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A Concise Guide About Google Penalties & How To Recover From Them


To start off with, it's very important to first understand the difference between a Penalty and an Algorithm. So, let’s understand that. 

What’s a Google Algorithm Update? 

Algorithms depend on a bunch of rules and computations to convey the ideal result naturally. High-profile updates like Penguin and Panda are not really penalties; they are algorithms. On account of Panda and Penguin, the final plan for Google is to downgrade sites in the search results that don't satisfy their quality guidelines, as defined by their Webmaster Guidelines. 

What’s a Google Penalty? 

Google Penalty

Being on the wrong side of an algorithm is what we call a Google penalty. The net outcome can be something similar - a tremendous and once in a while pulverizing loss of natural traffic. 

Fixing these penalties ought to be a concern, as a drop in your search engine positioning can bring about lost website users, sales & revenue. Regardless of whether you are on the wrong side of an update, you might feel like you have been hit by a penalty. In the two cases, the final product is practically something similar - you miss out on a great deal of organic traffic. 

In this article, I'll tell you the best way to sort out whether or not your site has been punished / penalized by Google and make sense of precisely exact thing to do to fix your score.  

Now that we understand the difference between a Penalty and an Algorithm, lets deep dive into common causes that often triggers a Google Penalty- 

Common Causes of Google Penalty and Steps to recover from them 

  1. Cloaking 

Cloaking in SEO is a technique used to serve users content or data that is not the same as what is introduced to search engine crawlers (for example spiders or bots) to further develop a site's search engine rankings for specific keywords. Undetectable or Hidden text, Flash Based sites, HTML rich, Replacement of Java scripts are the various types of Cloaking. 

  • The Fix- 

Navigate to Google Search Console > Crawl > Fetch as Google, then, at that point, fetch pages from the impacted segments of your site. - > Look at the content on your page to the content fetched by Google. - > Resolve any varieties between the two so they turn out to be something very similar. 

  1. Sneaky Mobile Redirects 

Some or each of the pages on a site redirect mobile users to content not noticeable to Google's crawlers. This is an immediate infringement of Google Webmaster Guidelines. It's normal for the mobile rendition of a site to show content a bit differently from the desktop version. Usually, images should be changed to oblige a smaller screen. There may even be times when it's important to redirect mobile users starting with one URL then onto the next for an enhanced user experience (UX). 

  • The Fix- 

In the event that you are not purposefully captivating in sneaky redirects: Check the Security Issues report to check whether your site has been hacked. Survey all third-party scripts and components on your pages. In affirming that your site has not been hacked, the next stage is to research assuming any third-party scripts or components are causing the issue. 

  1. Keyword Stuffing / Hidden Texts 

Keyword Stuffing essentially happens when a site loads up a webpage with keywords that don't add any value to a website. If you’ve ever seen a site with a primary keyword repeated unnecessarily, that’s keyword stuffing. In all honesty, this used to work. Be that as it may, Google got on before long and this spammy trick hasn't been compelling in a decade now. Another model would be in the event that a site puts a lot of content on their site, yet it isn't readable by the user. People used to (some actually still do) put hidden white text on a white background or make the text/font size "0," in endeavors to trick search engines. 

  • The Fix- 

Navigate to Google Search Console > Crawl > Fetch as Google, then, at that point, fetch pages from the impacted part of your website. Search for text that is something similar or comparative in variety to the body of the webpage. Search for hidden text utilizing CSS styling or positioning.  Eliminate or re-style any hidden text so that it's obvious to the human user. Fix or eliminate any sections of rehashed words without context. Fix <title> labels and alt text containing strings of rehashed words. 

  1. Duplicate Content 

Duplicate content refers to basically the same, or precisely the same, content being on different pages inside your own website or on different websites. Talking comprehensively, duplicate content will be content that adds almost no value for the website users. Consequently, pages with practically little or no body content are additionally viewed as duplicate content. 

At the point when there are a several variants of content accessible, it's hard for search engines to figure out which variant to render and index and show in their search results. This brings down performance for all versions of the content since they're contending with one another. 

  • The Fix- 

By and large, the most ideal way to fix duplicate content is executing 301 redirects from the non-favored variants of URLs to the favored variants. If redirects aren’t possible, adding relevant canonical tags to the respective pages will also work in fixing the duplications. 

  1. Unnatural Links to or from your website 

Link building is, and most likely consistently will be a significant SEO practice. Obviously high-quality links to a website will improve a site's search rankings. Unfortunately, a few websites take it excessively far by attempting to get unnatural backlinks. In the event that your site has pages with the below mentioned backlinks, you might be committing the following costly mistakes: 

  • You have low link variety, e.g., most backlinks show up in the comments segment. 

  • You have a high volume of bad quality links. However, Google additionally gets dubious assuming that you have a lot of top-notch links. Balance is the key. 

  • You have heaps of backlinks procured in a brief time frame. 

  • The Fix- 

Eliminate the unnatural links occurring in keywords and on pages or add a rel="nofollow" trait to non-conforming links. Disavow any links that you can't get eliminated or no-followed. 


The most compelling thing to recall while creating or keeping up with your website is that your objective ought to be to give unique and great content that offers value for your users. Never attempt to make content for search engines, make content for users and optimize it for search engines. This is how you are going to make sure that your website avoids Google Penalty. 

Always Remember one thing…Google penalties don’t have to be permanent! 

As long as you have the determination and follow the means above you can recover from any Google penalty you experience on your website.