Things to know about Google penalties

Your business website may look beautiful, load within two seconds and display seamlessly across a range of devices, but if you incur a Google penalty, your visitor numbers could be adversely affected. Google is constantly developing – and running – algorithms that detect any instances of what Google deems to be improper practice, and awards penalties accordingly.

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Manual penalties

According to Search Engine Journal, manual penalties are the most frequently issued type of Google penalty. As the name implies, these penalties are issued by humans, rather than search engine bots, and you are required to fix the problems identified before requesting that your site is reviewed to check that it is now problem-free.

As people, rather than bots, identify the problems for manual penalties, it is relatively easy to discover how to fix identified issues, with Google’s teams providing assistance to correct the problem. This is not the case with algorithm penalties.

Algorithm penalties

Google develops algorithms which are designed to identify common issues that Google deplores in websites. Each algorithm tends to have a different purpose, so the Panda algorithm, for example, identifies and penalises weak content. Meanwhile, Penguin is another algorithm, but focussing on unnatural links. These could be bulk-bought from link traders, contain too many dead or broken links, or be of generally poor quality. Google usually confirms the existence of its various algorithms, but declines to elaborate on them, making it difficult to understand exactly what a site has been penalised for.

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Ignoring a Google penalty simply isn’t an option. Google instantly demotes sites which have incurred penalties, making them all but invisible to search engine users, which can have a severely detrimental effect on visitor numbers. Industry insiders report that Google penalties can cause anything between a 10% and a 90% drop in visitors from the moment that a penalty takes hold, which represents a significant loss of potential income.

If you’ve been hit with a Google penalty, and you don’t know what to do about it, your best bet is to call in the professionals. Companies such as London SEO agency, will run a complete SEO audit to identify issues, and will quickly put together a targeted SEO policy that will avoid future problems.

With Google search so important for targeting new customers, it pays to spend money on keeping Google onside.


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