Google Penalties – What Are They?

Google Penalties – What Are They?

Penalties that Google are at liberty to impose on any website are something that all businesses with an online presence need to be aware of.

Whether you like it or not, you need to stay on the right side of Google if you are to get your site out there and noticed.

Is your website currently penalised?

Before you even begin to optimise your website, you need to check that your domain is not currently under a penalty.

Why? – Because any website which is penalised by Google will not achieve good rankings. As we all know too well, these rankings are essential for the success of your business.

Understanding which (if any) manual or algorithmic changes are affecting your website and then creating a recovery plan must be your first priority.

Google penalties are a constantly moving target:

For those new to the online world, terms such as:

  • Panda
  • Penguin
  • Pigeon
  • Hummingbird

can confuse an already complex subject. Such terms have been coined by the search engine giant as well as the online social media press in relation to the ranking algorithm changes Google make.

Each year Google make it officially known that they make 100’s of changes to their algorithms. They do so to improve quality of search results.

Winners & Losers:

For every change Google makes there are winners as well as losers.

  • Winners: Some websites will benefit through positive effect by getting better rankings – i.e. more Google traffic.
  • Losers: Other websites will lose out through lower rankings or complete loss of ranking.

Two types of Google penalties:

It is important that you understand the 2 types of penalties that Google can impose:

Manual Penalties:

This comes in the form of ‘human’ intervention, usually brought about by a member of the Google ‘webspam’ team. A manual penalty can happen for a number of reasons and will either be:

  • Site-wide: This means it affects the whole of your website
  • Partial: Only affecting some of the pages on your site

If a manual penalty is imposed, there will be an indication from Google. This will describe the problem and list a number of actions required to correct the issues.

Once you feel you have made the necessary changes, it is then time to submit a reconsideration request. Google will then advise you whether the penalty has been removed or remains in place.

Algorithmic Penalty:

You will find that the algorithmic penalty is the most common type Google impose. This is done automatically.

It is important to understand that this type of penalty is not reported to webmaster tools and you do not have the option of completing a reconsideration request.

If traffic to your site suddenly drops off then it is likely that you have been subject to an algorithmic penalty.

Logging into Google analytics and reviewing your Google organic traffic is the quickest way to check if you have been automatically penalised.

If you find a decrease in traffic to your site which coincides with a Google algorithmic change release, this is most likely the reason traffic to your site has markedly reduced.

Your webmaster or appointed agency play a crucial role:

No business can afford long-running Google penalties if they are to achieve advancement up the rankings.

If you do not have an experienced webmaster as part of your team, or do not have an experienced web agency looking after these important issues it is time to look in that direction. By doing so it will greatly reduce the chance of avoiding these potentially damaging penalties.

If you think that your site might be suffering from a Google Penalty, let us know and we will be able to take a look for you and make some recommendations.