Before we plunge into Google penalties, let’s find out how Google works. Google consists of three main components: a Crawler, Index, and a fantastic algorithm. The Crawler, as the name suggests crawls through links on the web. It is functional 24/7 and it saves the HTML version of your webpage in a gigantic database called the Index.

For Google to notice your website, your site should have a link from another website indexed by Google. Once your website is indexed by Google, it is shown in search results. Google has a dynamic algorithm that determines where your website will be located in a user’s search result. There are numerous changes made to Google algorithms on a daily basis. Changes made in the algorithm are a secret, not deciphered by anyone.

Coming back to our main topic, What is a Google Penalty?

Google has specific guidelines that every website should follow. Google penalized those websites that do not abide by these guidelines. Google Penalties decline your ranking from the Index based on how badly the guidelines are violated by you. Search Engine penalties are a nightmare for a Webmaster. 

How is Google’s penalty dangerous for your website?

Firstly, it declines your ranking from Google Index. This would adversely affect your online business. If you are careless it has the potential to crush your business as well. Therefore, it is very essential to prevent google penalties or reduce their impact if the damage is already done. Preventing a penalty is much easier than fixing a Google penalty. 

Google Penalty Types:

There are two types of search engine penalties,

1. Manual Penalty– In this type of penalty, your website is manually reviewed by a Google employee. They evaluate the quality of your website and penalize websites. You will get a notification of a manual penalty in your Google Webmaster Tools. Every notification has a ‘reason’ and ‘effect’ stated in it.

Manual penalties are further divided into,

  • Sitewide matches– This affects the entire site.
  • Partial matches– Which are applicable only to a section of a website

2. Algorithmic Penalty- Google uses complex algorithms to evaluate the site’s quality based on set guidelines. These algorithms are updated on a daily basis and quite difficult to understand. If a website is ‘Suspicious’, then you will lose your ranking on the search results pole. It would lead to demotion.

How to avoid Google Penalty

Avoiding a Google penalty is much easier than recovering from a Google Penalty. A Google Penalty Checker (GPC) can help you understand your website’s health. It can show you how an algorithm has affected your site. It can help you determine which changes will have a positive or negative impact. Google penalty checker (GPC) provides a prescriptive task list. This list highlights where you need to work. The following points will help you understand how to avoid a Google penalty.

Follow Google guidelines meticulously– Prevention is always better than cure. Read, re-read and thoroughly understand the google guidelines. Check for updates in the guidelines. You need to abide by them to avoid penalties in the first place.

Carry on an audit of Content and Links– Your Content is your selling point. Always strive to create amazing content for your websites. Update your content as and when possible. Check for common errors such as keyword stuffing, image quality. There are various tools such as Google analytics that will aid content audits. 

Google Webmaster Tools can make link profile audits very smooth and less time-consuming. When you find a harmful link ensure that it is removed from your website.

Regular content audits and link profile audits will reduce the risks of Google Penalties. Regular website audits are essential to minimize risks.

Be aware of Google algorithm updates- Google has an average of 9 updates per day. Keeping track of these updates is complicated. However, there are some specific websites that report algorithm changes and make the task easier for us.

Work along with your SEO– There are white hat and black hat SEO. The days when you could play tricks with Google are over. Ensure that you are working with a white hat SEO. A black hat SEO can do more harm than good. 

Using outdated techniques such as optimized anchor text, keyword stuffing, using low-quality links should not be used by your SEO. Keep in contact with your SEO firm and ask for timely updates.

Create Awesome content- Stay loyal to creating awesome content. Creating content requires creativity, time, and effort. Spend all your resources and energy into building quality content. Experiment with different types of content such as videos, images, infographics, etc. Make your website as interesting and updated as possible. Keep high expectations in terms of quality.

What are the main causes of Google penalties?

The most common reasons for Google penalties are over-optimization by your SEO agency. Usage of harmful, unnatural links can also be a major reason for getting penalized. Avoid manipulating Google and work with it instead. There is no shortcut to success.

How to fix a Google penalty?

Recovering from a Google penalty will depend on the reason stated in the notification. Depending upon the reason the necessary action will be required. If the reason is related to unnatural links. The first thing you need to do is a link detox. There are some great tools like Link Research Tools, that will make your task less tedious. If you have a link profile of hundreds of links these tools can be really helpful to you. 

If the reason is keyword stuffing or hidden texts, use Google Search Console to identify and rectify the error. It can also be due to thin content. In this case, you need to review your content quality to rectify the error.

Content that targets gender, disability, age, religion, inappropriate language, or ethnic origin violates Google’s guidelines. Be through with guidelines and review your content rigorously.

Google does not blacklist websites. If you receive a penalty and clear it up. Your website won’t be suppressed anymore and your ranking will improve.

I hope that this article helped you gain insights into how Google functions. How different types of penalties can harm your online business, how to avoid Google penalties, and how to fix them.

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