List of Google penalties and how to recover

List of Google penalties and how to recover

As a webmaster, you are always working on safeguarding your site against Google Penalties. No one wants to see their valuable time and effort being drained just because they failed to meet Google’s standards. A Google Penalty is capable of bringing down your site’s rankings in the SERPs and if your site disappears from the SERPs, how would you drive traffic, generate leads and increase sales?

It is indeed one of the nightmares that no one wants to face. However, being penalized doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Initially, it might seem to be a tad bit challenging to recover from a Google Penalty; however, if you make the right moves, you can save your website from getting lost in the crowd.

In this article, we will discuss interesting tips on recovering from Google penalties. But if you would like us to guide you through the process, reach out to our SEO consultant Seattle for assistance.

Let us first understand a Google Penalty

Google emphasizes a set of marketing protocols or practices that websites are expected to follow. When a website fails to abide by the guidelines specified by Google, Google imposes a Penalty, which we can look at as Google’s way of punishing a website for non-compliance.

Another situation where Google might impose a penalty is when Google introduces an update to its ranking algorithm (sometimes, webmasters might not be familiar with the latest update that was introduced overnight and so might fail to implement it, which would result in Google penalizing the site).

If Google finds that a site might be indulging in Black hat SEO strategies (usually during manual reviews or inspections), the site would be penalized. For the newbies, it is obvious to misinterpret an algorithm as a Google Penalty.

(Note: An algorithm is an entirely different entity when compared with a Penalty – you can look at algorithms as a specific set of calculations and rules strategized to deliver on the desired outcome. An algorithm can be considered as Google’s way of rewarding a website for complying with the quality standards and protocols as specified by Google. Read more to explore the guidelines set by Google to comply with these standards. )

Google does manual reviews of websites to check for Black Hat SEO strategies. During this process, Google’s manual reviewers are mainly looking for sites that might have cleared the algorithm standards, but do not comply with the quality standards.

Regardless of whether you were penalized employing a Black Hat SEO strategy or because you failed to make the updates, there is no escaping Google’s eyes; your site is going to fail at driving organic traffic like before.

We will take you through some of the Penalties that you need to watch out for:

  • Structured Data Issue

    If you have ever used inappropriately structured data, including marking up hidden, irrelevant or misleading content, introduced to manipulate user behavior, then you might have been hit with a Penalty for this. Refer Google’s table of structured data issues for details. You will find ideas or tips to avoid being penalized for something like this.

    How to remove the Google Penalty?

    Keep an eye out for markups regularly – removing or updating these markups is one of the recommended ways to recover from the Penalty. Comply with Google’s general structured data guidelines to avoid being penalized.

  • Cloaked images

    You know what this is – when you attempt to show the search engine something that you are not showing your users, such as images blocked by other images or mismatching thumbnails.

    How to remove the Google Penalty?

    Simply, make sure that you are displaying the same images to both the search engine and users. If not, Google will have these images minimized or excluded from search.

  • Content that doesn’t contribute to value-addition

    Now, that is obvious. Why do you want to keep content that doesn’t bring value to your readers? This can be categorized as the affiliate pages that come with a cookie-cutter copy, doorway pages or several pages with plagiarized content that has been published across other sources as well. No user wants to read such content, so does the search engine and hence it is no surprise Google penalizes for using such content that serves no purpose.

    How to recover from the Google Penalty?

    The simple solution is to get rid of this kind of content that brings zero value-addition to the readers. Or you can also make some edits to the content by adding original and interesting content or may be add a review. (Note: Google doesn’t penalize for using duplicate content; however, if you are someone who does it on a regular basis intending to manipulate search results, beware of a manual action).

  • Keyword stuffing

    Some people are into using hidden texts or links – which, if you are aware of, are very well visible to computers and search engines though you have made all effort to hide it from your visitors. For example, think of using CSS to position off-screen text.

    Again, keyword stuffing is still being followed across the globe by several websites. When you use keywords beyond the specified limit, you would be incurring Google penalties and losing your traffic.

    How to remove the Google penalty?

    If your using invisible or hidden texts, audit your site and find out. Look for excessively used keywords – remove the ones that are being repeated too often.

  • Google News and Discover Policy Violation

    Google had recently announced a set of manual actions, focusing on Google News and Google Discover. While previously the penalties were imposed on defying Search standards, the latest one covers manual penalties related to Google News and Discover, including content that is:

    • Hateful
    • Sexually explicit
    • Violence and gore
    • Vulgar language and profanity
    • Harassing
    • Dangerous or malicious
    • Manipulative
    • Medical
    • Terrorism-related
    • Misleading
    • Adult-themed

With the recent expansion of the Penalties list, it might be challenging to review and fix each of the penalty. However, if you are working with our SEO expert Seattle, we guarantee to identify the penalty and help you recover from it, in no time.

With the recent expansion of the Penalties list, it might be challenging to review and fix each of the penalty. However, if you are working with our SEO expert Seattle, we guarantee to identify the penalty and help you recover from it, in no time.