Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Google Sheds More Light on Manual Penalties


Last week Google  finally released a more in-depth description within Google Webmaster Tools describing the reason(s) a manual web site penalty had been applied to a specific website. This news will now allow manually penalized site owners the necessary insight to correct the reasons for the penalty and apply to Google for reconsideration.

You can find this report within your Google Webmaster Tools account under “Search Traffic” > “Manual Actions”.

Here is an example Matt Cutts posted of the new penalty descriptor:

Matt Cutt's example of the response given by Google on a hypothetical penalty applied to his website

Some Background on Manual Penalties

Up until this change if you had been unfortunate enough to cheese off Google and receive a manual penalty they remained frustratingly tight-lipped on the reasons for the penalty. If you were lucky Google might have described what caused the penalty but it was often so vague site owners felt helpless and demoralized. As a result, I am sure many websites were completely abandoned and businesses that had all of their eggs in the Google ranking basket lost their shirts.

In short, it has been difficult for businesses who had not known their tactics were against Google Guidelines and today’s news at least gives them more tools to restore their site to good health.

4 Responses to “Google Sheds More Light on Manual Penalties”

  1. Asher Elran

    I wonder if you can see the reason for the penalty if you signed up for Google Webmaster Tools account after your site was penalized? I am pretty sure it will not show the manual penalty in that case.

  2. Ross Dunn

    Hi Asher, yes, you are correct. If you did not have Google Webmaster Tools setup before the possible penalty and you sign up after you will not see notifications from Google waiting for you – even if they would have arrived had you had the account.

  3. nur

    Thanks to let me know this, i hope my blog will health again in google eyes with this feature.

  4. George

    It is good to see Google being responsive to webmasters needs. Penalties can be so distressing. I wonder if there is a way to detect algorithm penalties though.

Leave a Reply