It’s a widely-accepted fact that Google controls a vast portion of the digital landscape. This means that most webmasters know that they must do everything in their power to avoid a Google content penalty.
When you are hit by a manual content penalty by Google, the impact can be far reaching. Firstly, you will lose organic search visibility. This will lead to a loss of traffic and, consequently, revenue. Have you been hit with a penalty from Google? What are the possible ways to ensure recovery? In this guide, we will take a look at the most common types of Google penalty and how you can recover from them.
To get started, we need to draw a distinction between an algorithm change and a penalty. Some of the biggest algorithmic changes from Google, like Panda and Penguin, are erroneously regarded as penalties by most people but this isn’t true. The algorithms rely on certain sets of rules to deliver results. The idea of these changes is to increase relevance and quality in the results delivered to people running searches on Google on a daily basis.
Apart from the algorithms, Google also employs a large number of human reviewers to manually review and rate websites that have escaped the attention of the algorithms but still fall foul of Google’s quality standards. When you are hit by an algorithm change, the end result is generally the same, as you will lose organic traffic.
However, it is important that you understand the distinction between getting hit by a manual penalty and being hit by an algorithmic change. This is what will determine how you proceed with your recovery.
The major difference in dealing with a penalty vs. dealing with an algorithmic change is that, with the former, you have to interact with Google directly. If your website has been penalised by Google, you will get a manual action report through the Google Search Console. If you fix the violation, you can explain the situation to Google and how you have resolved it by submitting a “Reconsideration Request”.
With an algorithmic change, however, you won’t need to submit the reconsideration request. The first part of this guide looks at how to recover from the 13 Google manual penalties and what you can do to recover.