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Google Website Penalties & How to Recover

Nobody wants a Google penalty.

The consequences of receiving a manual penalty can be devastating: lost organic search visibility, traffic, and revenue.

When you’ve been hit with a manual penalty from Google, what do you do?

This page will explain how to recover from every type of Google penalty.

The chances are that you’ve received a Google Penalty. There are a large number of reasons, but generally, Google does not like the way you are trying to increase your rankings or they think that your website delivers a poor user experience.

Penalties are severely damaging to your search traffic and your business as a whole. The goal is to act quickly and that is where our team comes in.

We will recover your website from any penalties and get you out of danger. We will also teach you how to avoid these situations from happening again.

Google Penalties and Recovery

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Always Need To be Checking Websites

Google’s algorithmic penalties never stop looking for violators. The Panda Google update was designed to stop sites with technical issues, poor or thin content from ranking. While websites with original, high quality and fresh content are rewarded.

Penguin prevents sites with suspect back-links from ranking. So if your site has paid for, low quality or irrelevant links, Google is unlikely to promote your site up the rankings.

It is easy to upset Google AI if you don’t know their rules and guidelines. That is why we provide training ebook and guides in the correct way to do things.

Google Penalty Recovery

google penalty

We look at your website and backlinks from every conceivable angle to uncover the problem. We use several of specialized custom tools to dig deep and investigate where your website is breaking the guidelines.

Your analytics will help us uncover when the penalty was applied and our full 300 point website audit will diagnose exactly what caused it.

When our team has identified if the penalty is just on a single page or site-wide, we create a plan of action strategy to make sure the penalty is lifted quickly.

Penalty Removal Success

A Google penalty is bad for your rankings and your company reputation. We have a 100% track record in helping small businesses recover fast and effectively. Our procedures are proven and the results speak for themselves. Every business that we have helped has successfully returned to full health and rankings.

Google penalties can significantly impact a website’s visibility and traffic. These penalties can be the result of algorithmic filters or manual actions taken by Google due to violations of its Webmaster Guidelines. Here’s a breakdown of Google penalties and recovery tips:

Common Reasons for Google Penalties:

top google penalties

  1. Thin or Duplicate Content: Publishing low-quality or repetitive content without much value to users.
  2. Cloaking: Showing different content to search engines than to users.
  3. Hidden Text: Using white text on a white background or setting the font size to zero.
  4. Keyword Stuffing: Overloading content with keywords in an unnatural way.
  5. Spammy Backlinks: Having a large number of low-quality or irrelevant backlinks pointing to your site.
  6. Over-optimized Anchor Text: Using the same exact-match anchor text for many backlinks.
  7. User-generated Spam: Spammy comments or profiles on forums or blogs.
  8. Hacked Site: If your website has been compromised.
  9. Unnatural Links: Buying links or participating in link schemes.
  10. Mobile Unfriendliness: Poor user experience on mobile devices.
  11. Interstitials or Annoying Pop-ups: Especially on mobile, where they can disrupt user experience.
  12. Schema Markup Misuse: Adding incorrect structured data or misleading users.

Recovery Tips:

  1. Diagnose the Issue: Determine if the penalty is manual or algorithmic. Check Google Search Console for any manual action notifications.
  2. Thoroughly Audit Content: Remove or improve thin, duplicate, or low-quality content.
  3. Backlink Analysis: Use tools like Moz’s Link Explorer, Ahrefs, or Google Search Console to analyze your backlink profile. Remove or disavow spammy or low-quality links.
  4. Improve Site Security: If your site has been hacked, clean it up, and improve its security. Ensure you’re using secure and updated plugins/themes.
  5. Mobile Optimization: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly using responsive design.
  6. Remove Intrusive Pop-ups: Especially for mobile, ensure pop-ups don’t disrupt the user’s experience.
  7. Rectify Keyword Stuffing: Make your content natural and user-focused. Don’t overload it with keywords.
  8. Correct Schema Markup: Ensure your structured data is correct and not misleading.
  9. Submit a Reconsideration Request: If the penalty was manual, after fixing the issues, submit a reconsideration request via Google Search Console.
  10. Stay Updated with Algorithm Changes: Familiarize yourself with Google’s algorithm updates. Sites penalized algorithmically will recover when they align with Google’s guidelines and after Google refreshes the algorithm.
  11. Engage with the Community: If unsure about why you’re penalized, engage with the SEO community. Forums like Webmaster World or the Google Webmasters forum can provide insights.

Remember that recovery from a Google penalty, especially an algorithmic one, may take time. It’s essential to be patient and continuously focus on improving your website’s quality and user experience.

Dealing with Google penalties can be a major setback for any website. Understanding the common penalties and what triggers them can help you avoid potential pitfalls. Here’s a list of the top 10 Google penalties that websites might face, based on common violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines:

  1. Thin Content Penalty:

    • Websites with low-quality content that lacks substance or relevance can receive this penalty. Google aims to provide users with content that offers real value.
  2. Duplicate Content Penalty:

    • This occurs when large portions of content across or within websites are identical or noticeably similar. Google penalizes duplicate content to prevent manipulation of search engine rankings and provide a better user experience.
  3. Unnatural Links to Your Site:

    • If your site has a large volume of manipulative links directed to it, Google might penalize you. These are often a result of purchasing backlinks or participating in link schemes.
  4. Unnatural Links from Your Site:

    • Similar to the above, but involves links going from your site to others. This includes selling links or using them to manipulate PageRank.
  5. User-Generated Spam:

    • If your site has user-generated sections like comments or forums and they’re full of spammy content, you might be penalized.
  6. Cloaking and Sneaky Redirects:

    • Showing different content to search engines than to users, or redirecting users to a different URL than the one shown in search results.
  7. Keyword Stuffing:

    • Overusing keywords on your pages in an unnatural way to manipulate rankings can lead to a penalty for keyword stuffing.
  8. Hidden Text and Links:

    • Hiding text or links to deceive users or game search engine indexes. This could include using white text on a white background, setting font size to zero, or hiding links in single characters.
  9. Mobile Usability Issues:

    • Sites that provide a poor user experience on mobile devices may receive penalties, especially after mobile-first indexing became the norm.
  10. Hacked Site:

    • If your site gets hacked and is found serving malware, phishing, or spam, Google may issue a penalty until the security issues are resolved.

Receiving any of these penalties will often result in a drop in search rankings, which can significantly affect your website’s traffic and revenue. It’s essential to follow best practices in SEO and regularly audit your site to avoid these penalties and maintain a healthy relationship with search engines.


What is a Google website penalty?

A Google website penalty is a punitive action taken by Google against a website that violates its webmaster guidelines or engages in practices that are considered manipulative or spammy. These penalties can result in a drop in search engine rankings and decreased visibility in Google search results.

What are the common types of Google penalties?

Common Google penalties include manual penalties issued by Google’s human reviewers and algorithmic penalties triggered by updates like Google Panda, Google Penguin, and Google Core Updates.

What can cause a manual penalty from Google?

Manual penalties are typically issued for violations such as unnatural link building, thin or duplicate content, keyword stuffing, and other black-hat SEO practices.

How can I check if my website has been penalized by Google?
You can check for penalties by logging into Google Search Console and reviewing any manual action notifications or by monitoring your website’s organic search traffic and rankings.
What is the process for recovering from a Google penalty?

To recover from a Google penalty, you must identify and address the issues that led to the penalty, submit a reconsideration request if it’s a manual penalty, and then work on improving your website’s quality and compliance with Google’s guidelines.

How long does it take to recover from a Google penalty?
The recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the penalty, the actions taken to rectify the issues, and Google’s review process. It can range from a few weeks to several months.
Can I appeal a Google penalty?
Yes, you can appeal a manual penalty by submitting a reconsideration request through Google Search Console. Be sure to provide detailed information about the actions you’ve taken to rectify the issues.
What are algorithmic penalties, and how do I recover from them?
Algorithmic penalties are automatic penalties triggered by Google’s algorithms. To recover from them, you need to identify the specific algorithm that affected your site (e.g., Penguin for link issues) and make necessary improvements to your website.
How can I prevent Google penalties in the future?
To prevent Google penalties, adhere to Google’s webmaster guidelines, focus on creating high-quality and user-friendly content, avoid black-hat SEO tactics, and regularly monitor your website’s performance and search engine optimization.
Is it possible to regain lost rankings after a penalty?
Yes, it’s possible to regain lost rankings after a penalty by addressing the issues that caused the penalty, improving your website’s quality and content, and following ethical SEO practices. However, it may take time and effort to rebuild trust with Google’s algorithms.

Remember that Google penalties can have a significant impact on your website’s visibility and traffic. It’s crucial to stay informed about SEO best practices and guidelines to avoid penalties and maintain a healthy online presence.