Various SEOs often get penalized in various manners by Google while trying to compete with other search engines such as Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird. Penalties often lead to websites suffering from drop in traffic volumes and in turn, revenues.

There are several reasons as to why Google penalizes websites, post being aware of which, corrective measures may be undertaken. Some of the causes for Google penalties which affect one’s ranking and de-index sites include:

  • Poor Quality – Sites that have little or no quality content or which add no value to the user or are free from original content are often penalized.
  • Hacking, Spam or Malware – If sites are hacked or affected by malware, the same is deemed unfit for visitors. Even if intense spammers target the appearance of low quality sites, Google may flag red for such sites.
  • Keyword Stuffing – If keywords are used excessively in an unnatural manner, the same points to Google that one is trying to intentionally gain traffic. Similarly, repeatedly used anchor texts are viewed as unnatural. Anchor texts should vary with different keywords.
  • Unnatural Links – Several links are often created for the purpose of mainly SEOs rather than for the benefit of readers are often unnatural. Links should be well-distributed throughout the site and not limited to a single page.

google_algorithm_changes_1998_2012

Signs to Show if Site is Penalized-

One’s website may be penalized by Google for the above mentioned reasons, but there are various signs that indicate this such as:

  • Sudden Drop in Rank –There may be sudden or steady drops in one’s rank. The reasons for this may include one or more keyword phrases, or certain website pages.
  • Webmaster Tools –One can manually check the penalty levied, if any on Google Webmaster Tools, where such details are listed in the section “Search Traffic and Manual Actions”.

Measures to Undertake in case of Penalization –

One can take measures in case of the site has been penalized. Try to find the cause of the problem and then adopt the below mentioned cures:

  • Remove Duplicate Pages – One should remove duplication of pages from the website along with the pages or posts for which the content is of poor quality and moreover add no additional value to the user.
  • Security Measures – Malware, spam, and viruses can give one a low rating hence, it is a good practice to ensure security measures for such situations are in place.
  • Disavow Link Tools – This tool allows one to disavow any links that may give a problem to the website. This should be used with care with surety that no helpful links are erased in the matter. Link Audits, done with the use of Google Webmaster Tools should be done prior to disavowing any links as it helps in backing up the links.
  • Low Quality Links – Links associated to spam sites such as online casinos, porn sites, etc. should be removed. Link audits can help resolve this problemwith revealing sites containing viruses and malwares.
  • Reconsideration Request – If one is confident that the website does not have any problems for penalty, one can send a Reconsideration Report to Google via its Webmaster Tools.