A penalty can be extremely detrimental to your website as well as your reputation. Nobody wants a Google Penalty. In this article we will help you understand what is a Google penalty, different types of penalties Google hands out, and what you have to do to get back into the good books of Google.
What is a Penalty?
When a website suffers from a penalty, it is not unusual to see a huge drop in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) or even having the website de-indexed from Google Search.
It’s crucial to act as quickly as possible. But before we get into more details, let’s understand the different ways your website can suffer a Google Penalty.
A manual penalty occurs when your website is flagged by a team that is specifically assigned to check if you are breaking any of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. When running an online business, you have to make sure that you know all these Guidelines and follow them to the final dot. In this scenario you should get a warning in Google Search Engine Console to inform you of the penalty.
Algorithmic penalties are a bit more complex; they occur automatically and unfortunately there is very little you can do about it. You will not get a message letting you know that you have been penalized, which can be pretty frustrating. These penalties are very hard to detect. A huge drop in traffic can sometimes indicate an algorithmic penalty. The best way to ensure that nothing of sorts happens to your website is to stay in line with Google algorithm updates and make sure that you are not breaking any rules.
The most notable difference between the two is the option to interact with Google and file for reconsideration. For example, a website that has been penalized by Google will receive a message in their Console. Once you have fixed the violation, you can file for a Reconsideration Request. However, there is no way to file a reconsideration request in case of an algorithmic penalty.
1. Unnatural Links to Your Site
It is one of the most common penalties that developers have to deal with. In the hopes of boosting their SERPs, businesses often buy links or participate in link schemes. It may help them achieve better traffic temporarily, but it is a violation of Google webmaster’s guidelines. You can fix this by making a list of all links to your website and remove all the non-conforming or disavow links. Once you are done, you can file for a reconsideration request.
2. Unnatural Links from Your Site
If your website contains links with the sole purpose of manipulating search rankings, you could get into trouble. Unnatural links from your website are termed unnatural and may earn you a ban. The resolution for this problem is the same as above. You’ll need to sort out your links and then apply for a reconsideration request.
3. Pure Spam
This is one of the worst practices in Google’s eyes and while you can plead ignorance for the previous type of penalties, it is very hard to get away from this one. If you are engaged in activities such as automated and gibberish content, cloaking, and violating other webmaster guidelines, you will be penalised. If it is your first offence, you may get away with it, but several instances of the same violation may end up in a ban.
4. Hidden Text and Keyword Stuffing
This practice is known as Black Hat SEO and is a serious offence. This can lead to a ban. The way to resolve that is by fetching pages affected by the penalty using Google Console, looking for hidden text and keyword stuffing and removing any of those instances.
Google is very vigilant when it comes to making sure that websites are following all of its guidelines. If you are going against any of its policies, you will be penalised. The best way to ensure that you steer clear from Google penalties is to get the services of a company that excels in protecting websites. We offer excellent website development and SEO services to our clients so that they don’t have to worry about receiving Google penalties.