It is important that you are aware of the manual actions that Google takes on websites that do not adhere to their guidelines. You need to know what is right and what is wrong to prevent your website being punished.
Google doesn’t take manual actions lightly, so if your website does receive one, then you have done something seriously wrong. If you follow proper SEO tactics recommended by a trusted SEO agency, you probably won’t ever see a manual action taken out on your website. But still, it is important to know what they are and be prepared.
You can find out if any manual actions have been taken against your website by looking in Google Search Console under the “Search Traffic” section, then in the “Manual Actions” section.
In most manual action cases, Google uses an algorithmic approach. This means that the algorithm Google has in place determines whether or not a site breaches guidelines and should receive a manual spam penalty.
Only on the rarest of occasions will Google itself choose to manually remove a website from their search results. To have Google actually stepping in is certainly on the extreme level, and you probably won’t experience this so long as you stick to the Google best practice.
So take a look below at everything you need to know about Google’s manual actions:
Preferred Manual Action Approach is Algorithmic
As discussed in the introduction, Google rarely takes manual action themselves and prefers for their algorithm to take care of business and catch the spammy sites. There would have to be a serious breach for Google to step in themselves.
The reason they prefer their algorithm is because catching and stopping one site that has found a loophole in order to rank will not stop others who have also found this loophole. It is better for Google to develop an algorithm that will search all websites, and catching all that have found a loophole.
John Mueller from Google talks about that Google only takes action when they understand that the issue cannot be solved using an algorithm. But only when someone is causing real headaches is when they step in and slap the website with a manual action.
Google’s manual actions can range from demoting the site in the search results, or to the other extreme where Google removes the page from its results altogether. If your business only operates online you can see how potentially damaging a manual action could be.
With Google’s algorithm being highly advanced, it leaves many wondering what type of issues cannot be resolved using their algorithm. Well, in the past Google has taken manual action against websites that exploited the Job Postings sections.
These websites where getting a high ranking for jobs postings that had expired and they were leaving the post live anyway. This meant Google handed out a warning to these sites stating that manual action was imminent if they didn’t remove expired job postings.
Google Takes Banning Sites Seriously
Google wants to ensure they are giving everyone a far go. They do not take giving manual action or banning a website lightly. If you do receive a penalty you have probably done something seriously in breach of their best practice, and you might have even known you where in the wrong.
Needless to say, you should always stick to Google’s best practice and avoid using any black hat or negative SEO tactics to artificially boost your rankings. SEO results take time and you need to be in it for the long haul.
You should stick to best practice because that is the right and fair thing to do, if not for that then for the fact that you are likely to be caught eventually and slapped with a penalty.
Google’s process of banning a website ensures that not one spam review team member can take all the action. There is a review process in place, which ensures webmasters that manual actions are serious and need to be treated that way.
Before any manual action takes place, other members review it.
This means less room for error and mistakes. Removing a site for Google’s search results can have a major negative impact on the business, and Google is aware of this and have put appropriate measures in place to ensure only the spammy sites are removed.
Penalty or Unable to Rank?
Remember that Google results do take time, so while it could seem like you have received a penalty, it may just be because results are taking their time. If you are unsure as to whether your site has been hit with a penalty or not, you can check if it has been indexed, by searching “site:www.yoursite.com”.
If your site has been penalised you won’t be able to find it here. If you do see you site listed then you know you haven’t received a penalty, you just may need to wait longer for results or have a think about changing your SEO strategy.