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GOOGLE MANUAL PENALTY-10June16

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GOOGLE MANUAL PENALTY-10June16

  1. 1. TABLE OF CONTENTS WHAT IS MANUAL ACTION.............................................................................................................. 2 EFFECT’S ON SITE PERFORMANCE.................................................................................................. 2 TYPES OF MANUAL ACTION............................................................................................................. 2 HOW DOYOU KNOW IFYOURWEBSITE HAVE A MANUAL ACTION?................................................3 REASONS FOR MANUAL ACTIONS.................................................................................................... 4 UNNATURAL LINKS TO YOUR SITE...............................................................................................5 Recommended actions................................................................................................................5 UNNATURAL LINKS FROM YOUR SITE......................................................................................... 6 Recommended actions............................................................................................................... 6 HACKED SITE.................................................................................................................................7 Recommended actions................................................................................................................7 THIN CONTENT............................................................................................................................ 8 Recommended actions............................................................................................................... 9 PURE SPAM.................................................................................................................................. 9 Recommended actions............................................................................................................... 9 USER-GENERATED SPAM............................................................................................................10 Recommended actions..............................................................................................................10 CLOAKINGAND SNEAKY REDIRECTS..........................................................................................11 Recommended actions..............................................................................................................11 HIDDEN TEXT ANDKEYWORD STUFFING ...................................................................................12 Recommended actions..............................................................................................................12 SPAMMYFREEHOSTS.................................................................................................................12 Recommended actions..............................................................................................................13 SPAMMY STRUCTURED MARKUP ...............................................................................................13 Recommended actions..............................................................................................................13 RECOVERING FROM A MANUAL PENALTY .....................................................................................14 HOW TO SUBMITA RECONSIDERATION REQUEST.....................................................................14 GOOGLERECONSIDERATION REQUEST EXAMPLE.....................................................................14 REFERENCES..................................................................................................................................16
  2. 2. GOOGLE MANUAL PENALTY WHAT IS MANUAL ACTION As a webmaster or SEO, there's nothing worse than getting a message from Google Webmaster Tools about a manual action that has been placed on your website. Manual actions are Google's way of demoting or removing web pages or websites as a whole based. They aren't related to Google algorithm changes like Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, or the others. They are simply Google manually punishing websites for Spammy behavior. Manual Actions, often called manual penalties, are applied to sites when owners or webmaster’s attempt to manipulate a site’s rankings using either of the following methods, which is considered as a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in a Google manual penalty being imposed on their site: EFFECT’S ON SITE PERFORMANCE A Manual Action will often result in a noticeable deterioration in a site’s performance in the SERPs. You may also notice that the site or particular pages on the site no longer appear in search results. If you think your site may have received a manual penalty you can chec k this in Google Search Console. The degree to which the performance of your site is affected will depend on the type of penalty you have received. TYPES OF MANUAL ACTION There are two types of Manual Actions: 1. A site-wide manual action (‘site-wide match’): This section will let you know if your entire site has been penalized, and the reason for the penalty. 2. A partial manual action (‘partial match’): This section will let you know if specific parts of your site (or off your site) have been impacted, as well as the reason and
  3. 3. extent of the manual action taken as a result. Under ‘Affects’, you may see either ‘Some incoming links’ or a list of specific URLS or sections that have been impacted. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR WEBSITE HAVE A MANUAL ACTION? The easiest way to tell if you have a Manual Action on your website is to check you Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) and under Search Traffic look at the information in the Manual Actions section.
  4. 4. If you have a Manual Action you will see a message that looks similar to this: If you haven’t got a Manual Action you will see a message that looks similar to this: REASONS FOR MANUAL ACTIONS If you discover you’ve been impacted with a manual action from Google, your first step should be to determine exactly which guideline(s) you’ve violated. According to Google, there are few actions that may be listed as part of your manual action warning. Each of these can be seen as direct violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.  Unnatural Links to Your Site  Unnatural Links from Your Site  Hacked Site  Thin Content  Pure Spam  User-Generated Spam  Cloaking and Sneaky Redirects
  5. 5.  Hidden Text and Keyword Stuffing  Spammy Freehosts  Spammy Structured Markup UNNATURAL LINKS TO YOUR SITE If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative links pointing to your site. Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Google acknowledges that the unnatural links they found are out of your control, and therefore they don't take it out on your site's overall rankings. They do suggest you try removing links that you can control, but they don't punish you for the ones you can't. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS First, review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on linking. Next, follow the steps below to identify and correct the violation(s): 1. Download a list of links to your site from Search Console and Majestic SEO tool. 2. Check this list for any links that violate our guidelines on linking. If the list is large, start by looking at the sites that link to you the most, or links that were created recently (in the last few months). 3. For any links that violate our guidelines, contact the webmaster of that site and ask that they either remove the links or prevent them from passing PageRank, such as by adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute. 4. Use the Disavow links tool in Search Console to disavow any links you were unable to get removed.
  6. 6. UNNATURAL LINKS FROM YOUR SITE Google doesn't only punish websites with unnatural incoming links. They also will impose a manual action on websites with unnatural outbound links. This likely occurs on websites that Google believes is selling links to other websites directly, or by offering dofollow links for sponsored or paid reviews. It can also affect outbound links that are a part of link exchanges or other link schemes. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS First, review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on linking. Next, follow the steps below to identify and correct the violation(s): 1. Identify any links on your site that were paid for or that appear to violate our linking guidelines, such as excessive link exchanges. 2. Either remove these links, or change them so that they no longer pass PageRank, for example by adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute or by redirecting them through a page blocked by robots.txt.
  7. 7. HACKED SITE If you see this message on the Manual Actions or Security Issues page in Search Console, it means that Google has detected pages that appear to have been hacked by a third party. Often a hacker will upload files or modify existing files, which then appear as spam in our index. The fix for a hacked site is to get all of the malicious code and malware removed as quickly as possible. Once you have done this, the manual action will be removed, and Google will no longer warn visitors to your website that your website is infected. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS 1. For a comprehensive list of what you can do if your site was compromised, please refer tohttp://www.google.com/webmasters/hacked. 2. If you have no idea how to fix your website in the event of a hacking, you can turn to services like Sucuri or SiteLock that specialize in malware monitoring and cleanup. You can prevent these events from happening by paying similar services to constantly monitor and secure your website from hackers and malware.
  8. 8. THIN CONTENT When Google decides that you have content that provides little value, they may impose a manual action for thin content. Google defines thin content like the following. Automatically generated content - If a human is not creating your content, then it will likely fall under this category and be considered thin content. Thin affiliate pages - If the only content your website has is for the purpose of promoting products or services as an affiliate and provides no additional value, it might be considered thin content. Content from other sources - If you rely upon content scrapers to steal content from other websites, or you get low-quality content from outside contributors (guest posts), then it might be considered thin content. Doorway pages - If you have multiple pages or websites that you are trying to rank for specific queries that take the user to essentially the same piece of content, then they might be considered doorway pages. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site.
  9. 9. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS First, review the following sections of our Webmaster Guidelines: Automatically generated content Affiliate programs Scraped content Doorway pages Next, follow the steps below to identify and correct the violation(s) on your site: 1. Check for content on your site that duplicates content found elsewhere. 2. Check for thin content pages with affiliate links on your site. 3. Check for doorway pages or auto-generated content on your site. 4. If your site contains any of these types of content, think about whether your site provides significant added value for your users. This article about building high-quality sites can offer you more guidance. 5. Improve your website so that it provides significant value for your users. PURE SPAM The manual action for pure spam can cover a lot of different abuses of the Google Webmaster Guidelines. These include scraped content, automated gibberish, cloaking, and other items that are covered by previously covered manual actions. This includes spammy incoming and outgoing links. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS The only way to recover from this manual action is to clean up any pages and links that are considered to be spam by Google. Depending on the type of spam and how much you have on your website, this may involve completely restructuring your website's architecture, content, on-site optimization, and off-site optimization.
  10. 10. USER-GENERATED SPAM If you own a blog, forum, social network, or membership site with public profiles, you may receive the manual action for user-generated spam based on the behavior of visitors and members of your website. User-generated spam can include blog comments, forum posts, and profiles that are spammy in nature. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS Review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on user-generated spam, then follow these steps to identify and correct the violation(s) on your site: 1. Users commonly add content to sites in forums, blog comments, and user profiles. Look for profiles with commercial usernames like “Discount Insurance” or posts with advertisements, off-topic links, or gibberish text. 2. Identify pages on your site where users could have added content. 3. Find spammy, unrelated content in these sections and remove it. Check these areas for the following:  Posts or profiles that look like advertisements  Posts or profiles with out-of-context or off-topic links  Posts or profiles with commercial usernames — names like “Discount Insurance,” that don’t sound like real human names — that link to unrelated sites  Posts or profiles that appear to be automatically generated, not written by a real user of your site 4. Search your site for unexpected or spammy content on your site, using the site: operator in Google search along with commercial or adult keywords that are unrelated to your site’s topic. For example, searching for [site:example.com insurance] will return content from your site related to insurance. 5. Remove any inappropriate content. 6. Consider implementing measures to prevent user-generated spam.
  11. 11. CLOAKING AND SNEAKY REDIRECTS This manual action covers two scenarios. If your website has content that is shown to Google, but not shown to visitors, Google may consider it as cloaking. If your website has any pages that are indexed in Google, but redirect users to pages that they would not have gone to intentionally, you may have what Google considers sneaky redirects. Sneaky redirects can also apply to redirects that are conditional, such as redirects that are only applied to visitors from Google search. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS First, review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on cloaking and sneaky redirects. Next, follow the steps below to identify and correct the violation(s) on your site: 1. Use the Fetch as Google tool in Search Console to fetch pages from the affected area of your site. 2. Compare the content fetched by Google to the content seen by a human user (you!) when visiting the site. 3. If the content differs, identify and remove the part of your site that’s serving different content to Google and users. This will require looking through your site’s code on the server. 4. Check for URLs on your site that redirect users to somewhere other than where they expected to go. 5. Check for URLs on your site that redirect conditionally, for example by only redirecting users coming from Google search, or only users coming from a particular range of IP addresses.
  12. 12. 6. If your site redirects users in any of these ways, identify and remove the part of your site that generates these redirects. This will require looking through your site’s code on the server. HIDDEN TEXT AND KEYWORD STUFFING Manual actions for hidden text and keyword stuffing happen when Google discovers keywords on a page that are not shown to users or an overuse of keywords in the website's optimization. This manual action can sometimes include websites that have been hacked or infected by malware, where the hack injects keywords that you do not know about in your websites code. If you do not know of any instances of hidden text or overused keywords that you have done to your website, you may want to have your website checked by a hacking or malware removal service to ensure that your website hasn't been hacked in a way that you cannot detect. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS First, review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on hidden text and keyword stuffing. Next, follow the steps below to identify and c orrect the violation(s) on your site: 1. Use the Fetch as Google tool in Search Console to check for content that’s visible to our crawler but isn’t visible to a human user (you!) when visiting the site. 2. Check for text that’s the same, or similar, color as the background of the webpage. 3. Tip: You can often reveal such text by selecting all the text on the page, e.g. by pressing Ctrl + A or Command-A. 4. Check for any text hidden using CSS styling or positioning, as described in our guidelines. 5. Remove or re-style any such text so that it’s equally discoverable by search engine crawlers and by human users. 6. Check for lists or paragraphs of repeated words without any context. 7. Check <title> tags and alt text for strings of repeated words. 8. Remove any such words or other instances of keyword stuffing. SPAMMY FREEHOSTS For the most part, Google can tell when a website has spam versus when a website on the same hosting server has spam. But in some cases, if your website is hosted on a server is full of spammy websites, your website might also be lumped into the same grouping. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site.
  13. 13. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS 1. Get tips for preventing and identifying abuse of your service. 2. Remove any existing spammy accounts from your service. SPAMMY STRUCTURED MARKUP If you see this message on the Manual Actions page, it means that Google has detected that some of the markup on your pages may be using techniques that are outside our Rich snippets guidelines, for example: marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, or other manipulative behavior. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS Make sure that the markup on your site meets Google's Rich snippets guidelines if you would like it featured in Google’s search results. This might involve updating existing markup or removing any markup that violates the guidelines. Once you've made the changes according to the Google Guidelines, submit a reconsideration request. If Google Web Spam team determine your site is no longer in violation of their webmaster guidelines, they’ll revoke the manual action.
  14. 14. RECOVERING FROM A MANUAL PENALTY A reconsideration request is a request to have Google review your site after you fix problems identified in a manual action notification. HOW TO SUBMIT A RECONSIDERATION REQUEST Please follow the steps below to help you get started: 1. Sign into your Search Console account. 2. Verify all versions of your site to ensure you have complete and accurate data. 3. Visit the Manual Actions section to see if Google has taken any actions on your site. 4. Fix issues on your site as described by the manual action. 5. Review Security Issues in Search Console for other possible issues with your site. 6. Click on 'Request a review' to ask Google to reconsider your site. Reconsideration requests are handled by real people; so good documentation helps the reviewer better understand the steps you’ve taken to address the manual action. A good reconsideration request does three things: 1. Explains the exact quality issue on your site. 2. Describes the steps you’ve taken to fix the issue. 3. Documents the outcome of your efforts. GOOGLE RECONSIDERATION REQUEST EXAMPLE Here’s an example of a reconsideration request. Please note this is just one example. Based on the manual penalty the documentation will defer. This example is best for unnatural backlinks.
  15. 15. Dear Google Webspam team member, Thank you for taking the time to read our request. Our site was recently given a penalty for unnatural links. In reviewing our links, we now see that we have tried to manipulate the search results by using links containing anchor text from syndicated articles. We also purchased links from [company name]. Although these actions were taken by our SEO Company, [insert name], we take full responsibility for their work. We no longer employ this company. We have worked hard over the last few months to remove as many of these links as possible. We have contacted webmasters using their email address available on the site, their who is address and also via contact forms where available. This spreadsheet shows all of our links and what efforts we have taken for removal: [link to Google Spreadsheet. IMPORTANT – Make sure you change the privacy settings on the Google Doc so that anyone with the link can see it] This document shows the original source code of each of the emails that we have sent to webmasters: [insert link to Google Doc] And this document shows screenshots of contact forms that we have filled out. [insert link to Google Doc] We have submitted a disavow.txt file to ask Google to disavow the unnatural links that we were unable to remove. Thank you again for reading this request. We have worked hard to resolve the quality issues on our site and are completely committed to following the Quality Guidelines from this point on. Sincerely, [your name]
  16. 16. REFERENCES https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2604824?hl=en http://www.linkresearchtools.com/case-studies/google-manual-action-penalties-recovery/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/06/16/the-definitive-guide-to-google- manual-actions-and-penalties/#4bb15de25309 https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2237534/unnatural-links-recovery-emerging- from-a-manual-penalty http://www.seonick.net/manual-penalty-recovery-from-10000-organic-sessions-per-day-to- 1000-and-back/ http://www.jellyfish.net/seo-social/google-penalties-hub/what-is-a-google-penalty/manual- penalty/ https://www.quicksprout.com/2015/09/02/the-complete-guide-to-google-penalties-both- manual-and-algorithmic/ https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35843 https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2262933/google-reconsideration-request- guidelines-example

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