Google Penalties: Explained in the Easiest and; Simplest Language

We all remember how our mothers used to punish us by saying, “Since you have cheated on a test, you are not allowed to go outside to play?”

Mothers are experts in punishing us when we make mistakes. This approach of our mothers to mend us has inspired google as well. Google also penalizes you by levying penalties if you do something wrong with your website.

What is a Google Penalty?

Google Penalty is a kind of punishment to your website. This punishment does not let your website earn profits. It makes you experience a continuous drop in your site’s visitors. It can be of two types:

  • Manual (Expires after some time)
  • Automatic (You have to take necessary actions to get rid of it)

When does Google Impose a Penalty on Your Website?

Google imposes a penalty on a website only if it violates the quality guidelines of Google. You must take all the preventive measures to avoid penalties because if you become prey to it, you can experience a severe fall in the rankings & traffic.

Did you know?

Google does not make use of the word ‘Penalties’ directly. Instead, it writes ‘Manual Actions’ & ‘Algorithmic Actions’ in place of penalties.

How would I Know whether My Site is Penalized or Not?

If you experience a sudden fall in Google’s rankings & traffic and have encountered many technical SEO issues, then there could be two reasons for the same:

  • Some of Google’s team members reviewed your website & took action on it.
  • Because of the algorithmic action taken in the wake of Google’s Update, your website has been demoted.

Note: If you rely on a good digital marketing agency for getting SEO Services, then you mat not find your website penalized.

What is the main Motive of Google Behind Using Penalties?

Long time ago, Google realized that there is no best way to fight spam websites other than imposing penalties on such websites. Here is how it works:

  • Google keeps on issuing guidelines on how the websites should be.
  • If any of the websites seem to manipulate or violate Google’s guidelines, he will become a perfect witness to experience google penalties.

Did you know?

Every day, google finds nearly 40 billion spam pages.

At What Stage Does Google Declare The Page To Be Spam?

Google systems are so robust that they detect the spam pages in the initial stages. It is the main reason most spam pages do not even get a chance to reach Google’s index.

If a spam website somehow manages to get through the first stage of checking and successfully gets indexed, it can not escape double-checking which google takes place once a website is ranked.

Please Note:

Such clever and deceptive content may get shown in the search results, but their search rankings will always be low.

Now our intelligent readers must be getting a question in their mind, “If Google has an efficient automatic system for penalizing the websites, then what is the need to take manual actions?”

Here is the answer: Automated Systems can only provide 99% protection against spam. The rest of the 1% protection can be provided by manual efforts.

How Can You Identify Whether the Given Penalty is Manual or Algorithmic?

Manual Action Algorithmic Actions
If a website is penalized by manual actions, you can easily view the issue under ‘Security & Manual Actions’ in ‘Google Search Console.’


Manual actions taken against your pages do not allow them to rank higher. If the page comes out to be wholly spam, it can even be omitted to be viewed on the search results.

If google has imposed an algorithmic action against your website, you usually cannot know it since you do not receive even a single notification.


So how would I know whether my website is penalized or not?

You have to look at your organic rankings, and in case you think that there is a drop in your traffic and rankings immediately after the new update from Google is launched, it suggests that your website is penalized by google.

What if I have Done Nothing Wrong, but My Website is Ranking Low?

It’s not always about ‘YOU.’ Yeah, I accept that there could be cases when you have done nothing wrong, but your website is still not ranking. There is a reason behind this:

“Google does not only penalize the websites which are using wrong techniques. It also rewards the ones who are going well. Since there is one spot for one website in SERP, Google may drag you a few spots down as someone is performing better than you.”

So sometimes it’s not your fault!

Which kind of Manual Actions can Affect a Website?

Manual actions can affect your site in two ways:

  • The entire Site can get affected
  • Only a Specific section or URL of the site can get affected.

Why don’t Google Solve Technical Issues on its own instead of Penalizing your Page?

Some manual actions are broad, while others are specific. Their main goal is to neutralize the issue permanently. If Google finds it handy to solve it on its own, it will surely do. But if it is hard to cope with it, then google ought to take serious action against it in the form of penalties.

How do Most Penalties Occur Today?

Those websites that are trying to manipulate the search engines get penalized the most. If you are relying on any of the following, then google will not think even twice to penalize you:

  • Using or Providing Unnatural links to your site
  • Publishing content that does not have any value

How Can You Fix Such Issues To Remove The Penalty Imposed On You?

Since most of the penalties are imposed on websites which are having a maximum number of unnatural links, you must:

  • Check your anchor texts
  • Check referring domains

You are required to clear your linking profile up to a great extent. I do not think it will be sufficient if you only rely on disavowing the links.

How can you Lift the Penalties?

If your website is penalized by manual actions, you must take the required steps to mend it. Once you have corrected it, then ‘Request Review” for the particular issues.


You can make your ‘Review Request’ even more convincing

Try to document each step and message you sent to other website owners to remove certain links. It will create a positive effect on your appeal.

People also Ask:

Can my Website get Penalized for Duplicate Content?


Google will not penalize you. BUT don’t raise your expectations. Google will not even consider ranking the websites which have duplicate content. It will only focus on making the websites with original content rank at #1.

Does Google take Direct Action on the Websites against which the Spam Reports have been submitted?

Google does not directly consider using these reports to take action against violations. But yes, such statements play a significant role in helping Google’s algorithms figure out the best way to help them improve the spam detection systems & protect their search results.

Can a Penalty Expire on its own?

You will be surprised to hear that the penalties imposed by the manual action expire. But the ones resulting from an algorithmic change do not expire.

Final Comments!

Google Penalties is an effective way to keep the web free from spam websites. As I have mentioned above, the main motive of Google’s algorithm is to punish spam websites. But it also knows to reward those who are performing best and are compliant with Google’s guidelines. So Kinex Media suggests, “If your website is error-free & follows all the regulations issued by google, do not become still with your efforts. Try to gain benefit from Google’s Algorithm”.

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