Search Engine Optimization: A Guide To Understanding the Types of Google Penalties

Gone are the easy search engine and website marketing days when you could just pound your website full of garbage information utilizing keywords in order to meet search engine optimization requirements. Google and other search engines have finally smartened up with regard to these old school practices. They have incorporated rules and will instill penalties if they are not followed. There are many Google penalties, and websites can suffer from one penalty or many Google penalties, all at the same time. Do you know if you have a search engine penalty or manual action from Google? Here’s a quick guide to understanding the types of Google penalties.

google penalties
Photo courtesy Ben Angel on Flickr.

Today, there are specific search engine webmaster guidelines that must be met. If they are not met, then your site will suffer search engine penalties, and potentially be taken off Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The problem that many website owners and creators have been faced with is what exactly causes the penalties, and, furthermore, how long do they last: are they temporary or permanent? So how can you steer clear of these black marks on your website and your name?

At this time, the two basic penalties that Google will flag you for is Algorithmic and Manual penalties. If Google feels that you have violated their terms and conditions such as hosting previously banned websites, cloaking, auto requests, spamming with inappropriate usage of keywords, and link buying, then your website could be penalized. There are a number of other reasons, but these are the main areas that Google will focus on. For the most part, these are basic common sense issues. For the Internet marketers that are utilizing “squeeze pages” and landing pages to build thousands of web pages for their website, they are going to need to ensure they are following Google’s rules. Many are using WordPress to great these handy little money makers. But one has to be wary even if you are an SEO expert, or expert web master. If you can show that the problem was created in error, your penalty will be removed.

In the dreaded world of algorithms, the algorithmic penalties are levied immediately and directly. The easy thing with these penalties is that once you correct the problem, or remove the error, the algorithm will also note the changes and revoke the penalty and you will be back up and running.

Google has a pretty large web spam team. If they deem that your website is acting inappropriately or breaking their rules, you will suffer their wrath of a search engine penalty. If you are up to something like using hidden text on your website, your penalty will be short lived and pulled after 30 to 90 days, typically. If you are involved in cloaking, or other serious behaviors, your website will be faced with a much longer duration.

Your webmaster, or SEO professional, can likely fix whatever the issues are. Once corrected, a reconsideration request and proof that corrections have been made can be submitted to Google. They will ensure everything gets taken care of. The best way to not be given any penalties is to stick within the acceptable webmaster guidlelines. Typically, those that are lazy or looking for an easy way out, or short cut will break the rules. If you work hard, you will get results. And, best of all, Google will reward you by listing your website in a more favorable position in their search results.

Have you lost search engine traffic from organic search? Do you think you have a Google penalty, or, even worse, a manual action from Google? Bill Hartzer offers a Google penalty recovery service, to recover that lost search engine traffic.

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While Hartzer Consulting specializes in technical SEO audits of websites, we also provide SEO consulting services, on a retainer basis. We always prefer to begin all new projects with a technical SEO audit to find out the issues that need to be addressed. Contact us today to find out more about our monthly SEO services and how we can help you reach the goals for your website.

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Looking for a search engine optimization consultant you can trust? Bill Hartzer has served as an SEO Expert Witness and testified in United States Federal Court, as well as provided expert witness testimony in other court cases.

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