What are the different Google Penalties and How to Rectify them?

The world of SEO is extremely intricate. By imposing complex jurisdictions Google has made things even more difficult. It has made an arbitrary module of set norms that need to be adhered to.

Google is entitled to enforce manual spam actions broadly known as penalties, to the websites that violate their Webmaster Guidelines. The specific scope and reasons of these penalties can be manifold.

Moreover, the impact that it has on the website’s presence in organic Google search results may vary from hardly noticeable to extremely catastrophic.

Cited below are the types of Google penalties and means to successfully remove them.

A Brief take on Manual Penalties

Google has intensified its efforts in communicating webmasters about the issues which can potentially hurt the visibility of the website in organic Google search.

The key factor in how Google “penalties” and “warning” should be dealt with is how you should acknowledge and decipher them.  Many of these issues are related to Webmaster Guidelines violations, black-hat techniques that are termed by the Google Search Quality Team as intolerable.

These notifications don’t arise only because of the incorporation of black-hat techniques. Some other issues that can lead to warnings are:

Any omission by site owner:

  • that left the site unsecure
  • that allowed the site to host spam
  • that allowed it to be hacked
  • that failed in incorporating correct data markup

Google has started to bring the attention of webmasters towards technical faults it identifies. Every bit of information that is highlighted in the Google Search Console should be taken sincerely and regarded with apt attention.

In the event of any such violation, Google issues warnings and penalties depending on the severity of the site’s actions. But there are ways to get rid of these. First, we will confer the types of Google penalties and later we’ll study how to deal with them to remove them successfully.

On-page Webmaster Guideline Violations and related Notifications

On-page violations and notifications are a set of issues that are caught on site, which are under the direct control of the website’s owner.

Major Spam Problems

HereMajor spam notification means Google has concluded the page content of the website as completely spammy. This message illustrates that by the time it is read by the recipient, the strictest action has already been imparted, and the website has been removed from the organic Google search.

Major spam notifications indicate that the website affected has failed to comprehend with Google users’ expectations.

Process of Removing Major Spam Problems

  1. Update the pages to comply with Google Webmaster Guidelines
  2. Submit a reconsideration request to Google.

Spam Problems

It is the smaller version of the major spam problem notification. It specifically addresses to thin content and internal doorway pages. This notification doesn’t mean that the website is entirely bad, just bits and pieces aren’t good enough.

The manual action associated with this problem doesn’t result in the complete removal of the website from Google search. It affects the visibility of the website in organic Google search making it considerably less.

Process of Removing Spam Problem

  1. A thorough site review is advised specifically concerning the content quality. Webmasters need to work on how to improve the content quality to meet the standards, and how to avoid indexing low-quality content. Doorway pages also need to be removed.

Landing page engagement assessment should be done by focusing on how suitable and engaging is the content of the landing page to users.

  • Submit a reconsideration request to Google.

User-generated Spam

Thesespams are mostly associated with large user-driven websites. The imposition of this penalty implies that the affected website is being exploited by black hats and spammers. This is typically done by an SEO expert who has the knowledge in this area, but for some purpose choose to do so.

This notification ordinarily includes the sample URL where the user-generated spam has been uncovered.

Process of Removing User-generated Spam Problem

  1. Identify the pages on your website where users can have possibly added content.
  2. Spot unrelated, spammy content in these and remove it.
  3. Submit a reconsideration request to Google.

Hacked Content Spam

It is quite similar to user-generated spam as here also website content is compromised by spammers by inflicting irrelevant or malicious content, and Google notification also includes a sample URL.

The point that differentiates between the two is that hacked content spam is applied to the websites which aren’t user-driven.

Process of Removing Hacked Content Spam Problem

  1. Check the security issues for the details of the hack.
  2. Search for other compromised files or pages on your website.
  3. Use Fetch as Google tool to separate malicious content.
  4. Eliminate all malicious content.
  5. Immune your website for potential future attacks.
  6. Submit a reconsideration request to Google.

Incorrect Structured Data

Structured data is the mechanism of presenting the context and content of a site in such a way that it will be better to understand by search engines. Structured data can enhance the SERP listing when it is perfectly implemented and adds an eye-catching feature called “rich snippet”.

Practices are being undertaken to deceive the system by using inflated structure data which is why Google is monitoring this issue closely. If you are caught using incorrect structured data, a notification will be issued to you that will result in the loss of all rich snippets.

Process of Removing Incorrect Structured Data Problem

  1. Revise the content so it doesn’t violate the guidelines of how to structure data
  2. Submit a reconsideration request to Google.

Unnatural Outbound Links

Promoting links with the motive to manipulate page rank is another Webmaster guidelines violation. However, the penalty associated with this issue is comparatively minor. That doesn’t signify it should be ignored as it is under the website owner’s control to sell appropriate links that are relevant to the content and users.

Process of Removing Unnatural Outbound Links Problem

  1. Identify such paid or inorganic links.
  2. Remove these links.
  3. Submit a reconsideration request to Google.

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Off-page Webmaster Guideline Violations and related Notifications

However, it is beyond the control of website owners to manipulate areas that link their website. Practices like spamming other websites and black hat techniques such as buying links have forced Google to oversee off-page violations as well.

Unnatural Inbound Links

This is one of the most frequently enforced Google manual penalties. The websites attracting this penalty are said to be engaged in link schemes which Google regards as a major violation. Depending on the severity it may affect only a part or even the entire domain.

Similarly, the effect on the visibility of the website in Google search can range from a minute decline in the visibility to a dramatic hit to the website’s presence.

Process of removing Unnatural Inbound Links Problem

  1. Download a specimen of links to your website.
  2. Compile a list of irrelevant links to your website.
  3. Contact the website owners who have these irrelevant links to your site.
  4. Disclaim remaining links.
  5. Submit a reconsideration request to Google.

Reconsideration Requests and related Notifications

The request raised by websites in response to enforcement of the manual penalty by Google, owing to their violation of any Webmaster Guideline, and for seeking rectification is a reconsideration request.

At the time of the imposition of a manual penalty, all the steps necessary for its successful removal should be taken carefully. Once all the proceedings are done according to the requirements outlined by Google, hit the “reconsideration request” button to initiate the process.

Now, Google may demand detailed documentation of the steps that were taken to bring the website in compliance with Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Once you’ve addressed all the issues and submitted the reconsideration request in the manner prescribed by Google, then Google Search Console will send one of the following notifications:

  • Notification of disavowing file update
  • Reconsideration request(submission confirmed)
  • Rejected reconsideration request
  • Processed reconsideration request
  • Approved reconsideration request

You can study Google Search Console for detailed knowledge about it.


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