How Can You Recover from Google Penalty?

8 min read

A Mini Guide Google manual penalty removal

In the vast landscape of the internet, where websites strive to climb the elusive ladder of search engine rankings, there's one ominous specter that can haunt even the most seasoned webmasters: the dreaded Google manual penalty.
It's the digital equivalent of a red card in the world of soccer, an unwelcome slap on the wrist from Google's omnipotent algorithm, and it can send your hard-earned online presence spiraling into oblivion.

But fear not, dear fellows, as today, we embark on a journey of salvation as we delve into the art and science of "Google manual penalty removal."

So, let's not waste time beginning the guide- Here we go!

What Exactly is Manual Google Penalty?

A manual Google penalty refers to a deliberate action taken by Google's search quality team to penalize a website for violating its webmaster guidelines. This penalty is imposed manually, typically in response to identified instances of spammy, manipulative, or deceptive practices that aim to artificially boost a site's search engine ranking.

These penalties can result in a considerable drop in a website's search engine rankings, reduced visibility in search results, or even complete removal from Google's index, thereby negatively impacting the website's organic traffic and online presence.

Process of Google manual penalty removal

Google manual penalty removal is a process that demands for dedication, patience, and a thorough familiarity with Google's guidelines and policies.

Let's walk you through the step-by-step process of removing a Google manual penalty and provide a real-world example to illustrate each step effectively.

Identify the Penalty

The first and crucial step in Google manual penalty removal is to identify the penalty. When your website's traffic and search engine rankings suddenly plummet, you need to investigate whether Google has imposed a manual penalty. You can inspect your Google Search Console account to find this data. An example of a penalty message may look like this:
"Google has detected unnatural links pointing to your website, leading to a Manual Penalty for violating our Webmaster Guidelines."

Consider an online shoe store, 'ShoeShine,' which noticed a significant drop in organic traffic. After checking their Google Search Console account, they discovered a manual penalty message for unnatural backlinks.

Understand the Reason

Once you've identified the penalty, you need to understand the reason behind it. In ShoeShine's case, the reason was unnatural backlinks, which implies that their website had low-quality or spammy links pointing to it. It's essential to comprehend the violation to rectify it effectively.

Address the Issue

Once you find out the issue of Google penalty, it’s time to make some, take some action, and address these issues. Different websites suffer from different penalties; however, let's walk you through the two major Google penalty removal. Here we go!

Link Cleanup

In the case of unnatural backlinks, it's time to clean up the bad links. Start by identifying the problematic links using tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or Moz. Then, reach out to the webmasters of those websites and request link removal. If that fails, you can use the Google Disavow Tool to disavow those links.

Let’s say 'ShoeShine' used various SEO tools to identify the unnatural backlinks and reached out to the webmasters to remove them. They also submitted a disavow file to Google to disavow the remaining harmful links.

The removal of these unnatural backlinks will surely help them to get rid of this penalty.

Technical SEO Fixes

Aside from link issues, technical SEO problems may also contribute to the penalty. Address these issues by improving site speed, fixing broken links, optimizing images, and ensuring mobile-friendliness. Technical SEO fixes can improve your website's overall health.
For instance;
'ShoeShine' performed a comprehensive technical SEO audit to identify and resolve issues such as slow page loading times, broken links, and mobile responsiveness problems.

Request Reconsideration

After addressing the issues, you need to submit a reconsideration request to Google. Clearly outline the actions you've taken to rectify the problem and provide evidence of your efforts. Be honest and transparent in your communication with Google.
For instance;
'ShoeShine' submitted a reconsideration request to Google, detailing the steps they had taken to clean up unnatural backlinks and improve their website's technical aspects. They provided documentation of their outreach efforts and disavowed file submissions.

Monitor Progress

Once your reconsideration request is submitted, monitor the progress. Google will review your request and provide feedback. It may take many weeks for Google to process the submission and update your website's status.
Picture this;
'ShoeShine' patiently waited for Google's response, checking their Google Search Console account regularly for updates on the reconsideration request.

Stay Compliant

To ensure long-term success, it's vital to adhere to Google's Webmaster Guidelines continuously. Regularly audit your website for any potential issues and make necessary adjustments. Staying compliant with Google's policies is crucial to prevent future penalties.
Consider this;
'ShoeShine' implemented a proactive strategy to stay compliant with Google's guidelines. They regularly audited their backlink profile and technical aspects to ensure that no issues resurfaced.

Seek Professional Help

If the manual penalty removal process seems overwhelming or if you're unsure about certain aspects, consider seeking professional help. Experienced SEO experts can guide you through the process, saving you time and ensuring a successful penalty removal.

Realizing the complexity of the penalty removal process, 'ShoeShine' decided to hire an SEO agency specializing in penalty recovery to provide expert guidance.

Learn and Prevent

The final step is to learn from your experience and take steps to prevent future penalties. Try to comprehend the characteristics that led to the penalty and implement strategies to safeguard your website's SEO health in the future.
Picture this;
'ShoeShine' learned valuable lessons from their manual penalty experience. They established a robust backlink monitoring system and implemented strict quality control measures to prevent unnatural links from harming their website again.

Ending Note:

Google manual penalty removal is a challenging yet essential process for restoring your website's online reputation. By identifying the penalty, understanding the reason, addressing the issue, requesting reconsideration, monitoring progress, staying compliant, seeking professional help, and learning from the experience, you can successfully regain your website's position in Google's search results. Just like 'ShoeShine,' with dedication and the right approach, you can turn your penalty into an opportunity for growth and improvement.


What is a Google penalty?

A Google penalty is a punitive action taken by Google when a website violates its webmaster guidelines. It can result in a significant drop in SERPs and traffic to the website.

How can I tell if my website has been penalized by Google?

Common signs of a Google penalty include a sudden drop in organic search traffic, a decline in keyword rankings, and a notification in Google Search Console indicating a manual penalty.

What is a manual penalty, and how does it differ from an algorithmic penalty?

A manual penalty is assessed by a human reviewer at Google who identifies a violation of their guidelines. An algorithmic penalty is an automated penalty triggered by Google's algorithms.

What are the most common reasons for a manual Google penalty?

Manual penalties are often issued for issues like unnatural backlinks, thin or duplicate content, keyword stuffing, cloaking, or other deceptive SEO practices.

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