When Google Penalizes for Wrong SEO Practices

You type ‘Affordable gifts for clients’ on Google.Your website ranksamong the top-five.You smile. Your hard work and SEO techniques have paid off after all.
Two days later, you type the same keyword and your website is nowhere to be found.You panic, what has happened?

Realization dawns – You have been penalised by Google. For what? Why? These questions spring up.

You are not alone. There are hundreds of website owners who resort to genuine white hat and sometimes black hat SEO techniques to feature on search engines, and that is when they get penalized.

You are not alone. There are hundreds of website owners who resort to genuine white hat and sometimes black hat SEO techniques to feature on search engines, and that is when they get penalized.
1. Major Google Penaltiesfor Wrong SEO Practices
Google Penalties are Manual and Algorithmic. As per Matt Cutts, there are about 4 lakh manual penaltiesand about 200 ranking factors that are used in algorithms, which if not adhered to lead to algorithmic penalties like:

  • Panda
    Identifies and throws out all low-quality websites. Low-quality would include websites withpoor, duplicate or irrelevant content or inauthentic websites or websites with high bounce rate.
  • Penguin
    Penalizes sites resorting to black hat SEO techniques, where they insertlarge number of links from low-quality websites or purchase backlinks.This penalty does not affect the entire site, but only few specific pages.
  • Humming Bird
    The Humming Bird is not exactly a penalty but it is more about Google understanding the reason behind a query and throwing up the most relevant results. In case your website features high on search engines without relevant content,you are likely to be hit.
  • Pirate
    Google runs piracy algorithm to wipe away all the torrent sites from search results and to give users the most authentic results. To avoid Pirate penalty, just stop stealing content from anywhere.
  • Top Heavy 
    If your website does not have good content above the fold, then you may be penalised. Because Google wants that when someone clicks a website, he or she should see relevant content above the fold. This is a site based penalty and either all your content is penalised or none at all.

2. Google Penalty Checker Tools 
You can use different Google Penalty Checker tools on a regular basis like:

  • Panguin Google Penalty Check Tool
    This tool will overlay a graph of your traffic over the algorithm updates so that you can see when the dip in traffic had happened and against which algorithm.
  • Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker Tool
    A powerful tool to know exactly which update made what difference to your website, especiallythe impact of algorithm on your traffic.
  • Accuranker’s Google ‘Grump’ Rating
    Highlights how frequently Google Algorithms are being updated and if any new update is round the corner.
  • Moz Change History
    Google keeps revising its algorithm updates over 600 times annually. Moz keeps a track of all the changes with dates so that SEOs can identify the algorithm that has impacted their site.

3. Recovery after Penalty

  • Identifying the Penalty
    Once penalised, figure out the type of penalty. For manual, log onto Google Webmaster Tool. If there is anew notification,check it,understand what went wrong and correct it. In case you have no notification, it is an algorithmic penalty.Then you have to identify the algorithm and follow the recovery process.
  • Duration of Recovery
    It depends. It may take weeks to months. Withalgorithmic penalties, you will have to wait for the algorithm to be run again to see if your site has recovered. In case no, then you will have to wait for the second round of algorithm to run and so on. Takes a long time.
  • Precautionary Measures
    However, here are some precautionary measures:

    • Do not rely too much on black hat SEO techniques. Have good quality backlinks. Do not have backlinks from sites that are violating Google guidelines
    • Have only relevant and meaningful content on your website that will add value to the user
    • Do not steal content or make duplicate websites
    • Keep a tab on Matt Cutts’s announcements on Twitter so that you can adopt the changes
    • Keep a regular check on the latest SEO updates, especially on Google Webmaster Tool

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