There’s a lot of talk around Google penalties out there. It’s not uncommon for features of the algorithm to be confused with penalties. Algorithm updates are designed to ensure quality standards and provide the best experience for users, so it stings a little if you end up on the wrong side of it considering it’s supposed to reward good sites and demote bad sites.
Understanding whether or not your website is suffering as a result of a true penalty or the algorithm is important for developing the right recovery SEO strategy.
The biggest difference between penalties and algorithm events is the requirement to interact directly with Google.
Penalties require interaction and explanation your SEO work. Google will prompt you to take certain actions to address the problem and then request an explanation, but there is no way to interact directly in regards to algorithmic issues.
Below are some of the common penalties and how to recover from them.
Sneaky redirects and Cloaking
Showing different pages to users then you show to Google is called cloaking and sneaky redirects direct users to different pages then the ones shown to Google. Both actions violate Search engine guidelines and can result in a penalty being applied to your website.
The penalty can be partially or wholly affecting of your website. You can resolve this issue by comparing your content pages and resolving variations between the pages that Google and users see. Remove any redirects that send users to strange destinations or conditionally redirect them. Once you’ve taken these actions you should submit a reconsideration request. Make sure you do the right thing and use one of Best White Label SEO agencies.
First click free violations
This penalty happens when sites show full content to Google but restrict users view of the content. Tis penalty can be levied against part or your entire site. To fix the issue, you need to ensure that Google can see the same content as your users can see. Check out Google’s click free policy for more information.
Cloaking practices are look upon poorly for images too. Common examples of cloaking an image might include obscuring the image behind another, using sneaky redirects, or sending users to a different image than expected. To fix the issue you’ll need to ensure Google and your users are seeing the same image.
Hackers are always looking to exploit vulnerabilities, usually to include malicious links or content onto a site. If Google recognizes hacking activity they will alert you and place a notification on the site that it has been affected by hackers – this contributes to a fall down the rankings. To address this issue you will need to quarantine your site, identify the form of the hacking and clean your site to remove any malicious content before submitting a reconsideration request. The best way to protect against harmful hacking activities is to always have a clean back-up of your site at the ready.
Including or attempting to hide keywords throughout your site will be discovered and punished by Google. Too many keywords and hidden text will make your content read unnaturally and negatively impact the experience of you users. Google can penalize individual pages or you whole site for this type of behavior, to address this issue you will need to remove or rework the offending content before requesting reconsideration.
These are just a few example of penalties that are common for webmasters to stumble across. Fortunately most are easily fixed and the steps to rectify the issue are easily followed. Taking proactive measures can prevent issues from arising in the first place, but if they do make sure you respond quickly.