What is Google Penalty?

A Google penalty is a punishment against a website whose content clash with the marketing practices enforced by the Google. This penalty can come as a result of an update to Google’s ranking algorithm or manual review that suggests a web page used “black hat” SEO tactics.

Every Digital Marketers has a store about getting penalized by Google

Although many websites have obviously been penalized (not just by large algorithm update but also by one of the 400,000 little manual actions Google takes), the average digital marketers hasn’t noticed when they have.

Since we are all reliant on Google for traffic, we have to stay informed about the latest algorithm updates — and make changes if we’re penalized by Google. Its good practice to keep abreast of the latest patches, and it offers you a competitive advantage if you can optimize your content quicker than others.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there to help even the busiest marketer watch out for these silent traffic killers.

Review Recent Google Algorithm Updates

Google often update its algorithm to improve the user’s search reliability and it has 15 years history for algorithm updates, it reward the internet’s best and most appropriate content for given search query.

Following are some of the most significant updates to keep in mind if you think your content is getting hit with a Google penalty

Panda Algorithm Update (2011)

There were few updates before Panda, but this was the first massive pain for websites. The purpose of the update is to crack down on websites containing poor/error-laden content, excessive ads, and possibly primitive design.

This was rolled out in stages, and released its last patch in July 2015.

Update for SSL (2014)

Generally people are aware about the hacking and its risk, it is important to lessen those doubts by motivating webmasters to invest in SSL security, which affords domains the “HTTPS” at the beginning of the URL. It is dangerous if you require any personal and financial details from your online visitors.

If not, Google may interrupt a user with an “are you sure?” page if they click on an unsecured search result.

Mobile Friendly Update (2015)

Importance is given to websites that are “responsive” in design to mobile devices. Obviously, having a website that is readable and navigable on a mobile device as well as desktop is preferred by visitors.

This mobile update sounds more aggressive than Pengiun and Panda, but its super helpful to publishers who put mobile first.

Penguin 4.0 Update

Penguin was launched in 2012 as a way to battle genuine spam websites rather than sites that are legal but poorly made. Penalties focused on keyword stuffing, cloaking, doorway, link building … basically, any method you’ve heard of referred to as “black hat.”

As of 2016, its fourth version punishes bad links instead of the entire site — helping rehabilitate web domains that might still have good intentions behind them.

Intrusive Interstitial Penalty (2017)

This update penalizes websites with interstitial ads and other pop-out content that can hinder a page’s functionality on a mobile device.

 Every ad-heavy website will not suffer, but those that severely affect the user experience can be the next to lose their rank.

These updates are not one-offs. They are unbreakable all the year to keep up with copyright violations, unnecessary content campaigns, and parallel black-hat techniques.

Make website audit for these Black Hat SEO failures

I know you don’t have sufficient time to observe every manual action Google has ever performed. I also know if you’re reading this, you probably want your users to have a good user experience.

Following is a brief list of things that might cause low website traffic due to a manual action Google took to further enforce its search criteria. Any one of the following could help you determine if your webpage has penalized by Google

  1. The majority of your content contain pop-out ads
  2. Keyword Stuffed content
  3. You have short form content with more typos
  4. You haven’t localized site content that caters to global visitors.
  5. Clocking
  6. Buying Back links
  7. Your website content has inherited links from irrelevant and low quality websites
  8. Your website doesn’t develop with SSL
  9. You’ve published third party content without permission
  10. Poor loading time and bad appearance on both mobile and desktop

Find out if you have any ranking problem

First of all, diagnosing the issue is important. Without knowing what Google punishment you’ve been hit with, you unable optimize against it. Late In October 2014, for example, there was an update called extended panda but most people thought they were dealing with a Penguin update.

Following is the few tips to helps you properly to diagnose this issues

You can find out what’s happened in the past by using penalty indicator tool, and if you have yet to recover from it.

A fast and simple tool for Website Penalty Indicator.

website penalty indicator

FEInternational is a Google penalty Indicator can show you which of the main Google penalties hit you and at what point they reached your website. (Of course, to be cheeky, I tried out “www.developeronrent.com” to see what would happen.)

You’ll notice that this tool focuses on the most important algorithm changes, and not all of the little manual ones in between. To inspect those updates, you’ll need to follow the next step.

Use tools like SEMrush to find out if you’ve been penalized by one of Google’s updates.

By using tools like SEMrush, you can perform a complete website audit and check how your position has changed in SERPs, check your backlinks, and analyze your content.

Identify the Google Penalties to Optimize Against

The greatest thing you can do for your website is to avoid punishments in the first place. Website proprietors who break SEO rules risk manual penalties or being seriously harmed by algorithm updates. When a website is hit with a penalty, it’s more than likely due to one of the following reasons:

  1. A lack of SEO Knowledge
  2. A purposeful violation
  3. Uses of Black Hat techniques

But if you have been hit by a penalty, how you’ll figure out the root cause will depend on what kind of penalty it is.

If your website gets a manual penalty, you will be notified through Google Webmaster Tools and receive a letter explaining the reasons for its failure. The website holder will at least have an idea of how to recover and can begin working on the suggested changes.

If your website is hit by an algorithm update, the circumstances become slightly more difficult. You need to find a relationship between Google’s last actions and your website’s losses.

Of course, we all want to avoid being hit by a penalty in the first place. If you want to be prepared, I advised to consistently running SEO audits. Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Remove unnatural or spammy links manually.
  2. Be sure that your anchor text is diversified.
  3. Clear all your duplicate content.
  4. Create non-keyword-stuffed, quality content.
  5. Keep an eye on UX.

Remember that the best strategy is to avoid penalties before Google even crawls your content. SEO isn’t just about trying something new. It’s about constantly monitoring the success of your historical efforts.

Reference: Andrea Francis

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