SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) is not an easy game. Your website can get penalized by a Google algorithm and you would not be able to figure out that it happened and if yes, why it happened. If you got a penalty from Google, you might witness a considerable drop in website traffic and your website falling off from the current position. If any of this happens, fixing these issues are of paramount importance and it has to be done on an urgent basis. A webmaster or business owner can submit an appeal and get the issue rectified. But you need to know the right procedure and most importantly, why your site was penalized.
In this article, you’ll get to know how your website got penalized by Google and what are the correct steps to be taken in order to get the issue rectified.
First, we’ll try to understand what Google Penalty is.
What is a Google Penalty?
Google penalty is a punishment Google gives to any website that does foul practices to get a higher ranking. A penalty is also given to websites that do not follow Google’s webmaster guidelines. It is either Google’s algorithms or a human auditor at Google that impose penalties on websites.
When a penalty is imposed on your website by Google, your website could be removed from their listing or you could witness a drop in your rankings. Google imposes penalties on websites that adopt black hat SEO practices to climb up the search engine result pages. But there could be instances where Google could impose a penalty on a website due to an error. In this case, you might want to check out the issue and fix it.
Common causes of Google Penalties
A website can be penalized for a number of reasons like keyword stuffing, hidden links, duplicate content and irrelevant keywords. Your website could also be penalized for bad redirect pages, bad links, data issues and viruses.
Types of Google Penalties
There are two types of penalties are Algorithmic penalties and manual penalties. Your website could get an algorithmic penalty during times when there are algorithm updates happening. Manual penalties are those penalties that are imposed by human auditors if they find out that you have violated Google’s Terms of Service.
In order to check if you have got a manual penalty, you need to go to ‘Security & Manual Actions’ in Google Search Console and then go to ‘Manual Actions’. If you see a green checkmark that says ‘No issues detected’, it means you have not been penalized.
In the case of Google penalty removal, there are some simple steps that you need to follow. We will discuss that later.
But it is to be noted that the decline in search traffic need not necessarily be because of a Google penalty. It could be because of a shift in demand for a product or service. For example, there could be a huge demand for raincoats during the monsoon but during summer, there would be absolutely no requirement for raincoats. Also, if you are selling a product or service that has huge competition, your product won’t be purchased if it does not offer something unique.
Essentially, Google wants webmasters to publish quality content on their website that is engaging to the users. If the webmaster publishes content that is repetitive, manipulative or duplicate, then they could be penalized by Google.
How soon can a website be recovered from a Google Penalty?
Google algorithmic penalty is a troublesome affair for a webmaster or business owner. This is because a Google penalty can pull down a website from its current position which might incur traffic and revenue to the business. Therefore it is extremely important for a business to find out these issues and fix them as immediately as possible.
Let us now see how to recover websites from Google penalty.
How to recover from Google Penalties:
Google penalties can be imposed on your website due to bad SEO practices or sometimes even due to Google errors which would require you to communicate with the Google team to get the issue rectified.
Let us look at how you can recover from a Google penalty.
Steps to recover from Google penalty:
1. Check if your website has a ranking problem
You need to first check the actual reason your website was brought down on the search engine result page. You can use the Website Penalty Indicator to investigate what the exact issue is and how it happened.
2. Investigate the recent algorithm updates
You need to check Google Analytics if your website dropped down from the current position because of any Google algorithm changes. On the Google Analytics dashboard, you need to click on Acquisition and go to All Traffic and select Source / Medium. When you then choose Google / Organic, you will get a report that shows you the number of visitors you got from Google search.
3. Run an SEO Audit
It is recommended that you do an SEO audit every month if not every week. A technical SEO audit will help you to understand if your website has got a Google penalty. Things you need to look into while performing an SEO audit are back-end hosting and indexing, front-end factors like a content, metadata and keywords, outside references and link quality.
4. Run a content audit
When you run a content audit, you review the current content performance of your website. You can also find out if the Google penalty is because of any content issues. Check if your website has any duplicate content because duplicate content can also result in penalties from Google.
When you perform these checks, you will be able to know how and why your website was penalized by Google. The SEO experts at Futurescape advertising can help you solve technical SEO issues on your website and can also help you rank on the first page of Google. Contact us to get your quote today.