Google has enacted rules of good practice for SEO. To enforce them he does not hesitate to punish sites that would like to override and play more clever than he. So it has put in place different types and levels of sanctions. Bad practices in purchasing backlinks can cause a Google penalty, like other actions we’ll raise here.
How to know if his site was penalized by Google?
Several clues can alert you to a possible Google penalty:
- Positioning your site that drops abruptly and you don’t have traffic anymore
- Your site no longer appears in Google on your key keywords
- Some of your pages have disappeared from SERPS (Google results pages)
Depending on the type of penalty applied you will find information in Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) tools.
What can this be linked to?
Wondering why your site seems to be penalized? Several hypotheses can help you clarify this mystery and it is not always a penalty.
Decommissioning not linked to a sanction
Your traffic is no longer as high as a few days ago? Your site may be overwritten. Decommissioning means that your site has lost positions in the results of searching one or more queries. This is not necessarily the result of a sanction.
A site may not be well positioned in Google or have few traffic for various reasons:
- Your site may not be optimized according to Google’s criteria. In this case you will have to put yourself at work with a real SEO strategy.
It may also be that this natural decommissioning comes from a strong activity by your competitors: you have just set the SEO aside in recent times when these competitors have worked their visibility.
- It may also be linked to technical blocking factors or errors: for example, a “noindex” tag that prevents the indexing of certain pages strategic for you; concerns with a robots.txt file (and the Disallow directive) check this with an expert in SEO or with your webmaster.
- Perhaps this is simply a normal consequence linked to your sector of activity: your activity is seasonal or strongly subject to changes in research trends. Over some months you will have peaks of traffic while on others, during the empty periods, few Internet users will visit your site.
Google decommissioning of a site following a penalty
Google punishes sites that attempt to manipulate its relevance algorithm by abusive practices of SEO. Anything he can identify as suroptimisation on key criteria of SEO is likely to be sanctioned by the search engine.
It is rare that you completely ignore why you are punished. If you set up fictitious links campaigns or if you wanted to override Google’s best practices, you knew that it was not safe.
The Sandbox: fantasy or reality?
Some years ago, some sites were “placed in the Sandbox.” This meant that they were quarantined in this terrible “sandbox”. These were sites that clearly exaggerated the acquisition strategies of incoming links: get very many links over a short period, links always optimized on the same anchor.
How did it work?
All the pages of the site were set in the sandbox, they were certainly referenced but counted on no request. Some time later, without really knowing or why, the site came out of the Sandbox Google.
This penalty, which has hurted many webmasters, seems to have no longer existed.
Types of Penalties Google
These manual actions are made, as its name indicates, by humans (and not robots) of the Google Quality Team (the Quality Raters).
If you are a victim of a manual sanction you receive a message you will receive this penalty via your Google tool of Webmaster Tools (GWT). You will find some information to help you understand the reasons for the sanction (a priori you could not ignore them!) and a request for reconsideration form to be sent to Google once you’ve “cleaned up” on your site.
They are applied automatically and are more difficult to unseal. If you see a drop in traffic, look at the date of this event and make the parallel with a possible update of Google. If Panda or Penguin has gone by then you will have more elements.
Extreme and rare cases, some sites may be banned from Google. We’re talking about blacklistés sites, i. e. sites put in black (being) and are no longer in Google’s index.
The request “site: www.monsite.fr» allows you to verify that your site is present in the search engine index. If with this manipulation you get no results (as you had previously) you may have (because it’s a really extreme case) was blacklisté. Impossible when you ignore the causes…
Without further ado about this sensitive topic, the first thing to do before panicking is to resume your indicators in the GWT, then to study the site with your webmaster or a consultant in SEO. As in the case of downward (temporary or final), this may also be linked to technical causes independent of any Google sanction.
Get out of a Google penalty
Manual sanctions: when you are penalized by a manual penalty for low quality factice, you are always informed via the Webmasters tool (GWT). This is the own of manual penalties: the Search Quality team informs the webmaster of the penalty imposed. You will find this information in the GWT interface under the title “Manual Actions”.
From here you will have to rectify the actions penalised (it is rare that the sanction will fall on you by accident, in 90% of cases the webmaster knows perfectly why it is targeted). This can be done through a review request by completing the Google review form. Of course, don’t expect to see the penalty lifted if you didn’t fix the problems beforehand.
If Google does not report anything abnormal, it informs you with the following sentence: ” No manual action found for spam on a web page “.
Automatic sanctions: You have been automatically punished. In this case you will need to clean your site and wait for the next filter update to hope to see the penalty disappear. We invite you to read our study on “How to get out of a Google Penguin penalty”.
Avoiding the penalty from Google
The Moz software gives you, click by click, all recommendations and actions to optimize the SEO of your site. These indications are based on Google’s good practices and the key key criteria of the relevance algorithm.
If you follow Moz recommendations, me, not only will your site be better positioned in Google but you will not have any risk of being sanctioned by Google. We inform you of completely “white” SEO practices, that is, defined according to the Google Guidelines.
In addition, the software detects the links to your site and the anchors of these links. It scans your links profile and automatically warns you, through an email alert, in case of risk of penalty Penguin.