Link building, how to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy. Have wondered why given phrases…
Penalized, how to check if your website is punished by Google. Has your website traffic decreased dramatically over a short period of time?
Do you worry about lower positions in the search results? If so, your page might have been penalized by Google. In today’s blog post we’ll tell you how and where to find out if your website was filtered.
In the SEO industry, both manual and algorithm filters enjoy great popularity. The online world abounds in articles discussing these two issues.
However, let’s assume that you aren’t an SEO expert and your presence here is rather accidental. You have your own website and you want it to generate traffic and improve sales.
After all, that’s why you’ve designed it.
You read SEO blog posts, test various solutions and check what activities can bring you the intended results. But, you still aren’t 100% sure whether these actions are seen by Google as positive.
Penalized by Google: why is it happening?
Websites should comply with the rules established and updated by Google. Where to look for information describing an ideal page? Obviously in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
They contain tips discussing website content, the way it’s displayed and techniques that you should get rid of. All of these to make sure that users access needed information after typing a given query.
Adjusting your page to these rules will help you reach higher positions in results.
This is a complex, demanding, time and energy-consuming process. You can’t expect spectacular results overnight. However, some people try to find a shortcut and achieve better Google positions faster.
Consequently, they don’t follow the established rules. Nevertheless, trying to deceive Google usually results in a penalty or filter. A Google penalty is imposed on a website for unethical and anti-policy activities.
The difference between penalties and bans
It’s worth analyzing this issue as these two terms are often confused and seen as synonymous.
A ban means that a website is indexed out of the search results and won’t be displayed anymore. Google imposes bans very rarely, usually in extremely difficult cases when someone shamefully breaks the rules.
Your page can’t be banned for activities you aren’t able to control or for external links to your website.
Now we know what a Google penalty. We determined that every website can be filtered. Let’s try to answer the main question of this blog post!
How to check if my website was penalized by Google?
At this point it’s necessary to distinguish between manual and algorithm filters. What are they and how to check them?
A manual action is a penalty imposed by Google Search Quality Team. They analyze websites every day and check whether they comply with Google principles.
Due to this penalty the positions of all or some phrases decrease drastically. The situation results in a drop in website traffic.
Discover the truth
Being unaware of the current state of affairs is frequently one of the greatest issues of website owners. You can suspect that your page was penalized but you still may not be sure.
Many pages are filtered and their admins are completely unaware.
Why? Because they don’t use such a basic tool as Google Search Console. This informs about the website, helps to monitor phrases it’s displayed on, provides a list of the finest keywords and enables checking if the website was penalized.
Log into the Search Console account of your website
Click in the menu on the left: Security & Manual Actions and choose Manual Actions from the menu. Here, you may get either positive or negative feedback.
If you don’t have complete matches, check the partial ones as well. Complete matches mean lowering the positions of all website phrases. Partial matches decrease positions of selected phrases with unnatural activity.
Penalized website: what are the types of manual Google filters?
You can see each of the notifications listed below in the Google Search Console. To find more detailed descriptions, go to the Manual Actions report.
- unnatural links to your website;
- unnatural links from your website;
- pure spam;
- spam generated by users;
- sneaky mobile redirects;
- hidden texts or keyword stuffing;
- spammy free hosts;
- spammy tag structures;
- low-quality content;
- hacked website;
- graphic cloaking;
- violating the right to the first entry without any restrictions.
An algorithm filter is imposed by Penguin or Panda algorithm, not by humans.
Due to the implementation of Penguin 4.0, further updates won’t be announced. All the activities will be monitored in real-time. But will it really look like this in real life? We’ll see.
Algorithm penalties decrease website traffic and positions. The reasons for imposing these penalties are much more complex. It’s harder to get rid of the problems.
How to check if my website has an algorithm filter?
This task is much more complex than in the case of manual penalties. This time you don’t get any information that your page was filtered.
There aren’t any indications in Search Console. You need to thoroughly observe everything related to your page and all updates implemented. Monitor your positions and website traffic in Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
What may indicate that my website was penalized?
A rapid traffic drop over a short time period. We aren’t talking about a seasonal decrease or almost inconspicuous changes.
When checking data from GA, you can precisely determine the time frame when the traffic decreased. You can even establish the exact day when it’s started.
With such information, you can verify whether any other activities were performed on your page during that time. If not, you have serious reasons to get more suspicious.
Next, compare the dates of traffic decreases with the dates of algorithm updates. If they’re the same, it’s clear what happened. Traffic decrease may entail sudden position changes.
Your website has many TOP 3 phrases that are suddenly ranked at the end of the results? The situation doesn’t improve?
Your website was probably penalized.
Why can my website be penalized?
Because of all the elements analyzed by Google algorithms:
- duplicate content;
- too many optimizations;
- keyword stuffing;
- poor quality of external links leading to your page.
The list of possible reasons is endless, that’s why the issue is so complex. If your website is filtered, the greatest challenge is to determine the exact source of the problem.
This is due to the fact that a Google penalty may be a result of several or even more elements. The filter will be removed once you get rid of all the harmful factors.
Then, you’ll witness a sudden increase in your website traffic and positions.
Today you learned about manual and algorithm filters. And the methods of checking whether your website was penalized nor not.
Let’s assume that after reading this blog post you came to the conclusion that your page was filtered. What now? How to deal with these penalties? Contact us for more info about this topic!