Google Penalty: How Does It Hit? | How to Fix Google Penalty?

Muskaan Kapoor Muskaan Kapoor
Apr 20, 2022 7 min read
Google Penalty: How Does It Hit? | How to Fix Google Penalty?

Google tends to update its search algorithms almost every day. Approximately, these changes happen 500-600 times a year. These changes may or may not bring a significant impact.

In case of significant changes, it can make people update the way of writing for SEO. The main aim of such changes is to help the people to get as appropriate a response to their questioning as possible.

Be it bloggers, marketers, corporations, everyone understands the value and importance of appearing on the first page of google. To appear on the first page is not very easy as there are so many websites that are present over the internet.

In order to be on top, different strategies need to be applied. These include adding keywords, quality content, adding links, and more. But sometimes, people tend to use unfair methods to be on top.

Google has its own guidelines that should not get hampered. So, if any sites disrupt its basic guidelines, then Google’s algorithms might issue penalties for that.

Yet, it is not impossible to fix a penalty. With some actions and patience, you can deal with it.

What Is Google Penalty?
How Does a Google Penalty Hit?
Google Penalties and Their Fix

What Is Google Penalty?

In simple terms, it means punishment imposed by Google on the site whose content happens to be at odds with its marketing standards.

Google has its ranking algorithm that keeps on updating. So, when it suggests that a site has used Black Hat SEO, it automatically issues a penalty. Black Hat SEO is using invisible text, private network links, and more. This means making a site rank higher with unfair means.

Thus, it is an action taken by Google against any website that violates its guidelines or standards.

About Google Penalty

How Does a Google Penalty Hit?

Google Penalties can hit your site in two ways:

Google Penalties Can Be Hit Manually

It is a penalty imposed by an analyst that is an employee of Google. It is applied when the analyst finds that a site is not in accordance with the guidelines of Google.

To know if you have been hit by it, go to the Google search console. You probably have got a notification regarding the penalty that led to the decline of your site’s traffic and rank.

Google Penalties Can Hit Algorithmically

It is a penalty that happens because of an update in the algorithms of Google. It happens due to the impression of Black Hat SEO on a website or its page.

To know if you have been hit by it, you will need to compare the time when you lost your organic traffic with the date and time when a new update of the algorithm happened. You can check the update history of Google algorithms for this.


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Google Penalties and Their Fix

Sometimes to rank a site higher in a quick way, people resort to deceitful means. They put unnecessary private links, keywords, and invisible texts. But while doing so they often forget that they might be smart but Google is indeed smarter.

Google has its own standards and guidelines and it doesn’t tolerate when a site defies it. So, as a punishment, it issues penalties.

Here are some of the basic penalties that might happen to you along with their fixation:

Creating quality links is an important part of search engine optimization. It helps to increase the page rank of your site. There are certain people that use artificial links in their link profile. Google does not support the use of such links and thus, imposes a penalty for link schemes.

Fix

If you got hit by a manual penalty on your site, you can get a list of problematic links through the Search console (It is a web service by Google that allows you to measure search rate, traffic of your site, fix errors, and more). You can also use tools like Moz Pro, Monitor Baclinks, etc. to gain a complete list.

After getting the list, you need to analyze every single backlink. Then, remove all the problematic links that you find from your site. You might not be able to remove every link on your own. So, you will need to contact the owner of those links through emails to get them removed.

Next up you will need to use Google’s disavow tool to inform Google about the artificial links. Then use submit a file to Google Search Console along with the links you want to disavow.

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Thin and Duplicate Content

It means having too little or irrelevant content on the page. Such pages are seen as the ones of low quality. Duplicating simply means copied content. It means copying the entire content from a site and putting it on your own without changes or bringing more worth.

Fix

When the penalty hits your site, for this reason, the simplest and best thing you should do is to discard the pages affected. However, if such pages are valuable to you, and you cannot delete them then you need to include better content in them to make them valuable. You can use SEMrush to identify duplicate content.

Once you address the thin content after that you need to use the reconsideration request tool present in Google Search Console to request reconsideration from Google.

Remember to amend all the content before requesting reconsideration.

Keyword Stuffing or Hidden Text

It is a technique of search engine optimization considered as webspam. So, it is basically a part of Black Hat SEO. It means the process of loading a webpage with unnecessary keywords to exploit the site’s ranking in search results. Hidden text is adding unnecessary white or number 0 font to fill up the content.

Fix

In case of this penalty, you need to remove all the spam keywords or hidden texts on your site. After removing them, submit an indexing request. You can use the fetch and render tool of Search Console for this. This will help you to make Google revisit your website after the changes are the revision.

Masking or Redirects

It means showing different web pages to the users and Google. In redirects, one web page is shown to Google but when a person opens the page, it redirects to another page. This is against the guidelines of Google. This penalty can affect a few pages of a site or even the entire website.

Fix

Examine your site and find the links that redirect. It occurs when URLs are replaced by redirect links. After correcting this, you need to file a reconsideration request so that the Google webmasters can review your site and lift the penalty.

In all these cases of filing a reconsideration request, always remember to include everything that you did to rectify your mistake. Keep track of every activity you performed on your way. It should include how you solved the mistakes and you will ensure that such mistakes would not happen again.


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Algorithm Penalty

When it comes to algorithm penalties, the reconsideration requests cannot help. Since these penalties happen on their own because of the updates, it does not involve analysts of Google to lift them up.

Fix

Visibility index chart of the SISTRIX toolbox with activated event pins can be used. It will help you to find out if your domain has been hit by a filter. This will give you the hint that you might have been hit by an algorithm penalty.

In this case, the best thing you can do is rectify all the issues that you find might be hampering your traffic or ranking. Changes should be made in a way that the filters no more find any breach of the guidelines of Google. After that, you can wait for Google as it reindexes and recrawls your site.

This penalty thus, cannot be removed manually but it can only be removed by an algorithm.

Conclusion

If you use bad SEO practices on purpose or even unintentionally, it can lead you to get hit by a penalty. Google’s penalty can create a great deal of damage to any site. It can lead to a sudden decline in organic traffic and ranking. In cases of companies’ sites, it can also lead to a decline in their revenue.

It is always better to avoid using any unfair practices to increase the ranking and respect the guidelines set by Google. Also, you can keep a regular check on your site’s activities and solve any problems when you find them. After all, prevention is better than a cure.

FAQs

What are the factors when Google Penalties are issued?

Google penalties are issued for:

  • Link Scheming
  • Thin and Duplicate Content
  • Keyword Stuffing or Hidden Text
  • Masking or Redirects
  • Algorithm Penalty

What is Google penalty for keyword stuffing?

Google penalizes your website if they find keyword stuffing. The webpage could be demoted in rankings, or even removed altogether.

What are the tools to check duplicate content on your webpage?

Some tools to check duplicate content are:

  • Semrush
  • Quetext
  • Copyscape
  • Plagspotter
  • Duplichecker
  • Siteliner

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