The first thing you need to understand is what Google considers a penalty.
Penalties are either automatic or manual.
In a manual penalty, you are informed before you are penalized. Google will notify you in your Google Webmasters account. I`d share a screenshot but we`ve never had any client penalized before! 🙂
If the cause of the penalty is an algorithm (automatic), you wont be notified. In case of algorithmic penalties, here are a few clues:
- Your website shows no ranking for the name of your brand.
- If your page ranking is slipping on its own.
- If the rank of your page has dropped drastically to a Zero or One from a higher rank.
- If your website got wiped from Google’s search results almost instantly.
- If you run a site search and do not get any results.
- If your site’s listing in the Google search results is for a page instead of the homepage.
What Can Get You Penalized by Google?
Although Google doesn’t give a complete and accurate list of the things it penalizes websites for, here are some which you should avoid:
- Duplicated content.
- Using too many H1 tags.
- Internal 404s.
- Linking to sites that are in a different language.
- Links on your website are hidden.
- Sponsors of your website are hidden.
- Content on your website is hidden.
- Broken links.
- If your website is timed out or down.
- Hacked content.
- Links to suspicious sites.
- Error codes.
- Malicious backlinks
The list of punishable offences is too long. Take a few minutes and go through Google’s guidelines.
What to Do If You Get Penalized By Google
First, try to figure out exactly why Google penalized your site and how bad it looks even if you are certain there is nothing wrong with your website. If this is not the first time you have been penalized by Google, you may not be able to convince them of your innocence. If you are a famous brand and your website has a large number of viewers, it might be easier for you to get the ban lifted from your site.
In order to gain access to your website again and lift the ban, you need to submit a re-inclusion request to Google.
Don’t try to hide anything you may have done that might be considered offensive by Google because they will already know about it! Don’t forget to check out our SEO services.