Google penalty: how to get out of it and recover your positions?

Natural traffic should account for the lion’s share of a website’s overall traffic. But given the difficulty of ranking content, it can be tempting to want to speed things up.

Except that the search engine is on the lookout. Clumsy SEO actions, black hat techniques and other spamdexing abuses have every chance of triggering a Google penalty.

Has your traffic dropped sharply? Can’t find your pages on Google? You may have been the victim of a manual Google penalty or an automatic penalty.

Don’t panic just yet! Even if it’s an arduous task, getting out of a Google penalty is not impossible.

What’s the difference between a manual Google penalty and an algorithmic one?
When he was still at Google, Matt Cutts claimed that over 400,000 manual penalty actions took place every month at Google. Added to this already considerable number are the SEO penalties inflicted by the Panda and Penguin algorithms.

The algorithmic penalty is inflicted automatically. In other words, your page has been caught by a drifting fishing net (usually a Penguin). This type of penalty most commonly occurs just after a Google algorithm update.

The manual penalty is imposed by a human being, usually a Google controller (a kind of moderator). A manual penalty can occur if your site is sending out too many dubious SEO signals, or as a result of a whistleblower (yes, it happens).

How do I know what type of Google penalty my website has received?
Manual penalties are the easiest to detect in general, a message awaits you in Google Search Console. It tells you that your site has been subject to a manual action. Sometimes the reason is given, but it’s not always very clear.

If you don’t see a message in Google Search Console, it’s probably an algorithmic penalty. The latter is insidious and difficult to detect, or at least to confirm.

You can start by correlating the period when you dropped sharply with the date when a new algorithmic update took place.

Why did you receive a Google penalty?
There can be many reasons for Google penalties. You can guess by the type of penalty you received (automatic or manual).

Determining the causes of Google penalties
In the case of algorithmic penalties, Google never communicates the exact causes. However, it is possible to do a little investigation and deduce the reasons that may have caused the penalty.

In the case of manual penalties, Google is a little more explicit. It usually gives a few clues in Search Console.

Google Panda-related penalties
For example, if you’ve received penalties for duplicate content, it’s because Google has detected copied content on your site. This may be duplicate content from another site, or content copied from your own site (identical product pages, etc.).

Duplicate content, mobile incompatibility or server errors are all factors that can trigger Panda’s wrath.

Are Google manual penalties definitive?
It’s important to note that penalties are not always final. In fact, some can be lifted if you take the necessary steps to correct the problem.

Other Google manual penalties, on the other hand, are permanent, making it more difficult to recover your traffic and positions… if at all.

Google updates
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep abreast of search engine updates, so you can react in the event of a drop in traffic.

Backlinks, the leading cause of website penalties
Backlinks are the links received by a website. While backlinks are highly beneficial to SEO, choosing the wrong ones or “stuffing” your profile with artificial links can result in an algorithmic or manual penalty.

Remember: Google forbids the purchase of links in its guidelines. Most penalties caused by backlinks occur because Google suspects you’ve bought them.

Low-quality artificial links
Poor-quality links are often the result of (bad) netlinking. Over-optimized, they come from bizarre sites (EAT criteria), too far removed from your theme, spammed, etc.

Receiving too many links from websites that have nothing to do with yours can set off alarm bells. For example, if you run a shoe e-business, it doesn’t make sense to receive links from an angling site.

How to deal with a Google penalty?
Once you’ve identified the type of penalty on your website, it’s important to act quickly to try and recover your traffic and positions.

Panda or Penguin?
If you’ve been penalized by the Panda filter, you’ll need to focus your efforts on the quality of your SEO content. Analyze the pages that have been penalized and identify areas for improvement, such as keyword stuffing.

In general, it’s advisable not to delete penalized pages, but to modify them to bring them into line with Google’s requirements.

If you’ve been penalized by the Google Penguin filter, you’ll need to take action on your backlinks. Start by disavowing artificial or low-quality links via Search Console. Then focus on building quality backlinks from relevant sites, with a good natural anchor strategy.

Find the backlinks responsible for the website’s penalty
Analyze your backlinks to identify those that can be considered poor quality, such as blog comments and Russian or Chinese sites.

One link per domain to avoid penalties
This rule is a little strict. Google considers that a site receiving many links from the same domain is suspect.

Of course, it’s reasonable to receive several links from the same site, if it likes your site. But ideally, one link to your site per domain!

Domains with quality content
It’s important to use SEO tools to make sure that the sites sending links are “real” sites, with natural traffic and real content, with keywords related to yours.

In conclusion, to get out of a Google penalty…
Prevention is better than cure. The impact of Google penalties on SEO can be definitive. Getting back to your pre-penalty visibility will be difficult.

But if you’ve built up a poor SEO linking strategy in spite of yourself, or if you’ve been the victim of negative SEO practices (= poor quality links sent by people who don’t play fair), you need to get rid of the Google penalty.

Writing optimized articles to rank on Google!
Links are very important to improve your ranking on Google, but you still need to have content to rank for!

Better still, there are very effective algorithmic methods to help Google understand your article, and therefore rank it better on the targeted keywords, while maintaining high quality form and content.

That’s exactly what we offer you: high-quality articles in both form and content, semantically optimized to rank better for your target keywords.

More than 100 copywriters write for SEM Juice clients on a daily basis, along with our proofreaders and all the tools they need to deliver results worthy of the biggest media outlets.

The combination of links and SEO-optimized articles is extremely effective.

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