Google is working harder to provide the best possible search results to their users. It constantly updates its algorithms (The program which ranks websites) to make sure that any site’s that are using bad techniques to get good organic traffic from Google are removed from the index or at least moved far back where they are not readily found by Google users.
So what exactly is a Google penalty?
“A Google penalty is the negative impact on a website’s search rankings based on updates to Google’s search algorithms and/or manual review. The penalty can be an unfortunate by-product of an algorithm update or an intentional penalization for various black-hat SEO techniques.” (wikipedia)
There are two types of Google Penalties.
- Google Algorithmic Penalty
- Manual Google Penalty
An algorithm is a set of instructions that is used to execute a certain task. In this case, Google uses a very complicated and intelligent set of instructions to assess, evaluate & rank various websites and then shows the best suitable results to its user.
There are many types of algorithm updates and they all have their own unique purpose. Sometimes we know what type of change it is and when it will happen but there are other times there is no announcement from Google.
Below we have detailed some of the main Algorithm changes.
- Google Panda Algorithm – This was the first of the recent Google updates. It was released in February 2011 and since that time many Panda updates have rolled out. It was essentially aimed to lower the rank of “low-quality sites” or “thin sites” to the site that have duplicate content and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results. The most recent Panda 4.2 was released on 24/07/2015
- Google Penguin Update – This was another algorithm to tackle sites that use Black Hat techniques. This Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012. The update is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Similar to the Panda Update, Google have released subsequent updates.
- Google Pigeon Update – Launched on July 24, 2014 for U.S. English results, the “Pigeon” is a new algorithm to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. Google stated that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.
- Google Mobile Update “Mobilegeddon” – Launched on April 22, 2015 this update has been rolled out to effect organic rankings on mobile devices giving preferential treatment to mobile-friendly site’s such as ones that are responsive.
- Google EMD (Exact Match Domains) Update – The EMD Update — for “Exact Match Domain” — is a filter Google launched in September 2012 to prevent poor quality sites from ranking well simply because they had words that match search terms in their domain names.
- PayDay Update – Launched on June 11, 2013 – the “Payday Update” was a new algorithm targeted at cleaning up search results for traditionally “spammy queries” such as [payday loan], pornographic and other heavily spammed queries.
- Hummingbird – This update uses a concept of semantic search. Google always used Synonyms but with the release of Hummingbird, it now can judge context or intent of the searcher.
Google Panda, Google Penguin & Mobilegeddon are the major algorithmic changes that can cause massive traffic reductions and are the most feared off penalties.
This is not algorithmic. But the Google Webspam team will manually analyse a site and issue penalties.
With a manual action, some human being at Google has reviewed a site and decided to issue a penalty against it (usually manual actions are indeed penalties). The review might be triggered by a spam report from an outsider or just Google’s regular policing.
Usually a website owner or webmaster gets a penalty message in the Google Search Console formerly known as Google webmaster Tools.
What to do if you have been hit by a penalty
First of all, be assured that it is possible to recover from these penalties.
If you believe that you are hit by a penalty, it is necessary to establish it with data. Depending upon what penalty it is, how to work to recover from it changes.
Google Panda penalty requires a thorough analysis of the site, content and then creation of good unique content on the site.
Google Penguin penalty requires a different strategy. It is mainly due to the poor quality of links to a website. A thorough analysis of the existing backlink profile is to be created and then use Google’s Disavow Tool.
If you are struck with a Manual penalty warning, a reconsideration request needs to be filed.
Here at teclan, we are fully equipped with the knowledge, expertise & tools needed to deal with such penalties & recover your sites from it. We have Search Engine Optimisation experts who can assess the penalty and then decide the next course of action. If it is a Panda Penalty, our expert digital marketing strategists will plan a content strategy and the creative writers will craft unique, keyword rich & optimized content for your site.
Our clients have access to this expertise on a daily basis, along with a vast array of other digital marketing channels. Contact us today 01463 898 043 on how we can grow your business!
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A real digital marketing company! Moving forward I would recommend teclan for any digital marketing or penalty removal, they always keep us up to date and are available whenever we need them.”