Intro to Google SEO Penalties

Google SEO penalties are a type of action applied to a website that has violated one or more of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Joey Armstrong explains that there are several types of Google SEO penalties, each of but the two most common applications are manual and algorithmic penalties.

No content creator or webmaster wants to be smacked with an SEO penalty. These limit a site’s ability to pick up traction and essential leaves to page dead in the water. Let’s take a closer look at what these penalties do, learn how sites can avoid them, and explore the available options for webmasters dealing with SEO penalties.

What are Google SEO Penalties?

Google SEO penalties are a type of penalty issued to protect the integrity of Google’s search results. They’re designed to ensure that web users are given the most relevant and highest quality content, regardless of what they search. By issuing penalties for black-hat SEO tactics, such as keyword stuffing, spamming links, or creating sites with duplicate copy, Google is able to discourage improper and ineffective SEO marketing strategies.

If a site is hit with an SEO penalty, it may not appear as high up in the search results as it once did. Sometimes, sites may no longer appear in the search results at all. This is, of course, detrimental to content creators’ platforms as their webpages will cease to gain traction and slowly loose viewership.

Most Common Occurrences

Although there are a handful of different penalties, the two most common Google SEO penalties are manual and algorithmic:

  • Manual actions – These penalties are directly handed down by the Google spam team when they detect improper SEO practices, such as spamming keywords or duplicate links.
  • Algorithmic penalties – These penalties aren’t issued as much as they are inherently embedded within Google’s search algorithm. Algorithmic penalties usually come down to ineffective or outdated SEO that should be revamped to better fit the Google algorithm.

Depending on which type of penalty a site’s facing, webmasters may be able to fix the issues to restore their pages’ rankings.

How Webmasters Can Tell if Their Sites are Penalized

It’s not always easy for webmasters to tell if their sites are affected by SEO penalties, especially if a site’s been crippled by algorithmic penalties. Generally speaking, though, if a site’s been handed a manual penalty, Google will issue a statement along with the action.

To pick up on algorithmic penalties, webmasters must actively track their user engagements as well as regularly upload new content. The higher the quality of the content, the more likely it is to rise to the top of the search results.

What Webmasters Can Do to Resolve a Penalized Page or Domain

If hit with Google SEO penalties, webmasters can take the following actions to resolve the issues:

  • Manual actions – Webmasters must first resolve the issues claimed within Google’s statement. After fixing any problems with their sites, they can then ask Google to reassess the webpage and remove the penalty.
  • Algorithmic penalties – If content is struggling to overcome algorithmic penalties, the webmaster can implement more effective SEO keywords and work with a digital marketing firm to master Google’s algorithm.

It can take a few months to overcome SEO penalties but, once a site has done so, it can continue to attract new viewers.

Final Thoughts

Google’s SEO penalties are effectively in place to maintain the quality of the Internet. If a site has been issued a penalty, it can be reinstated by simply resolving the problems inherent to the page.

Joey Armstrong
Joey Armstrong shares stories about trends in marketing and digital branding.