What Are Google Penalties? All you need to know

Google Penalties – All you need to know

Google penalties are a big problem for any website. However, Google’s policies and the structure of its algorithms are designed to maintain a balance in the digital business model based on user searches.

That is why you need to know in depth why these types of penalties occur and how to get out of them. At Top SEO Guide, we will teach you how to accurately detect a penalty and the bad practices that usually produce them, so as not to fall for them.

What are Google penalties?

A search engine penalty is a measure that restricts the visibility of your website based on its operating policies.

The job of search engines is based on displaying the best possible content to answer user queries. In this way, both users and advertisers will feel comfortable with the content displayed.

To do this, Google designs algorithms that control positioning and evaluate the quality of content and links of the websites indexed in the SERPs . Furthermore, it also employs people to perform manual reviews of your website.

If the algorithm, or the workers who review the websites, notice any type of evasion or manipulation of Google’s rules, you can be penalized.

Types of Google penalties

The first thing we must know is what types of penalties exist so that you can identify if you have been subject to any of them. The two main types of sanctions that Google can apply to a website that violates the rules are algorithmic and manual. Let’s start with the first.

Algorithmic penalties

They are based on the movements experienced by the SERPs based on the deductions that the algorithm makes from the positioning factors of the websites.

The Google algorithm has undergone a series of changes announced by the company itself in order to make the business scheme more optimal. This evolution has given way to a complete neural network that monitors web positioning.

This algorithm and its tracking bots can automatically apply some penalties that limit the visibility of your website. These types of problems become more noticeable when the algorithm is updated and must re-evaluate all the positioning data for each niche.

In general, these types of penalties arrive without prior notice, and you will only notice it when you see that you start to lose positions and traffic.

Manual penalties

In addition to the algorithmic actions that Google can take, pointing to your website, a Google intern or worker can suggest a penalty.

These types of actions are called manual penalties, and they arise after a review of your website by a human being. Those in charge of these reviews fulfill a series of tasks to determine if our website follows the legal course of Google regulations.

If they detect fraud in our content or our management as webmasters, they have the power to process a sanction. This type of penalty is generally accompanied by a notice to your email or your Search Console user.

How do I know if I have really been penalized?

As I have told you before, there are some signs that can suggest a penalty on our website. But I want to show you very specifically how to identify these actions.

In this way you can take measures to get out of this setback and recover the traffic of your website:

Google Search Console

If you review Google Search Console you may notice a problem related to a manual action on your website. In the “Security and manual actions” tab located on the left side, you will find that information.

There you will see if there is a specific manual action, and the reasons why the search engine has made this decision.

Direct email

In general, you will receive an email in the email account that you have linked with Analytics or Search Console. In that email you will be able to know the details of the penalty of which your website has been a victim.

Lower your impressions

If the penalty is of an algorithmic type, and you do not receive any official notification, you can intuit the problem from your impressions. In most cases, the average position is not drastically reduced, but the impressions do suffer a noticeable decrease.

If you see your impressions drop noticeably for a long time, you have been subject to an algorithm update penalty.

How to get out of a Google penalty?

If you are under observation by Google for any penalty that harms your visibility, you will want to get out of it. I will show you different alternatives to get out of this annoying problem and follow the normal course of your project:

If you don’t know what the penalty is for

In these cases, the task can be more arduous, since you will have to figure out why you have been penalized, and correct this error. It may be a series of errors or bad practices, and not just one.

Many websites are penalized right after a Google algorithm update. That is why you should read and find out about everything related to that update and its scope.

In addition, you should review all possible crawling and indexing errors that you find in Google Search Console. Review the featured snippets section and see if there are any inconsistencies with the schema code of your posts, or products.

Change everything that could be wrong and re-index the URLs of your website. For a more agile work you can upload a new sitemap.

If you have received an email

If you have received an official notification about the penalty, it will be easier for you to know the source of the problem and correct it. In this announcement you will see why you have been penalized, and you will only have to work on fixing what Google considers to be wrong.

Once you’ve fixed the bug or set of issues that caused the penalty, you can request a review. Google’s reconsideration may take a few days, weeks, or even months. In fact not all the potential for visibility and authority, that you have achieved may not be returned to you…

Avoid this and you will be free of penalties

Knowing and putting into practice the rules that Google has published for webmasters and developers is the key to not being a victim of penalties.

The search engine wants the content you publish to be of quality, and your SEO positioning techniques to be transparent. Therefore, you should focus on:

  • Don’t Publish duplicate content: If Google detects that your content is not genuine and original, it could penalize your website. Avoid copying content from other websites and you will be calmer.
  • Get quality links: A quality link is worth more than thousands of links from websites with a dubious reputation, or from inappropriate sites such as the footer or hidden codes.
  • Avoid Spam: If you go through social networks or in forums spamming, your website will end up penalized. It’s okay to share your content, but don’t cross the natural boundaries.
  • Avoid creating worthless content: Worthless content, also known as thin content, is one of the main triggers for penalties. Create content that satisfies the search intent of users, and with enough interesting data that brings knowledge and value to the niche.
  • Don’t make your website a link farm: Not only poorly managed incoming links can mean an error for your website. If you turn many URLs on your website into indiscriminate sources of links to other websites, you can be penalized. Especially when it comes to do follow links…
  • Don’t allow many 404 errors: You must be attentive to the general operation of your website and to 404 errors. If you allow many errors of this type, your website can be subject to significant sanctions.

Do not hesitate to ask me if you still have questions about Google penalties. I will be attentive and happy to help you boost your visits and fix bugs.

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