What Are Google Penalties and What Do They Mean?

Google Penalties are virtually the same as sports penalties. They’re made to punish a website when they have done something wrong. Penalties are triggered by a website trying to fool Google into getting their page to rank higher or the manipulation of another page. Google is a lot smarter than the rest of us, therefore Google always wins. If Google suspects that a website has used some form of black-hat SEO, they become penalized and it can greatly hurt their ranking. Some examples of black-hat SEO that could trigger a penalty include hidden keywords, keyword stuffing, duplicate content, buying links and much more. Read below to learn about the two different types of google penalties possible.



Manual penalties are given when a website is doing something it shouldn’t be. An employee from Google will hand you one if you’re going against Google’s Terms of Service. Some examples that would trigger a manual penalty include cloaking, buying links, viruses and more. Normally a manual penalty results in sites getting ranked lower on a search result page. Due to that, it makes it harder for your target audience to find you through organic search. Try to avoid manual penalties by cleaning up any content or links that Google may consider spam and avoid buying any links. Keeping on top of your content, backlinks and doing the right thing will keep you from becoming penalized by Google. 



On the other side are algorithm penalties, which are not drawn by a human, but rather an automated response. Some common algorithms you may be familiar with are Penguin, Pigeon, Panda and Hummingbird. These algorithms are designed to detect thin content, keyword stuffing, duplicate content, slow website loading times, as well as a lack of incoming links to a site. This automated negative action hurts a site’s ranking as Google’s crawlers are identifying what negative signs are on a website to warrant this algorithm penalty. Google’s algorithms are always changing and it is important to stay up to date on what they’re looking out for. 


How long do Google Penalties last and how can I get rid of one?

The length of the penalty can depend on how serious the penalty is. Most penalties can last around 30-60 days but it can also vary. It isn’t always easy to get rid of a Google Penalty. As soon as your website is back up and running again, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are completely out of the water. For manual penalties, you will need to send an appeal to Google to re-index your website so users are able to find you on their search page again. This process can take as little as 4 days or as much as 6 months. After receiving a penalty and recovering from one, you don’t fully gain their trust back.

For both types of penalties, it may also be hard to regain your reputation and original organic traffic again. In order to benefit your site, and get back on Google’s good side, it is important to create a set of heavy and natural backlinks to your site. Doing so will create better ranking, faster indexing and more referral traffic. You must also update the content on your site that caused the penalty and make sure everything fully adheres to Google’s Guidelines. 


Contact Boston Web Marketing

If you are still unsure about the types of penalties you could be at risk for or how to properly avoid them, reach out to us today! With many years of digital marketing, we can ensure that your site avoids any manual or algorithm Google Penalties. Our SEO specialists are trained in proper website and content building to avoid any possible black-hat SEO. We are working everyday to get local businesses from all over to achieve higher search results. Call us at 857-526-0096 or by simply filling out our contact form

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