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So, What is Google Penalty?
A Google penalty is when your website ranking has a negative impact. There are two possible ways of penalty; either Google algorithms’ updates or manual reviews. Abnormal ranking of your site and traffic is a sign of the Google penalty.
How do I identify Google Penalty?
It is impossible for anyone to identify the Google penalty by just observing his/her site. There are ways of identifying penalties on your site. Google webmaster tool is one of the best ways to identify a Google penalty. The tool is available freely. It is utilized hand in hand when carrying out site optimization and monitoring.
Google Analytics is another way of tracking Google penalties. The tool is also free and aids you to know the health status of your website. You can also track easily any changes in your organic traffic. Just sign in to your account and track the dates when plenty of your web traffic got lost. You should also trace if there were in any chance Google updates launching a similar day. If you happen to find the updates, then there is a possibility that your site was affected. As a result, you have to take measures to remove them.
You may also trace the penalty through your domain name search. If the site isn’t appearing at the top of the list, then there are high chances you got a penalty. Other than the above-discussed tools, there are many other tools that are available to use. Some are free while others you have to subscribe to use them. So it’s more advisable to identify the best fit for your application.
Types of penalty
There are two types of penalties.
1. Manual penalty
A manual penalty occurs when the webspam team of Google notices a site that doesn’t adhere to the guidelines and conditions of Google search. The penalty is directed to those individuals who try to gain top rankings by manipulating Google Metrics within a given short time by doing link farming. This signals out the search engine, which then reviews the site and finally awards a penalty to it. Mostly the whole site is hit by the penalty. But in some scenarios, some specified pages are affected by the penalty.
Ways to be affected by Manual penalties.
If a site happens to be hacked, Google will release a notification for a manual penalty towards the search console. When a given site is hacked, some files will be uploaded to the site which in turn appears as spam to Google. The software is normally hidden by the viewers, which in turn can be dangerous to both the users and the site. Once the virus is removed, you have to send a request for site reconsideration. Patients should be observed as the penalty takes some time. The reconsideration process should be monitored within the Search Console.
A site is given such a kind of message; then it signals out that some portion of the site is spammy to its users. This is commonly on comment sections, forums, and site’s quest book pages. For instance, you once have visited some sites and come across pop-up messages with people’s names. They may talk of items users may sell. The link is then directed to the individual’s site. This will automatically be considered as spammy by Google, which may result in a penalty. There are many solutions to this problem, but the time taken to clear the issue is long. This is because the page per page will be analyzed to find a penalty, which will take a lot of time.
Some sites re-hosted by spammed services. In this case, Google will detect it and award a penalty. The only treatment to this is to remove the spammy accounts on your site and then send a request for penalty removal.
Spammy Structured Markup
Google will automatically hit a manual penalty to any site that violets rich snippet guidelines. It’s achieved through the provision of misleading or hidden information to users in order to attain top rank. Always try to visit rich snippet guidelines in order to identify if your site has met all the requirements. Always make sure to remove any markup which is causing the penalty before submitting a reconsideration request.
Linking unnatural sites on your site
They are widespread penalties and easy to be handled. If your site has poor quality links, has links that have been bought, or taking part in a link building scheme, then there are high chances that this kind of penalty will affect your site. This will be violating Google guidelines. First of all, review your profile link and be able to trace the origin of these links. The webmaster will remove his links for you. After cleaning your link profiles, you will have to send a reconsideration request for you to receive confirmation.
Content is a big player when it comes to creating backlinks, adding value to any given site and increase its ranking. This content includes:
- automatically generated content which is generated by a program
- Affiliate pages are whereby a site copies content from a product or a page. Make sure to add new thoughts or ideas.
- Scraped Content; this is content copied from other sites, and you implement them on your site.
- Doorway pages: These pages are created in order to funnel users to other sites that aren’t related to the user’s search.
Devious redirects or Cloaking
This kind of massage will be received by the site if on Google shows one page, whereas the user is redirected to a different page. The page or pages that implement the cloaking will be affected. You should remove the page or pages in order to eliminate the penalty.
Cloaking: First-Click free violation
This is a scenario whereby Google crawlers are provided with free content, while Google users are limited to them. As for this case, a user has to subscribe, log in, or signup in order to see the content.
The penalty deals with automated content such as cloaking, first of all, you have to remove the spam from the site then you send reconsideration and wait for the response.
Images play an important role in SEO. You will find that the images that are presented to Google crawlers and limited to the users.
Keyword Staffing of Hidden text
If you happen to use similar keywords over and over in the site, including meta tags, it can lead to the penalty.
How to Escape Manual Penalties
Manual penalties purely originate from anything which directly goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These are often related to thin content, unnatural links, pure webspam, or other noncompliance issues.
If your site happens to be affected by a manual penalty, the best action is to deal with the cause by removing it sooner rather than later.
After cleaning up your site, you have to submit a reconsideration request. Google, at this stage, will reexamine your site once more. If there will be no other issues, then it will relieve the penalty imposed to your site
2. Google algorithm penalty
This is a negative effect on a website’s search ranking due to Google search algorithms updates or manual reviews. The penalty may be an algorithm by-product updates. It can also be an international penalize due to black-hat SEO techniques. Anything that goes against the expectation of Google webmaster guidelines is a risk of being affected by the penalty.
How to avoid Google Penalties
The following are the step you may put into consideration to avoid being hit by Google penalties.
- Don’t buy links. Your SEO links should look natural. You should make sure that you add the “no follow” attribute link to any paid links (for instance ads) and try to avoid link schemes.
- Don’t overuse keywords. Search Engine ranking can be hurt by the repetition of exact keywords. I really agree that keywords are very important for SEO, but it’s more important to the proper use of keywords and in a natural way.
- Make the content original and quality. Make sure that your webpages stands up unique, be of high quality for ranking purpose.
Google Penalties as per the name
Penalties range from slight, temporary ranking to expulsion as per the Search Engine’s index.
Google Panda Penalty
It was founded in February 2011. Later on, grew and joined Google’s core algorithm. The main aim of the Google Panda algorithm was to prevent content that is of poor quality from interrupting the top search results.
If Panda thinks that your site gives out low-quality content, then it’s harder for that website to be ranked. Example of these low-quality content includes widespread duplicate content, “thin” pages with no added value, product page that has manufacturer description, not the original text.
Avoiding Panda Penalty
Panda should be kept happy by feeding it with original content hence getting the searchers certified. Sorting out the panda issue, then it’s a sure bet that you are heading to the top ranks. This is achieved by eliminating duplicates, improving your thin content, and finally, the provision of high-quality content to your site visitors.
Google Penguin Penalty
It fights webspam through link spam detection. When the backlink profile of a website has too many unnatural links, Google will suspect that there is a possibility the site may be manipulating search ranking.
The main role played by penguin is to devalue bad links that are coming so that they can’t interfere with the site’s ranking.
Avoiding Penguin Penalty
If Google realizes that the site is selling or buying links, participation in link farms, negotiating link exchanges, or detects any unnatural linking, then the site should be penalized. Traffic drop in organic search traffic is caused by link-related penalties. Always monitor and clean your backlinks in order to avoid Penguin issues.
Intrusive Interstitial Penalty
This one came to existence in January 2017. It only deals with mobile search results. Here, Google penalizes a site when it shows a popup, intrusive ad, or standard alone interstitial towards a mobile user just after doing a mobile search.
In General, Google, in this case, penalizes webpages that try to block searchers from seeing the content easily. Some other types of interstitial aren’t affected by the penalty — for instance, the necessary legal gate which is for age verification, etc. and login forms.
Avoiding Interstitial Penalty
Mobile searchers should be given good user experience. Try to avoid popups and ads which blocks much of the screen light when a searcher arrives.
How to recognize Google penalty
Rank drop (low search impression, low ctr )
This is applicable to Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads only. It determines the percentage rate at which your ad wasn’t shown as a result of poor ad ranking. Low impression share indicates that your keywords match with customer searches, but your ad isn’t appearing as a result of other issues. This may be caused by:-
- Search lost impression share (rank): the percentage time of ads not appearing as a result of poor ranking. This is calculated by your bits in relation to your competitor’s one and the quality of your ad.
- Search lost impression share (budget): is calculated as the time your ads didn’t appear due to too low budget. As per your set agreement of the budget delivery method by a campaign, your ads may happen to appear in the morning, and our daily budget elapses preventing you from bidding throughout the remaining day.
Reason for Google penalty
Google may decide to penalize your site for some reason. It can either be a result of using manipulation methods to increase your website ranking or the provision of incorrect information to those users visiting your site.
There are two types of Manipulation :
- On-site: the technical method used within your website set-up
- Of-set: methods that relate to backlinks. This is the primary factor used by Google in the determination of authority and trust of a given site.
Us we earlier on know that a penalty can be either manual penalty or algorithmic penalty.
Your website can be penalized, or sometimes some specified pages can be affected in a similar manner. In some cases, your site during the penalty process may ultimately be removed from the Google index or drops drastically in the indexing table.
It’s normal to have a slight change in the Google ranking position, which is harder to penalize. The major reason for this slide change may be:
- The sites that were below you may have improved when it comes to authority and trust through additional backlinks.
- Some of your backlinks which were the major cause of your top rank drop
- The ranking algorithm used by Google has been updated in order to give weight on the ranking techniques that were previously used.
The major reason for your site be affected by the penalty may include the following:
Anchor Link Text over Optimization
Google thinks that there are many links which point at your sites by use of anchor link text which exactly matches, or closely matches the keywords that you are using in the ranking process. The exact percentage permitted for links isn’t known, but if you exceed 20%, then you are at a high risk of being penalized.
Many Links Originating from Sources that are of Low Quality
Google concludes that there are many links that point to your site. Those links originate from either low-quality sites or spam sites. Every site has low-quality links that normally point to them. But if the number exceeds 75+%, then your site is unsafe.
Many Links from Irrelevant sources
Google imagines that many links from irrelevant sources, which do not even relate to your site topic, are pointing to your site. For instance, your site may be on mining, but if you analyses the foreign links point on your site relating to mining is less than 25% then chances of your site being penalized are very high.
Link Schemes / Paid Links
- Google may think in the following perspective;
- You may have paid people so that they can link their site on your site.
- Some other sites have paid you in order to link them.
- You have hired a service or a program that automatically builds links for you.
- Your site is in the network which has agreed in linking with each other.
Manipulation On-Page Tactics
Google thinks that you have manipulated your site in such a way that visitors get it harder to leave your site. It may be through the following;
- Text hiding in such a way it brings in keyword relevance, but in a real sense, it doesn’t.
- Auto-directing visitors to different pages other than the one they have clicked.
- You are forcing your visitors to stay on your site through back button disabling.
- You are forcing your visitors to click on an advert.
Heavy Page Layout Ads
Google in this scenario thinks that your site has too many ads or the positioning of your ads doesn’t comply with the usability of the system. It’s considered as a prohibition to give more space in terms of pixels to an ad on your site as compared to the content itself. You may also get a penalty if your customers have to scroll down the page in order to come across your site’s main content.
High Bounce Rate / Low Engagement
Google may conclude that your site hasn’t satisfied your customers. This may be seen when the visitor spent less time on your site. Or another indication is when a visitor keeps on shifting from page to page or page to search. This shows that what he/she is searching for/looking for isn’t found yet. A 30 seconds average viewing time or a bounce rate of over 50% is quite enough for your site to be penalized.
Outbound Spam links
Google may conclude that you are using your site to house spam or you have no power to prevent spams from linking on to your site. This may be seen if visitors on your site are able to great more pages on your site or modify your site. Some visitors may go to the extent of creating accounts/profiles which are then linked back to their sites through link tags, through leaving of block comments or event participating on forums through the site.
How Can You Recover From Google penalty?
Publish relevant content
Perfect content is SEO’s number one driver when it comes to search engine rankings. Definitely, there isn’t a substitution for this. Site trafficking increases when your content is specifically for the intended visitors. This, in turn, improves your site relevance and authority. So it’s your chance to tune your writing skills.
It’s important to identify keyword phrases for every page of your site. Scratch your head to come up with the best keyword that a visitor may use when he/she needs to visit or land on your page.
Regular Updates of Your Content
We are much impressed with the site content. Search engines also do. Site relevance is mostly measured with the rate at which your content is updated. Always update your site with the best quality content. You can set a schedule at which you can audit your content and make relevant updates.
Consider placing meta tags between your page head tags. This means that, for you to be ranked best in the Google ranking world, each page should have metadata. However, it is more important always to update your metadata as your site changes.
Create relevant links in your link text. Click here text generally doesn’t have any value in search engines. Make use of descriptive links when linking keywords. They do not only play a big role in your ranking strategies but also improves readability to your site visitors.
Google penalties primarily originate from the violation of Google ranking regulations. Avoiding the faults and sticking to the Search Engine Optimization keys will pull your site to the top of the ranking table. Enrich your content with relevant words and make use of Meta tags. Ensure the best quality backlinks for your site or Try to do some parasite SEO. You should always avoid a quicker way of getting on to the top rank just purchasing the ads. Just go for the organic way to enrich your site with relevant content.