Google Penalties: How to recognize and recover from algorithmic penalties?

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One thing that scares almost all the players of the World Wide Web is Google Penalty. The internet is rife with the stories on how Google penalties destroyed the entire business of specific blogs and turned flourishing websites into digital deserts. While it is an appreciable endeavor by Google to penalize the websites and blogs involved in unethical techniques to boost their ranking, many times the genuine website might also get penalized as they fail to keep the pace with changing algorithms and updated guidelines. So you would need to follow ethical SEO practices in order to make your website Google-friendly. In this blog, we would help such websites in recognizing and recovering from the algorithmic penalties.

What is a Google Penalty?

While ranking a specific website for a relevant search query, Google uses the fine blend of technology and talent. It employs sophisticated software and expert manpower for the purpose. In short, your, blog/website content is rated after passing through strict technical parameters and deeply examined by experts.

If any illegal or unethical content practice is found that is in violation with Google’s terms and policies the website gets a penalty and as a result, the ranking suffers hurling your site several niches down the present position. Rest can be called the aftermath effects like reduced traffic and lower engagement.

Google Penalties can broadly be classified as :

  • Algorithmic Penalty: This penalty generally happens when Google’s software find/flag an issue in your website.

You need to directly manage/recover from the algorithmic penalty. Along with deep relevant information and specific tools you can expect to recover from Algorithmic Penalty without any requirement for communicating with Google in the same regards.

  • Manual Penalty: As the name suggests the manual penalty occurs when Google’s manpower detects an issue in your website and recovering from this penalty can be more difficult as you have to communicate with Google team. As these penalties are imposed by the human team, the communication process and further discussion can take some time and it can delay the recovery process.

In short, it is more difficult to recover from manual penalty than the Algorithmic penalty.

The best policy, therefore, is to stay away from e questionable backlinks and black hat SEO promotions.

The importance of constantly reviewing your site

As they say, precaution is always better than cure, be careful to follow the best guidelines and remain updated with the latest changes in the Google Algorithms Keep on analyzing your content on a regular basis.  As Google keeps updating its algorithms and guidelines from time to time what was acceptable last year might have turned into an unethical or black hat practice and can attract a penalty. Hence checking our website content quality is not a single time requirement but an ongoing practice.

Different types of Algorithmic Penalties

Here are some of the general algorithmic penalties by Google that can affect the ranking of your site:

Cloaking/Sneaky Redirects

If the pages you show to Google are different from the ones you show to the visitors, it is counted as cloaking and sneaky redirects.

How can you recover from Cloaking/Sneaky redirects?

  • Visit Google Search Console and click on the “Crawl”. Next click “Fetch as Google”
  • It will display the affected pages.
  • Examine redirects of the specific pages and delete the ones that redirect visitors to the unfamiliar website.

Cloaking: First Click Free Violation

When you show entire original content to the Google and partial content to the visitors it is counted as cloaking.

The examples include the sites that would require mandatory actions by the users (like subscribing, registering or signing in) for viewing the entire content.

How can you recover from Cloaking: First Click Free Violation?

  • Make sure that there should be no difference in the scope/length of content shown to Google and the visitors. In short, visitors should see what Google can see.
  • Find the WebPages that violates this rule by especially examining the pages that require subscriptions or registrations for viewing the entire content.
  • Fix it and submit for further consideration.

Cloaked Images

When you cloak the images in various ways it can lead to Google penalty. Here are different ways of cloaked images:

  • Obscured images
  • The difference in the images shows to Google and the ones show to the visitors
  • Mages Redirecting visitors to a destination they wouldn’t expect

How to recover from cloaked images?

  • Make sure that you show the same image to the Google and site visitors
  • Fix the issue and submit for reconsideration

Hacked Websites

The hackers are becoming an increasing menace on the internet. Using the advanced techniques they Hack your website and intrude into the website management manipulating it for their own vested interests that may involve using your website as a platform to display their own content and sharing the links. When it comes to the notice of Google it warns the visitors that our website is hacked eventually discouraging them from visiting your site and this affecting the traffic and reach.  You also experience a drop in the engagement rate.

How to recover from hacking?

  • The best way is to contact the web hosting provider and ask for expert help.
  • Displaying the website would do more harm and no good. So the first thing is to disable it until the issue is fixed.
  • You can go to the search console for checking the details about the hacking.
  • After identifying the specific damage and the security flaws take the relevant action and clean the site.
  • This process can be very difficult and it is wise to invest in the security expert professionals rather than trying on your own.
  • Once the website is purged from the toxic effects, get it tested.
  • Request Google to review your site and wait for the reconsideration.

Pro Tip: Use the opportunity to find the vulnerability and patch it up also finds other possible vulnerabilities that can affect the site in the future.

Plagiarised content

Plagiarised content is another major factor that can get your site penalized by the internet Giant. When you just rephrase the content already published on another website, and there are way too many similarities in the original ad rephrased content it is counted as plagiarism. And such websites are penalized by Google.

Though there are a number of tools both free and paid that claim to offer reliable plagiarism checking service it is best advised to use Copyscape, Not only is it a cost-efficient and effective but it is also widely accepted by the major digital brands as a reliable source that proves its efficacy.

How to recover from Plagiarised content?

  • Ensure that before publishing any content o your website you pass it through Copyscape that can easily detect the minute plagiarism as well and flag the problematic portions thus allowing it to stay clear from the danger’s way.


In order to gain good visibility on Google, the websites generally adopt specific measures to improve their rankings. However, intentionally or unintentionally they might end up violating the guidelines of Google and it results in Google penalty. The Google penalty is generally classified as a manual penalty and an algorithmic penalty. While recovering from manual penalty can be relatively difficult and time-consuming tasks, you can recover from the algorithmic penalty with some self-help and adopting the best practices. In this article have discussed various factors that cam led to the algorithmic penalty and how to recover from the same.