experienced digital marketing companies like One Search Pro‘s team will work together with you to figure out the issue and fix it.

How To Recover From Google Penalty 

Perhaps some of you may prefer to find the penalty problem and fix it on your own. While it might be easy to get out of a manual penalty fast, there are other things that you need to put in place to make sure you’re doing the right thing. 

Following the steps outlined below will help you get on the right track even after resolving the penalty. 

Step 1: Dig into Data

It’s very important to get full information of what exactly happened before taking action. You need to determine whether the drop in traffic is caused by a penalty or an algorithm update, what kind of penalty you’re given and how it has affected your website. 

We recommend starting with Google Webmaster tools. If you get a Google manual penalty, you’ll receive a message in the webmaster tools. 

Always remember that if your website gets hit by an algorithm, you won’t get a message. It’s advisable to export your link data to a spreadsheet. In any Google report and you see a sudden decrease in the number of links then you know that you’ve  been removed from the link profile. 

Google Analytics is a great way to check for website traffic – It provides data on how your traffic is coming, when and why it’s increasing.

You also get access to the amount of time users spend on your website with location. With this tool you can check if it’s all your keywords that are affected or just a specific keyword. And then you can check if the traffic reduction is sitewide or on just one page. 

If your ranking has dropped by a few spots then viola, you haven’t been hit by a penalty but when you see a real drop in multiple pages then you need to dig deep into more information. 

Step 2: Identify The Cause Of The Penalty

After getting the information you needed, then the next step is to identify the cause of your problem.

Most clients and consultants go wrong in this step because they can’t figure out the problem. Failing to do so will lead to wasting resources and correcting things that don’t need correction and even make matters more worse in the process.

The main trick to this is to check the SEO community for various updates.

If you see a swift drop in traffic on your website and you can get the dates that it happened, you can check any SEO community to check if there’s an algorithm update at that time – There are infographics, forums and blog posts out there discussing about new updates.

There’s something important you don’t want to miss when it comes to updates—algorithm updates can hit you directly and indirectly. 

You can be directly penalized or notice a reduction in traffic because websites that link to you are penalized.

Most sites that claim to be ‘penalized directly‘ are mostly caused by a bad website linking to them. Links from websites that were devalued or ‘no-followed’ by the algorithm can infect another site with a penalty if linked to them. 

To further break it down, sites hit directly by the Penguin Update are penalized for publishing or building spam links towards their sites and if any of them links to you—it will be counted against you. Therefore sites that are directly hit by the Penguin update will infect some sites it linked to with an indirect penalty. 

For the Panda update, that penalizes sites that publish low quality content that doesn’t satisfy the searchers intent—if your website gets a link from them then you’ll be indirectly impacted.

Direct Panda penalty is less obvious with a touch of indirectness in it, in the sense that only pages with low quality content will be affected.

Most of the time, indirect penalty is more subtle—the drop in ranking isn’t across your entire website, but on pages affected.

Indirect penalty hits only pages have links from spam sites or bad content—a noticeable drop in traffic will notify that. 

Pages that you linked to that had low domain authority and are ranking will see a reduction in traffic if your links are devalued. In the sense of ranking, indirect penalty can resemble a direct Panda penalty. 

Step 3. Learn Everything You Need To Know About Algorithm Updates:

If you know the updates you’re dealing with then, you need to get more information and widen your knowledge about it.

Step 4. Take Action Plan

The plan you want to take depends on the penalty you’re dealing with. First of all you’ll need to have a good grasp of what your options are before you take into action. Set goals and measure the impacts, how well it has gone. For algorithmic updates, impacts won’t be noticeable. 

Step 5. Boost Efficiency with Tools: 

If you’re penalized for bad links then a serious amount of work needs to be put in to remove them. Google recommends that removal of those links will be a great way to resolve the penalty and to do this efficiently, you need tools to assist you.

Majestic SEO, Open Site explorer, Ahrefs are great tools you can use. After figuring out the bad links  Link Cleanup and Contact, Remove’em, LinkDelete can help to remove the backlinks permanently. Please only use this method when you’re directly penalized for inbound links.

Step 6. Switch Towards Quality Tactics:

 Everything boils down to the fact you need to create original and quality content and links. Build links in a way that Google recommends. Create content that will draw traffic and attract links from websites. 

Step 7. Monitor The Results: 

Dealing with algorithm updates requires you to be up-to-date on the changes. It’s great creating content, building links and disavowing bad links but take a chill pill to check for positive results when a new update comes live. It requires patience. 

Bonus: Consult a Professional!

For webmasters and consultants who might get confused at any point, it’s worth it to get a professional that will analyze all the issues for you. Getting a Google penalty recovery can be tricky and you need first hand information in order to get out of it successfully. 

Wrong steps might cause you to waste resources and bring more harm than good. Fortunately, One Search Pro team is only a call away – It’s that simple!

How To Avoid Getting Penalized On Google

How to Avoid Getting Penalized by Google - One Search Pro Digital Marketing Agency

#1. Don’t Buy Links

No matter how sweet the offer might sound, avoid those ads that pop up on your phone ‘get original links for $99’, they’re never original. It might cost your website more than $99 if you buy them. Google shows no mercy on websites that buy links—they will detect it and penalize you.

2. Shallow and Bad Content

Google just recently updated BERT( Bi-directional Encoder Representations from Transformers) that can comprehend sites with similar content better than humans do. More and more pages are affected as the Google BERT is rolled out. This means that more shallow and duplicate content leads to a penalty. Always write and create well-researched and in depth content for your website.

3.  Don’t Hide Content

 Google doesn’t like the idea of ‘tricking’ to get a high ranking. Google is focused on transparency and originality. Some webmasters might match the text with the background colour of the page to hide content. While they might think they’ll rank higher, they are putting themselves in the bad books of Google. 

4. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

High quality content with right keyword density only wanted. Keyword stuffing might be the biggest mistake a webmaster can make due to the recent upgrades of robots and algorithms that have proven to understand content more better than humans do. 

The recent updates are more focused on understanding natural language and if it doesn’t flow right or fails the ‘smell test’ for being written well, then you’ve a penalty there. Write your content naturally, in a way that you’d talk in real life. Remember to keep your keyword density at 2-3% in the content. 

5. Write Human Friendly URLs

 To avoid penalty on some pages, creare URLs that are written and clear for the user. Yeah, it’s normal to add some keywords to it, but let it match the content. You want to create a URL that’s user-friendly and crawlable.

6. Adhere to Google Webmaster Guidelines

No matter what you do, remember that you have rules you need to follow. Create content the way Google wants, get original links, don’t stuff keywords, make your website user-friendly to mention a few. You can read the whole stuff here.

7. Don’t Over-Optimized Anchor Text

 Be careful when using your anchor text because it’s one of the most common things Google penalizes for. Over using or under using it can kill your rankings. Anchor text is the text you can click to be directed to another website or page. 

The only thing Google wants from you in this context, is for the anchor text to be natural and real. Lets say your anchor text for a link is ‘learn how to bake a cake free’ and the link is getting people to sign up for a paid class that’s an example of over optimized link.

8. Show You’re Legit

 In the process of creating great content remember that putting all your business details out there will increase your chance at getting seen. 

Google wants high quality experience for their users and they’ll want to provide them with good and legitimate businesses they trust if they need your services. If you’re a business, have good customer experience and a smooth website that is easy to navigate.

Most businesses depend on organic traffic for their growth and they can’t afford any type of penalty on their website. Majority of them hire SEO professionals to help them check and take preventive measures when needed.

And Here We Are…

Recovering your website from a penalty might be a daunting task but as long as you follow all the guidelines above, your site will bounce back. Always remember that Google loves websites that value their user experience so put that in mind whenever you’re optimizing your website for SEO.

By the end of this article, you should be able to 

  • understand what Google penalty is, 
  • Types of Google Penalities that strike the website owner,
  • and ways to recover from it.

Google Penalty might be confusing to website owners especially to small ecommerce website owners who aren’t knowledgeable about SEO. It requires thorough research and understanding to be able to comprehend what exactly is happening to your website.

If you’re confused in any way, consult a professional – you don’t have to go through this alone! You might cause more harm to your website if you decide to solve a penalty without proper actions, especially after an algorithm update. 

Hope this guide helps! Please save it or bookmark it so when you’re free you can read and digest it anytime.

Frequently Asked Question on Google Penalties

Have questions? We’ve compiled a list of FAQs that might have come to your mind while reading the article. 

What Does It Mean by a Website Getting Penalized by Google?

Your website is penalized by Google when you violate the Google webmaster Guidelines. The penalty is in two ways: manual and algorithmic. Depending on your offense, the penalty might be sitewide or on some pages. Most of the time the reason why a website gets penalized is because of black hat SEO.

How Do I Check If My Site Has Hit By Google Penalty?

If your website has been blacklisted by Google, you’ll get a Google Safe browsing warning. These warnings differ on your web browser or the issue on your website. If you’re using Chrome you can check the Google safe browsing warnings by typing chrome://interstitials/  into your address bar. If you notice any warnings then your site has been blacklisted. Some bad websites can trigger the antivirus software on your computer and when you encounter such while visiting your website, then your website is blacklisted. The good thing is that, Google will give you a heads up if they’ve blacklisted your website.

How Long Does Google Penalty Last?

Depending on the severity of your offense, you’ll get 30 days or more. For manual penalties, if you can resolve the penalty fast you can tender a reconsideration request. And if it’s positive, then the penalty will be removed. For the algorithm update, you’ll have to wait for another update after figuring out and correcting your website before you can see a positive change.

How Do I Recover From Google Penalty?

There’s no one way to get out of a penalty, it really depends on what kind of penalty hits you. For the Panda algorithm update, you’ll need to create good, plagiarism-free and in depth content for the website, and get rid of all shabby and low-quality content for your website.

For the Penguin algorithm update, get rid of all links that are bought or spammed. Manual penalties are plenty but the good news is that Google will notify you about it in your Google search console and will give you tips on how to resolve it.

How Do I Avoid Getting Penalized by Google?

It’s simple —okay, not that simple, it’s straightforward! Create original content, Build original links, make your website user-friendly, don’t buy links, use your keywords in a right density, Avoid hiding content, use authentic content and make good use of your Anchor text well.

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