Google will penalize sites which are deemed low quality and spam or are seen to be using manipulative methods. This will cause websites to suffer in organic search results and can take time to rectify. As it is important to understand the cause of penalties and how to handle them, our Hangout Notes cover advice from Google with recommendations for avoiding them.

A Domain’s History Won’t Affect Reconsideration Requests

June 25, 2019 Source

As long as your site isn’t repeatedly receiving manual actions, the domain history won’t affect the priority or complexity of a reconsideration request.

Google Can Pass Penalties from Migrated Spam Sites

March 5, 2019 Source

If you redirect a website that has received a manual action for spam to a different website, Google will be able to follow this and is able to penalize the target destination site if you have redirected between the websites yourself.

Only Spam Manual Actions Have Lingering Effects

March 5, 2019 Source

Once a manual action is lifted, there will be no further consequences. The only exception is manual actions for spam, as these sites are removed entirely from the index and need to be recrawled, reprocessed and indexed again from scratch.

Only Use Disavow if WebSpam Team Would Likely Issue Manual Action

January 22, 2019 Source

John recommends using the Disavow Tool if you think that the WebSpam Team would likely give you a manual action for the links in question. However, for most websites that aren’t actively attempting to manipulate rankings with suspicious link building practices it isn’t worth using the Disavow Tool.

No Penalty For Overuse of Fetch & Render But Limits Exist

January 22, 2019 Source

There is no penalty for continual use of Fetch & Render, however there are some limits to the frequency with which you can use this tool.

Unresolved Manual Action Penalties May Take Years to Expire

December 21, 2018 Source

If you ignore a manual action penalty, it may take years to expire. You should try to fix the cause, and submit a reconsideration request.

Submit Reconsideration Requests Separately For Different Subdomains

October 5, 2018 Source

Submit reconsideration requests separately if manual actions have been received for different subdomains, and make sure the disavow files are updated for each one.

There is No Penalty For Hiding Content For Screen Readers

September 21, 2018 Source

There is no penalty for hiding content on a page that has the sole purpose of being used for screen readers, as long as it is consistent with other content on the page. The web spam team may assess intent to deceive search engines in these cases.

The Web Spam Team is Actively Working to Deal With Sites Manipulating Rankings With Expired Domains

August 24, 2018 Source

The Web Spam Team is actively working to deal with sites looking to manipulate rankings using expired domains. John says that this isn’t a simple loophole that’s being exploited, but there may be cases where people are getting away with these spammy techniques.

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