Request A Quote
October 10th, 2019, Posted by Pixel Global

The What, How and Why of Google Penalty: A Complete Guide to Excel at Google Penalty

In our previous blog, we have discussed the Google penalty and Google devaluation and how they differ from each other. In this blog, we are going to share the ultimate guide to the Google penalty and how to recover it.

We already know, there are two reasons behind your website rank dropping. It might be due to automatic algorithmic devaluation or manual action. So, how to understand it is Google Penalty?

What is Google Penalty:

Even a non-technical person is familiar with penalties associated with sports. When a player does something illegal or violates the rules of the game, they get penalized. Depending on the severity of the infringement, the action is taken.
The same process is applied in the case of Google penalties. If a website does something wrong or hides something from the search engines, that is not in the rule books of Google, the website gets penalized. Google’s human reviewers find out the illegal activities and penalize your website.

Troubles with Google penalty:

Needless to say, the Google penalty has a massive negative impact on your website. When your site gets penalized, it drops its ranking on the search engines drastically, sometimes, gets removed from the search engine. This means you will no longer exist for your potential customers.

Google penalty is upgrading its features to make it more effective and more strict to the websites that violate the search engine rules.

How to check Google Penalty:

Since we have to go with the search engine for traffic, we need to stay upgraded with the latest algorithm updates and make the necessary changes that might affect Google Penalty. Staying updated not only helps in avoiding Google Penalty but also gives you the advantage to rank high on the search engines.

Where there is will, there is a way. With the help of a Google penalty checker, even the busiest marketer can watch out the silent traffic killers. You can find multiple tools that help in the Google penalty check. With a penalty indicator checker, you can check what has happened to your website in the past and if it is recovered yet or not.

Recent Google Updates:

1. Google Panda Penalty:
Google Panda got introduced on 23rd February 2011. Though there were other updates before Panda, this update was a massive pain for the websites. This algorithm update was purposely introduced to reward high-quality and authentic websites and diminish the low-quality ones. Google Panda, initially known as Farmer, affected 12% of English Language search results in just a few months.Triggers for Google Panda:
Your website might get affected in case it includes the following:

  • Duplicate content
  • Thin content
  • Low-quality content
  • Content farming
  • Lack of authenticity or reliability
  • Low-quality user-generated content
  • Low-quality content with the affiliate links
  • Websites blocked by users
  • High ad-to-content ratio

2. Google penguin penalty:
The latest version of the Google algorithm is Google Penguin. It was first officially announced on 24th April 2012. This update completely focuses on decreasing the SEO ranking of the sites violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or practicing black hat SEO. Penguin was specially designed to combat genuine spam.

Penguin 4.0, introduced in 2016, is the fourth version of Penguin. This update punishes only the bad links instead of the whole site. Google Penguin is now the most vital part of Google’s core algorithm.

Triggers for penguin:

  • Link schemes:
    Buying backlink from low quality or irrelevant websites falls into this category.
  • Keyword stuffing:
    Populating your webpage with excessive keywords to manipulate the search engine is penalized by Google Penguin.

Google Penalty Recovery:

The manual reviewers of Google are constantly observing the activities of every website. If they find some inbound links on your website, that are manipulative and harmful, they send you an unnatural link warning through Google Webmaster Tools. If the violation is still not solved, Google penalizes your website.

The manual reviewers of Google are constantly observing the activities of every website. If they find some inbound links on your website, that are manipulative and harmful, they send you an unnatural link warning through Google Webmaster Tools. If the violation is still not solved, Google penalizes your website.

The ways to overcome the Google penalty is known as Google penalty recovery. To get back on the top, you need to make sure that your website is running authentically by maintaining all the rules and guidelines by Webmaster.

How to identify a Google Penalty:

To avoid any kind of Google penalty, the best thing that you can do is, identifying it in the first place. Breaking the webmaster’s guidelines can be threatening for a website. Google algorithm updates can seriously harm your website.

Your website might hit with a penalty due to one of the following reasons –

  • Purposeful violation of basic SEO principles
  • Lack of knowledge of the SEO specialist
  • The use of different black hat techniques

There are plenty of ways to understand whether your website is hit by a manual penalty or by algorithmic one. They are –

1. GWT or Google Webmaster Tools:
The simplest way to find out a manual Google penalty is GWT. You can simply log in to your GWT account, click on Search Traffic and then Manual Actions. There will be a window showing you whether you have committed a penalty or not.

2. Google Analytics:
You can also check your organic traffic. If you observe any sudden major dip in the traffic, it might be due to the Google penalty. Find out on which date it took place and check if anything was rolled out on that day.

3. Moz Algorithm Update:
Moz provides an updated list of the Google algorithm for official and unofficial updates. If you don’t have Google Webmaster Tools accounts or Google Analytics implemented with your website, you can follow the way.

If your website is hit with a penalty by an algorithmic change, you might face a difficult situation. You have to find a correlation between Google’s past actions and the traffic losses of your website.

How to fix or Remove Google Penalty:

Google Penalty is the worst nightmare for every webmaster. So, if your website is diagnosed with the Google penalty, fixing the issue as soon as possible is a must. We have shared below a complete guideline that you can follow for fixing your Google penalty issues. A few simple steps can help you recover your website.

  • Step 1 – Collecting backlink data:
    The very first thing that you need to do is, you have to make a list of links pointing to your website from multiple sources. With the help of Webmaster Tool Links, open site explorer, Majestic SEO and Ahrefs, it becomes easier to make the list.
  • Step 2 – Work documentation
    Track all your website’s work in a Google Docs Spreadsheet and find where you are at the link removal process. This will be quite helpful when you will submit the reconsideration request to Google since they will be able to see exactly what you have done to sort out the issue.

    Once you are done with documenting your work, don’t forget to add the following columns at the bottom of the Spreadsheet –

    • Contact Name:
    • Email Address:
    • Website Contact Form:
    • Facebook URL:
    • LinkedIn URL
    • Twitter URL:
    • Date of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Contact:
    • Link Status:
    • Notes:

    To make the process short and simple, you can create a master sheet and copy all the links over there.

  • Step 3 – Finding out low-quality links:
    This is perhaps the most important part of link removal. It is not as simple as it sounds. You have to be exceptionally careful while choosing links to remove. If you remove a good link accidentally, it might take a long time to get the link back. So, don’t remove any link on guesswork. Remove the links that you are sure are spam.

    So, how to spot spammy links?
    It is quite difficult to define the feature of natural links. The links you get from naturally written content are considered to be the authentic links.

    On the other hand, finding the spam links are easier. When you get backlinks by commenting on others’ blogs or replying to others’ comments, are low-quality links. They are most likely unnatural.

    To find quality links, you can check

    • If the URL is indexed or not
    • The page authority and domain authority of the website you got the backlink
    • Site-wide links
    • The link directories. If you find there are words like “Links”, “Backlinks” or “SEO”, they are low-quality links, and you need to remove them.

    Let me simplify this in some simpler points. Just remove the links if the site from which you got the link

    • Is not indexed in Google
    • Accepts all the links without reviewing it manually
    • Has a lot of spam links
    • Is a part of a network where there are multiple directories in the similar name
    • Includes keywords like Links, Backlinks, Best, SEO, etc
  • Step 4 – Request removal of the low quality and spammy links:
    When you are done with listing all the bad links that are harming your website’s ranking, all you need to do is to remove them. You can do it by following four easy steps.

    1. Create an email account with your link removal request:
    To increase the chances of removing the link, you can follow the basic rules –

    • Be polite
    • Use company email address instead of a free email provider
    • Don’t start with silly words like “Dear Webmaster or “Business Owner”. Research a little to learn about the business owner’s name
    • Don’t make an essay. Be as specific as possible
    • Don’t populate the owner’s inbox with multiple emails. It might recognize you as spam.

    2. Track all your email requests:
    Keep on checking your website email if there is any mail request. By tracking your business mail, you would understand who has opened your emails. To make it easier, you can use HubSpot’s Signals. However, don’t forget to forward all your company emails to your Gmail ID.

    3. Find the contact details of Webmaster
    If you don’t find the contact details of the website owner in their “Contact Us” or “About Us” page, you can use whois.com to find their email address. For that, all you need to do is to type the website name to find the contact details of the owner.

    4. Send a request to remove the bad links:
    After sending your request to the webmaster, all you need to do is to wait. You might face the following possible situations:

    • The webmaster will remove your bad links.
    • Your request mail will be ignored. If so, you have to disavow the entire domain.
    • The webmaster will request money from you to remove the bad links. In this case, you should disavow the domain instead of paying anything.

How long does the Google penalty last?

The duration of the Google penalty depends on what type of penalty it is and the severity of the webmaster guidelines’ violation. We have learned earlier that there are two types of Google penalty –

  • Google Algorithmic Penalty and
  • Manual penalty

If your website is hit by an algorithmic penalty, your website rankings get a serious hit. In case your website gets hit by the Panda penalty, you might have to work for two years to clean up the penalty.

When the manual reviewers of Google penalize your website due to some manipulative work, you get a chance to remove the penalty. The time frame depends on the severity of the transgression. However, if you are serious about the penalty, and want to remove it, it might take up to 30 days to clean up the penalty. But if it hardly matters to you, or if you don’t take any serious action, the time duration increases.

Why does Google Penalize a website?

There are plenty of reasons that Google penalizes a website. Whenever a website violates Google Webmaster’s guidelines, it penalizes the site. By penalizing the site, Google wants to maintain the rules and bring the site back in the track. Though no one knows what the definite reason is, there are some possible reasons that can penalize your site. They are –

Buying links to manipulate the page rank

  • Excessive reciprocal links for the manipulation purpose
  • Duplicate content
  • Overusing H1 tags are considered as keyword manipulation
  • Internal 404s prevent Google from getting information about your website
  • Links from sites in different languages
  • Keyword stuffing in content
  • Footer links are considered manipulative to increase page rank
  • Hidden links
  • Missing sitemap data
  • Overuse of anchor text
  • Scrapped content is considered as pointless duplication by Google
  • Hidden content that manipulates the theme or keyword weighting
  • Exact match keyword domains
  • Rented links
  • Site-wide links
  • Overuse of metadata
  • The slow speed of the website
  • Content spinning
  • Blog comment spam
  • Black hat SEO practices

How to avoid Google penalties:

Prevention is always better than cure. Promote your website with honesty, and get rewarded by the Google algorithmic updates. You can avoid the penalty by following some guidelines. They are –

  • Don’t buy links:
    Links increase your SEO value. If you are doing so, don’t forget to make them “nofollow links” to avoid link schemes.

  • Create unique and quality content:
    The best way to get links naturally and boost your rank high organically is, developing unique and quality content.
  • Don’t overuse keywords:
    Never stuff keywords in your content. Use it in a natural flow. The more your website look natural, the grater rank you achieve.

Hope this content would give you a complete guide to the Google penalty. If you need professional help, comment on us or contact us today.

Copyright © 2022. All Right Reserved Pixel Global IT Services.