What Is a Google SEO Penalty?

Google has established Webmaster Guidelines. If guidelines are violated, penalties may be assessed. Take a couple minutes here to get a simple breakdown of how Google penalties work. In this article we will cover:

–       What exactly a Google SEO penalty is

–       Examples of Google penalties

–       A common way to avoid and recover from a Google penalty

So What is a Google SEO Penalty?

Depending on your quality of content and SEO practices, Google will either support and uplift your content, or bury it.

A Google team member manually reviews your content and issues a penalty. There is a misconception that an algorithm update is also a penalty but it is not. Similar to a penalty, an algorithm update can devalue your content in Google’s rankings and lower your web traffic.

What a Penalty Will Do

It essentially does one or two things based on the severity you have violated Google webmaster guidelines:

–       A drop in traffic and ranking for key words and URL’s

–       De-indexing or de-listing your website

Luckily, Google lets you know when they have issued a penalty and will send you a message by email. It will also reflect in your manual actions report.

To keep your content highly ranked and supported, start with knowing what NOT to do.

What Are Examples of Google Penalties?

There are many SEO practices that will get flagged by their team, AKA ‘Black Hat” tactics that increase a page’s ranking in SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Here are a few common ones to identify:

–       Thin content 

–       Cloaking or deceitful redirect links

–       Spam

–       Doorway pages

–       Hidden texts or links

–       Keyword stuffing

How You Can Avoid and Recover From a Google Penalty

The best way to recover from a common Google Penalty is to be proactive and first understand the root of low-quality content.

Google also provides a way for you to appeal a penalty through your Google Search Console where you can request a review.

And lastly, if your website contains any of these violations, intentional or not, it is in your best interest to review and comply with Google Webmaster guidelines. If you are assessed an SEO penalty, take it as a lesson learned and penalties can be avoided in the future!

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