HomeSEOReasons for Google’s Penalty and Ways to Recover

Reasons for Google’s Penalty and Ways to Recover


Everybody wants to avoid Google Penalty.

Within a night, you can lose your continuous organic traffic and sales.

As a business or blog owner, you should always prepare for the actions that you need to do if your site is penalized by Google.

Today, in this post we will be discussing the reasons for a site’s penalty and the ways to recover it.

1. Cloaking and/or Sneaky Redirects

Both these things are against the webmaster guidelines. Cloaking is the different view of the same page to Google and the user. For sneaky redirects, users will be redirected to a different page from the original that Google shows.

For these things you may get two types of penalties:

  • Partial matches affect some specific portions of your site.
  • Full Website matches the whole website will be affected in this case.

How to Fix?

From Google webmaster find out the URLs that are marked as cloaked or sneaky redirected contents. Remove the redirects make both the page versions same. Submit the request for reconsideration. Hope it will be fixed soon. Generally, the redirects are done from Plugins, and .htaccess.

2. Cloaked Images

Like clocked content cloaking is applied on images too. Some cloaked image techniques:

  • An image is covered by another image.
  • The image showed different to use and Google.
  • Image redirects to another page or image.

How to Fix?

  1. View the same version both to Google and the user.
  2. If there are any spammy redirects remove them.
  3. Submit a reconsideration request with the explanation that you have done to remove the cloaked images.

Pro Tip: If you are using images from poor sources then check them.

3. Hacked Site

Word Press and other content management systems are still not fully secured. Using the vulnerabilities hackers can inject malicious codes to hack your website. Sometimes after some days, this thing comes to light.

If Google found they will notify you through Google Webmaster and mark your site as malicious on the search engine rank page. Too many spam pages will be injected and forced to be indexed on the webmaster.

How to Fix?

  1. First thing you need to contact your hosting provider. In this case, they can help you the most.
  2. Request your hosting provider to make offline your website.
  3. From the search, the console finds out the type of hacking.
  4. Try to remove the injected code as soon as possible.
  5. Find out the vulnerabilities of your website.
  6. Submit a reconsideration request to Google. After their review, the malicious mark on SERP will be removed also.

Pro Tip: Always be careful of hacking. Make a website backup weekly or monthly. If your website is an eCommerce platform then try to use a website security service like secure from the hosting provider.

4. Over optimized keywords and hidden texts

Using keywords naturally is important but over-optimizing it is not a good practice. You probably noticed that some people repeat their target keyword more than 30 times in an article. Another spammy activity is to use hidden text or link inside content.As a result, the site was deindexed by Google.

  • Partial matches: Some portions of your website will be penalized.
  • Full site matches: Your whole site will be deindexed.

How to Fix?

  1. Log in to search console> Find out the manual actions> Mark the portion that is penalized.
  2. Find out the hidden text or links that are using the same color as the webpage.
  3. Make the text the same color as other text and remove the text if it is used for any bad purpose.
  4. Find out the pages where keywords are stuffed.
  5. Fix the title tag, meta description, URL, and alt texts if they contain stuffed keywords.
  6. Request a reconsideration to Google. If you remove or fix all the issues then your site will be back on SERP soon.

5. Using Pure Spam Technique:

This is probably the highest percentage of the reasons why Google takes manual action against a website. If a website used bot-generated content or scraped content that is copied from another website or uses a cloaking technique then the website will face this action.

This penalty also comes in 2 forms :

  • Sub Matches that affect some parts of a website.
  • Site-wide matches affect the whole website.

How to Fix?

  1. Stop using these spammy techniques. Remove the pages that are already created using these techniques.

2. Request for reconsideration.

Pro Tip: Better to start another fresh website. There is a small chance to solve the problem. If you won auctioned domain and found this kind of action then clarify the issue to Google then there is a chance to reconsider.

6. Poor Quality Free Server

There’s nothing like the concept of “free hosting.” They inject spammy ads into your website also they can use your personal data. If Google sense this they will take action against your website.

How to Fix?

1.    Migrate to a reputed hosting provider.

2.    Once your site is completely moved then submit a reconsideration request  

Expert Tip: Don’t ever host your site on a poor server. Try to use reputed providers like Godaddy, Blue Host, Digital Ocean, etc.

7. Spammy Structured Markup

Always try to follow Google’s rich snippet guidelines. This point is basically eCommerce, job posting, review sites, recipe sites, etc. A well-generated snippet helps Google to show the information on SERP. An irrelevant markup can be the reason for the penalty.

How to fix it?

  1. If you found markup that doesn’t follow Google’s guidelines then remove them.
  2. Request for reconsideration.

8. No Ranked Keywords

There are tons of sites that do not rank for a single keyword. Generally, they publish poor content. Poor content means those are spanned version of existing content that doesn’t add any value or real information. Generally, poor link builders use poor content for building links. Other formats of poor content are:

  • Autogenerated content by software/ Content created by article spinner.
  • Poor affiliation pages, poor rewritten article.

Also, this action comes in two forms:

How to Fix?

  1. Find out those poor pages and remove them.
  2. Mark the affiliate pages that don’t contain good informative content with the affiliate links.
  3. Sometimes finding out those pages manually are not possible. For this purpose, you may use tools like Copyscape.
  4.  Mark the poor pages that contain less than 300 words with promotional links.
  5. After fixing these issues request Google to reconsider your website.

Pro Tip: Content is king still in 2020 and will be in the future. Never compromise with content. Spend the most of your marketing budget on content and create really valuable content.

9. Poor Quality Backlinks:

Using poor link-building techniques, we buy spammy network links. Some other types of poor backlinks are bulk comment link, link exchanges, and links from poor directories.  We often do this to push the SERP ranking. At the end the site is penalized for receiving poor backlinks.

How to Fix?

  1. Collect the backlinks from the search console or other tools like AHREF, and SEMRUSH.
  2. Monitor those links and mark the spammy links.
  3. Contact the website owners and request to remove or use a no-follow tag for your links.
  4. Reaching out to all the admins is not possible. So, you may submit a disavow file to Google. The disavow file should contain the links that you don’t want as your backlink

5. Finally submit a reconsideration request and mentioned that you have done these things to fix the issue.

Expert Tips:

Monitoring your links frequently is the best practice to maintain a healthy link profile. And be careful to select the sites when you are building links.

10. Unnatural External Links

Like the backlinks, the external links from your website are important to Google and users also. If you are selling links from promotional keywords to manipulate your client’s ranking or using irrelevant links that are do-follow in nature then you may face this type of action.

How to Fix?

  1. Remove the unnatural links otherwise add a no-follow tag to the sponsored link. In this way, you send instructions to Google not to follow or count the links from your websites.
  2. After fixing these issues submit a reconsideration request to Google.

Pro Tip: Try to use nofollow tags for the low-quality external links.

11. User-generated Spam

Did you notice that some people offer 500 links for $5? What do they actually do? They use the GSA technique to create automatic links on comment sections, forums, profile creation pages, and web 2.0 directories where contents are live instantly without review.

How to Fix?

i.Find out the sections where users can leave comments, publish guest posts or create profiles with links.

Look especially:

  • Comment section with adds.
  • Bulk irrelevant links in the comment section.
  • insert spammy keywords like “buy Cialis”.

ii. Turn off the auto-approve comment section.

iii. If you allow guest contribution then make the new user role as a contributor, not an author.

iii. Turn off the auto approved users. Approve new user account after review.

iv. Submit the reconsideration request.

Pro Tip: Don’t allow anything to approve automatically on your website.


Don’t play with Google. There is a reconsideration request but 100% of requests are not getting a 2nd chance. From the very 1st day follow the guidelines that Google provided. If something happened unconsciously then fix the issue and submit a reconsideration request with the proper explanation. Generally, it takes up to 8 weeks to receive the feedback from Google. If you faced this kind of problem previously and got rid of the penalty then please share your experience in the comment box.


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