Penalties

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.

The Disavow File is Only Needed for Manual Action Penalties

November 14, 2017 Source

The disavow file should mainly be used when there is a manual action to help with the reconsideration request. For sites that don’t have a manual action, Google will try to ignore any manipulative links automatically.


There Are No Lingering Effects Once a Manual Action is Lifted

November 10, 2017 Source

Manual actions don’t have lingering effects, once it is lifted this is final.


Disavowing Links From Partial Manual Actions Isn’t Necessary

October 31, 2017 Source

If a site has received a partial manual action for spammy links, these links will have already been taken out of consideration by the Webspam team. In this case, it is up to the webmaster if you want to disavow the spammy links or leave them there.


Google Does Not Manually Review All Spam Reports

September 19, 2017 Source

Google does not manually review all spam reports, they focus on th ones with the biggest impact for manual action.


Blocked Sites Can Be Caused By Manipulatively Placed Phishing Content

September 8, 2017 Source

Blocked sites by Google could be due to phishing content being manipulatively placed on a site. John recommends investigating the URLs Google send out in their notifications, conducting a general security review, checking plug-ins are up-to-date and checking server logs.


SERPs Usually Restored After Manual Action is Removed

September 5, 2017 Source

When an onsite manual action has been removed, the site is reprocessed and is usually shown in the same position as it was before. However, if the reason why the site was ranking was because of something against Google’s policy (e.g. spammy links) then it may rank differently.


Sites Removed From Index After Manual Action Can Take Two Weeks to be Reindexed

September 5, 2017 Source

When Google removes a manual action after completely removing a site from the index it can take a couple of weeks to be indexed as whole site has to be recrawled.


Review Markup Without Source Could Result in Loss of Rich Snippets

August 25, 2017 Source

Marking up aggregate reviews without specifying the source could result in a manual action. This could result in Google dropping rich snippets in the search results for the website.


It May Take Weeks to Recover Rankings After a Manual Action Penalty

June 30, 2017 Source

It make take some time after a manual action penalty reconsideration has been accepted to recover rankings. It can take days or weeks, particularly if the entire site has been removed from Google’s index.


Related Topics

Voice Search Search Algorithms Search Queries Rich Snippets Featured Snippets Search Console PageRank