Google penalty is a nightmare for website owners and bloggers. A Google penalty on a website can bring down its search ranking to a new low.
There are so many different types of Google penalties possible for a website every time Google updates its search algorithms.
It is mandatory to protect your site from Google penalties after any update on their search algorithms so that it does not affect your position on search engine result pages.
To protect your website, you need to know what exactly causes a penalty and how to fix it.
- What Is Google Penalty and It’s Effects?
- Google Panda Vs Google Penguin
- Tools to Check Google Penalty
- Types of Google Penalties
- How to Remove a Google Penalty?
What Is Google Penalty and It’s Effects?
Google keeps on changing its search and ranking algorithms regularly so that the users get the finest and refined, high-quality content link on the result page.
With every update, new factors and parameters are added which may not comply with an existing article on your website or the website as a whole.
In such cases, your website gets a penalty. The immediate effect of a penalty is losing your search ranking significantly.
For example, one particular article which used to appear on the first page of the search result for a certain keyword is penalized. Then it could appear in 5th or 10th page depending upon the number of factors which are not matching with the new algorithm updates.
According to Kissmetrics, more than 10% of search results were affected in 2012 due to updates in Google Penguin algorithm. Some of the articles were completely removed from being ranked.
Effects of Google Penalties
- Less Search Visibility – Google penalties can affect one single article or the entire website. It can also influence the ranking of an article for a particular keyword only. Whatever the case might be, you will get less search visibility on result pages. If the entire website is hit, every page will take the blow.
According To NeilPatel, Expedia – a renowned global online travel agency – lost nearly 25% in search visibility overnight in January 2014 due to Google penalty.
- Decreased Web Traffic – Less search visibility means your organic traffic is going to go down exponentially. Getting back to previous positions would be tough and time-consuming.
- Decrease In Revenue Generation – Organic traffic is the primary source of making money online through advertisements and affiliations. In all other sources of traffic, you are rather forcing them to click on your link to read your article or check your website.
But when it comes to organic traffic, people are coming to your website naturally, and they are mostly likely to click on your ads and affiliate links, hence it yields maximum revenue. With less visibility and less web traffic, your revenue will go down exponentially as well.
Google Panda Penalty Vs Google Penguin Penalty
Google Panda and Google Penguin are just names attributed to updates in Google algorithms.
Google Panda began its journey in 2011 while Google Penguin started in 2012.
The aim of both these updates is same which is to get high-quality content to the top of search ranking and push down or remove low-quality content from search ranking.
- Related – All About Google’s Panda Algorithm
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Google Panda aims to eradicate old and irrelevant content. Irrelevant content includes short content and duplicate content, and content with no relationship with the title.
Google Panda gets more updates in a year than Google Penguin, but whenever they do, you have to check whether you are penalized.
It is important to understand what type of penalty you have received so that you can take proper steps to recover from it. Website Penalty Indicator helps to find that out effortlessly.
Is My Website Penalized?
This is the question that must be disturbing your peace of mind.
Even when your website is possibly penalized by Google, you will not receive any notification unless it is a manual penalty. You have to find it out yourself every time Google comes out with an update in their algorithms.
The easiest to find whether you got your domain penalized is when you see a massive decrease in your organic traffic on Google Analytics, and the date of such a significant cut coincides with Google algorithm update date.
Another such easy indicator is when you observe a massive drop in your PageRank which you can check through various PageRank checker tools.
- Must Read – SEO Trends in 2018: What the Experts Think
Tools To Check Google Penalty
Google Sandbox and Penalty Checker Tool – This tool will tell you whether your website is penalized or not. If you have got penalised, you have to dive deep inside to find out the reason and then recover accordingly.
Google’s Penalty Check Tool From Fruition – This is an amazing tool to find out why exactly your website got penalized and how much traffic is getting affected.
It shows graphical representation and a table of descriptions for which your website or web page got hit.
You can recover from Google penalties by rectifying the mistakes, or you can buy Google penalty removal service from experts.
Types of Google Penalty – Google Penalties List
#1) Manual Action Penalty – When Google algorithms get updated, websites all across the globe take a hit. But Google has teams where they look for particular websites that violate Webmaster Guidelines or look suspicious. They manually provide a penalty to these websites.
According to Marketingland, websites of Mozilla, BBC, and Digg received Google Manual Action Penalty for a specific page for various reasons like spam content, unnatural links, cloaking etc.
#2) Algorithmic Penalty – There are various reasons why an update in Google’s algorithms can get your website or web page a penalty. All the subsequent factors come under algorithmic penalties and they are either triggering bad user experience or have used over-optimization strategies for getting a higher rank.
#3) Duplicate Content – It is pretty obvious that you should never publish any duplicate content. If you want to quote someone, use a screenshot instead of writing in words. Make sure no one is duplicating your content using popular plagiarism tools Copyscape or antiplagiarism.
#4) Spun Content – There are a lot of website owners who copy content from other websites and spin them with web tools and post them. They think that Google won’t be able to detect, but Google is smarter. If most of your web content articles are just spun content, get ready to face a penalty.
#5) Keyword Stuffing – Previously, keyword stuffing used to help articles get high search rankings even though the articles were of low quality. Therefore, Google disavowed this practice and penalizes website where most of the articles have keyword stuffing. Always check the keyword density of your post before publishing.
#6) Wrong Content Structure – The presentation of your content is important to make the article easily readable. Usage of header tags like H1 to H6 is always encouraged. But make sure you do not overuse them. Excessive header tag falls under black-hat SEO technique. Make paragraphs less than 300 words and leave blank space between paragraphs.
#7) Buying Backlinks – To boost PageRank, people generally buy services offering backlinks in enormous number. Most of such links are from low-quality websites. This will definitely lead to a penalty as well as cancellation of AdSense at times.
#8) Speedy Link Building – Too many guest posts in short duration or getting too many backlinks in a short period even though manually can get your website a penalty because Google thinks you are manipulating your search rankings. Google penalty recovery in such cases is quite difficult.
#9) Unnatural Links – Any link that you have on your website merely for the purpose of getting a good rank and not relevant to your website is considered as unnatural link.
For example, if irrelevant websites give you backlink (because you paid for it), it is considered as unnatural link. If you have too many links on your website that redirect users to a website not relevant to yours or your article, they are unnatural links.
#10) Broken Links – Broken external are considered as bad user experience. Google takes it seriously. Therefore, use tools like BrokenLinkChecker to find them out and rectify them.
#11) Anchor Text Misuse – Cloaking is a process where you put anchor text that shows something but goes to some other place. This is a technique most bloggers use to hide affiliate links or ad links. Google encourages using domain names as anchor text.
For example, if you are directing people to Amazon, your anchor text must have ‘Amazon’ word as anchor label.
#12) Too Many Ads – Google has a policy of showing only three ads per page but greedy website owner put more than three ads on most of their pages, and get themselves banned.
#13) Too Many Affiliate Links – If your articles are short and contain a lot of affiliate links, it is certain that you are writing such articles to make your website visitors click on them. Google completely discourages such practices, and along with a Google algorithmic penalty, your AdSense will also get banned.
#14) Black Hat SEO Services – Keyword stuffing, link buying, comment spamming, generating automated content, deceptive links, link exchange schemes, excessive guest posting, too many meta keywords, hidden text(having the same color as background) are some of the services available under black hat SEO that can get your website punished.
#15) Website Infected By Malware – If your website is infected by malicious programs or simply got hacked, Google will bar your website from search engine ranking.
#16) No Sitemap – No sitemap means difficulty for search engine bots in linking the webpages present on your website. Hence, it is considered a huge negative point and a Google penalty is on the way.
#17) Website Time Out – If you often face a downtime or your website is too heavy to load itself within a stipulated time, your website will get timed out and it is a really bad user experience. 404 pages coming up for articles that are listed higher on SERPs is another reason to get a penalty.
#18) Low Site Speed – If your website is taking too much time to load, you deserve to get a low rank on SERPs. Optimize and boost website speed with Cache plugins to avoid such penalty. You can check your website speed on Pingdom.
#19) Poor Mobile Website – As the web traffic is slowly moving from desktop traffic to mobile traffic, Google emphasizes on the fact that your website has to be mobile friendly. If your theme is not mobile friendly and appears totally messed up on mobiles, you may get completely removed from search ranking.
#20) Comment Spam – If you keep posting your website link on every forum and website you come across, you are simply spamming those websites and users visiting them. Google takes this seriously and will hand you a penalty. Therefore, you should not buy blog commenting services.
#21) Spam Reports – If Google receives excessive spam reports about specific pages or websites, they will first lower search rankings. Then after manual checking, they will ban it completely.
Furthermore, never do any negative SEO for your competitors like comment spamming or providing toxic backlinks to them. If Google finds out that you are the one responsible for someone else’s penalty, they will completely ban your website from search engines.
How to Remove Google Penalty?
Unfortunately, you cannot remove penalty all by yourself. You can only take the recovery steps and make a request to Google for reconsideration or wait for the algorithm to update again so that you can get back your previous state.
If you get a manual Google penalty, you can rectify the problem and request a review from ‘Manual Actions’ section in ‘Google Console’.
If you get a penalty due to Google Panda or Penguin, you have to find out the exact factor and take steps to completely eradicate that from your website and then wait for next Google update.
How to Recover From Penguin Penalty
Avoid writing articles with keyword stuffing. Avoid buying cheap backlinks. Do not write misleading titles and disavow toxic, spam, unnatural links from your website using Google Webmaster Disavow Tool.
Google Penalty Removal Service
Spotting the exact factor that led to penalty needs experience and expertise, it is better to hire professionals who can recover and remove Google penalty. Fiverr is one of the best places to find quality professionals for that purpose.
Wrapping It Up
Many renowned websites have been penalized by Google from time to time.
Make sure that you are writing original high-quality articles with no black-hat SEO techniques.
Avoid buying cheap backlink services instead hire an SEO professional to do SEO for your website manually every day.
Avoid penalty causing factors, and in case you get one, recover as fast as you can by uncovering the reason for the penalty and eliminating it completely. With time, you will recover from Google penalty and get the authority back for your website.
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