Google Manual Actions: Frequently asked questions and their answers

For webmasters affected by a manual action, understanding why a particular penalty is applied, what the consequences are and how to adequately address the issue are key to resolving a potentially critical situation.

When penalties are discussed, some questions seem to come up more often than others. In this Q&A, which is a supplement to The Ultimate Guide to Google Penalties, I’ll include the questions I’ve heard asked most frequently, along with actionable answers.

Experience shows thatmanual penalties are infrequently issued, and only for serious offenses. Human errors in the process, while not impossible, are extremely rare. It is reasonable to assume that once a penalty has been triggered, it is not a false positive. As far as Google Webmaster Guidelines go, an actual violation was confirmed.

Ignoring a manual penalty is not a viable course of action. From an online business perspective, a manual penalty poses an incalculable risk to a website’s performance, even if it initially seems to have little to no impact on the site’s organic search visibility. It is possible for the effects of a penalty to only be felt over time, especially when factors such as technical setup, Google policy changes and increased competition in search are constantly in flux. And multiple violations can attract a closer evaluation and may trigger additionally manual penalties, effectively branding a site a repeat offender.

That being said, a manual penalty applied to a website does not spell doom for future search visibility prospects. At the point of writing, any manual penalty is revocable . More importantly. Google does not hold a grudge against past offenders, which only makes sense given their continued commitment to serving Google Search users.

Readers who do not find the specific answer they are looking for below, or in the Ultimate Guide, are encouraged tocontact the author so that we can update the guide to be even more comprehensive.

Q: My site was just penalized. When do I apply for reconsideration?

The right time to apply for reconsideration is upon permanently fixing the reason for the penalty and putting together documentation to show the steps taken to resolve the issue, which can be provided for the Google team to review. Applying prematurely is counterproductive and likely to prolong the problem.

Q: How do I go about manual penalty removal?

  1. Carefully read the notification message received from Google and look for penalization reasons highlighted and possible clues regarding how to solve the issue.
  2. Analyze the problem. This process requires gathering data and can take time, possibly several weeks.
  3. Fix the issue, ensure Google Webmaster Guidelines compliance going forward and document all steps taken.
  4. Submit a short and to-the-point rationale along with the reconsideration request that documents the efforts you made to address the penalty. Make sure all claims are replicable. Do not negotiate or explain — just focus on what has been done to fix the problem.
  5. Avoid major changes to the site while the request is being processed. Too many fluctuating search signals at one time won’t improve a site’s standing in Google.

Q: My reconsideration request was rejected. What now?

If at first, you don’t succeed, start the process anew, as described above — there is no limit to how many times you can apply for reconsideration. If at a loss, procure the assistance of an SEO professional who can assess the damage and identify a solution.

Q: My site has been affected by a manual penalty, but the impact does not seem severe. Can I just ignore the penalty and go about my business as usual?

Penalties can be adjusted and refined, and their visible impact may change over time. It is not recommended to ignore any existing manual penalty.

Q: It seems to take weeks before a reconsideration request is processed. How about I apply now and work on the fixes for the site in the meantime?

That is not a recommended course of action. Any prematurely submitted request may result in a rejection, which will require even more thorough clean-up efforts in the subsequent attempt.

Q: What’s the difference between a manual penalty and an algorithm update like Panda or Penguin?

Manual penalties are applied by the Google Search Quality team if egregious Google Webmaster Guidelines violations are identified. They typically trigger a notification in Google Search Console.

Algorithms utilize search-relevant signals to rank sites accordingly. Technically, there are no “algorithmic penalties” — if your site loses visibility after an algorithm update, that generally means that ranking signal weighting has been adjusted. There are no notifications for sites affected by any algorithmic recalculation.

Q: I just purchased an aftermarket domain or an existing site which is still penalized. I’m not aware of black hat techniques and/or Google Webmaster Guidelines violations committed by previous owners. Do I tell Google it’s not my fault?

No. It does not matter who’s responsible for existing violations. It’s only relevant whether they are present or not.

Q: I just purchased an aftermarket domain or an existing site. Is it possible to verify ownership and see past notifications/warnings?

No, currently Google is not offering this option. Be sure to request full Google Search Console message history disclosure as part of the domain/site transition.

Q: Is it okay to fix the issue that triggered a manual action, apply for reconsideration and roll back once it was granted?

That is not a recommended course of action. Manual penalties can be reapplied.

Q: Is there an avenue for one-to-one communication with Google to explain our situation regarding a manual penalty?

Unless you have a chance to personally meet a sympathetic Googler from the relevant team presenting at a search industry event, there’s no channel offering broad one-to-one communication between site owners and Google.

Q: The reconsideration request was granted; however, the manual penalty warning remains visible in Google Search Console. What now?

On occasion, the established process tends to fail. If the manual penalty message hasn’t disappeared from Google Search Console, highlighting the issue in a second reconsideration request is recommended.

Q: There’s no manual penalty warning visible in Google Search Console, yet the site has suddenly dropped in organic search. What’s happened?

The reason for a sudden drop in organic search may also be technical or related to a new or refined Google algorithm kicking in. The only method to identify the actual reason causing the issue is to conduct a full SEO audit.

Q: The message received does not match the language of my website. How do I address the Google team in my reconsideration request rationale?

The Google team responsible for processing reconsideration requests has the capacity to cover many languages, including all major European languages. If in doubt, apply for reconsideration in English.

Q: What’s the expected turnaround time for a reconsideration request to be processed?

Currently, Google does not officially guarantee a specific turnaround time. Experience derived from a substantial volume of reconsideration requests for individual sites submitted within the last 24 months as of writing indicates that reconsideration request processing can take between several hours and several weeks. There’s no accurate way of predicting the estimated waiting period.

Q: Important updates are pending release; however, the website is penalized. Is it recommended to still go ahead even though the manual penalty isn’t resolved?

That depends on the type of penalty applied, how it affects the website and what kind of changes to the website are planned. In most cases, it is prudent to hold off on any releases and address the manual penalty problem first. Once it is resolved, the impact of any release can be assessed more accurately.

Want to know more about manual actions? Check out Google penalties and messages explained — Search Engine Land’s ultimate guide .

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listedhere.


奥迪带来搭载半自动系统的新 A8 在经过了无趣的官方宣传和有趣的蜘蛛侠预热之后,新款的奥迪 A8 今天终于带着一身新科技登场亮相了。这款搭载了主动空气悬架、轻混动引擎和全新车载系统的产品号称是全球首款达到 Level-3 自动驾驶等级的量产车,毫无疑问,在奥迪眼中它代表了自己未来的发展方向。 Gallery: 20...
Amazon Echo gets Sonos-style multi-room audio Amazonspeakers can now play back audio in multiple rooms at once. It’s about time. The company today announced Echousers can now sync music across...
调查:全国专利代理事务所都在用什么管理软件?... 蛰伏了一年多,差不多可以回答这个问题了。 先来看一组数据,截止2016年全国正规(具代理资格)的专利事务所,据统计接近1500家(详见炮制IP: 创业维艰:从青铜到王者的全国事务所打怪晋级之路 ),2017年新增了200多家,目前达到1694家(2015-09-25日的数据)。...
员工出差越来越多,“坐飞机”这件事越来越重要了... 编者按:随着商务旅行需求的变化和商务航线航班的增多,差旅管理公司如何能为企业获取最优票价?商务旅行体验将对员工的工作满意度产生怎样的影响?文章编译自tnooz,原题为 Finding the best fares for business travelers 根据全球商...
Long-Term Customer Loyalty Starts (or Ends) With Y... There is an emerging truth in the business world: Companies that overlook onboarding will struggle to hold on to customers. The idea has grown a...
Search Engine Land责编内容来自:Search Engine Land (源链) | 更多关于

本站遵循[CC BY-NC-SA 4.0]。如您有版权、意见投诉等问题,请通过eMail联系我们处理。
酷辣虫 » Google Manual Actions: Frequently asked questions and their answers

专业 x 专注 x 聚合 x 分享 CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

使用声明 | 英豪名录