Google Penalties come as a result of you trying to manipulate Google Search Results. But unfortunately, you can’t “eat Google’s cake” and have rest of mind. One thing about blogging is that “if you don’t have patience, your blog would be used as a reference“.
Success in Blogging is not all about how you rank today but how you can maintain your position in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Now, one of the major causes of Google ranking drops is Google Penalty. In this article, I will teach you how to recover from Google Penalty if you have already been hit.
You may want to go through the mistakes that will make Google forever and ever hate your blog here. Don’t jump to surviving Google Penalty without going through my Ultimate Guide on Google Algorithm updates.
Before we go straight into how to survive a Google penalty as a blogger in 2022, it is imperative that you know the various signs that you have been penalised by Google. The signs are:
- Your blog suddenly vanishes from Google like it never existed
- A serious and continuous Google ranking drops
- Manual Action Notification on Google Search Console
The List of Common Manual Actions are:
- Hacked site;
- User”generated spam;
- Spammy free web hosts;
- Spammy structured markup;
- Unnatural links to your site;
- Thin content with little or no added value;
- Cloaking and/or sneaky redirects;
- Unnatural links from your site;
- Pure spam;
- Cloaked images;
- Hidden text and/or keyword stuffing
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How Bloggers Can Survive Google Penalty
To survive a penalty from your Blog, you must take actions to rectify the problems specified in Google Search Console Manual Actions message(s). The following are lists of Google penalties and how to survive them:
A. Hacked Site
Hacking is when someone gains unauthorised access to your website login details to add, edit, delete data stored in that website. Someone can hack your blog and inject malicious codes into it. In most cases, they will redirect your post(s) to spammy websites.
Google penalizes hacked sites by removing all the content from search results and marking the homepage as hacked. This is one penalty you shouldn’t pray to encounter. One of my blogs was hacked a few weeks ago and it took me a lot to fix it.
Note: Most times, you can still be able to login and do things in a hacked WordPress site. In fact, your blog can be hacked without you knowing (until Google sends you a warning).
How To Fix A Hacked Site
- Contact your hosting provider and complain to them.
- Quarantine (Ability to prevent your webserver from serving pages) your site to prevent any more damage.
- Use search console to help identify the hacking type.
- Assess the damage if spam or if malware.
- Identify the pages or posts containing the spam or virus.
- Remove all the errors or remove the pages completely. If possible, do a fresh installation of your theme and change your login address using WPS Hide Login plugin.
- Request a review and ask Google to reconsider your hacked labelling.
Note: Requesting review or reconsideration is very easy. Simply scroll to Security and Manual action menu in the New search console. You will see an option to request review when you click on the issue. For the old search console, you will see manual action under search traffic.
B. KeyWord Stuffing
Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. You can get severely penalised for stuffing keywords.
How To Fix Hidden Text and/or Keyword Stuffing
- Navigate to Google Search Console > Crawl > Fetch as Google then fetch pages from the affected portions of your website.
- Look for text that is the same or similar in colour to the body of the web page.
- Look for hidden text using CSS styling or positioning.
- Remove or re-style any hidden text so that it’s obvious to a human user.
- Fix or remove any paragraphs of repeated words without context.
- Fix <title> tags and alt text containing strings of repeated words.
- Remove any other instances of keyword stuffing.
- Submit a reconsideration request after fixing these issues.
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C. Sneaky Redirects
If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that your site may be showing different pages to users than are shown to Google, or redirecting users to a different page than Google saw.
To make it easier for you, sneaky redirects is when you write an article on how to read and understand, then someone searches the article on Google, visits your blog but finds out a different and deceitful article entirely.
How To Fix Cloaking and/or Sneaky Redirects
- Navigate to Google Search Console > Crawl > Fetch as Google, then fetch pages from the affected portions of your website.
- Compare the content on your web page to the content fetched by Google.
- Resolve any variations between the two so they end up being the same.
- Check all redirects and remove redirects that:
- Send users to an unexpected destination.
- Conditionally redirect (ex: only redirecting users coming from a certain source).
- Are otherwise “sneaky”.
- Submit a reconsideration request after fixing these issues.
D. Thin Content With Little or No Added Value
Low-quality content that triggers this penalty generally come in the form of:
- Auto-generated / spun content.
- Thin affiliate pages with OEM descriptions, no added value, and/or no unique information.
- Scraped content from other websites.
- Low-quality (often guest) blog posts.
- Doorway pages.
How To Fix Thin Content With Little or No Added Value
- Identify and remove auto-generated or spun content.
- Identify affiliate pages that don’t provide added value beyond what the manufacturer or retailer offers. Thicken or eliminate those pages.
- Use duplicate content detection software to identify content found elsewhere on the web. Remove and/or replace that content.
- Identify content with low word counts and where appropriate, thicken those pages to be useful and informative.
- Identify and remove doorway pages.
- Submit a reconsideration request after fixing these issues
- Invest time and resources into creating content that is both unique and useful.
E. Pure Spam
Unlike many of the other penalties, no one can plead ignorance when it comes to this one. It is reserved for websites that aggressively engage in a combination of spammy techniques, including the use of automated gibberish, scraped content, and cloaking, among other egregious violations of webmaster guidelines.
This is another penalty that comes in two forms:
- Partial matches affecting portions of your site.
- Site-wide matches affecting your whole website.
- If this is the first offence, get your act together and comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
- Submit a reconsideration request after fixing the issue.
F. User-Generated Spam
Sometimes, spam can be generated on a good site by malicious visitors or users. This spam is usually generated on sites that allow users to create new pages or otherwise add content to the site. Some examples of spammy user-generated content include Spammy accounts on free hosts. Spammy posts on forum threads
Solution To User-generated Spam
- Look for everywhere you have comment box in your blog.
- Look for spam in:
- Advertisements posing as comments.
- Comments that include non-relevant links.
- Spammy usernames like “Cheap Viagra”.
- Auto-generated, generic, or off-topic comments.
- Remove all spammy and inappropriate content.
- Prevent unmoderated content from appearing on your website.
- Setup Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin to fight future spam on your WordPress blog.
- Request a review once your site is clean and no longer in violation.
F. Unnatural Links
If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Solving Unnatural Links To Your Site
- Download the links to your site from Google Search Console.
- Audit these links to identify any that may violate linking guidelines.
- Remove or add a rel=”nofollow” attribute to non-conforming links.
- Disavow any links that you are unable to get removed or no-followed.
- Submit a reconsideration request after you’ve cleaned up your link profile.
Read Also: How to disavow backlinks
Unnatural Links From Your Site
- Remove or modify these links by adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute so they no longer pass PageRank.
- Submit a reconsideration request after removing non-compliant links.
In conclusion, Google penalty is not the end of life. Also, you must understand that any short cut you take in blogging will “cut you short”. Follow principles in blogging so that you can end up a principal.
Hope you found this helpful? Feel free to share with friends and don’t fail to drop your comment using the comment box. I love you!