Complete Guide To Google Penalties And How To Fix Them

Ever heard of sports penalties? When the player violates any rule, he/she is penalized for their actions. Google penalties are somehow similar to sports penalties. These are designed to punish the website that has something wrong. Google penalty to be precise means that your website is no longer listed on the search results or your target keywords have dropped drastically. But, is something to worry about? It’s an obvious, yes! If your site gets Google penalty, your target audience won’t be able to find you. Basically, you become invisible to the traffic.

Do you have any idea of how many types of Google penalties are? Well, today, we will discuss a few types of Google penalties and different ways to fix them. Let’s discuss in detail!


Cloaking or Sneaky Redirects

In Cloaking, the users are shown different pages that are shown to Google. While sneaky redirects, on the other hand, send the user directly to a completely different page than shown to Google. Now, what’s common in both of them is they violate the webmaster guidelines.

Now, the penalty comes in two forms:

Site-wide matches which affect the whole website.

Partial matches which affect the portion of your site. And, it does not affect the whole website.


What’s the Fix?

  • One of the easiest ways to fix this is to navigate to the Google search Console, Crawl and then Fetch as Google. After that, you can fetch the affected portions of your website.
  • Another way to fix is to resolve the variations between two so that they end up being the same.
  • You can also compare the content on your website with the content fetched by Google.
  • Check the redirect and remove the ones that:
  • Conditionally redirect.
  • Send the users to an unexpected destination.
  • Are otherwise “sneaky.”

Once done with fixing these issues, send a reconsideration request.


Hacked Site

There is no surprise element, but the hackers are constantly looking for exploits in the content management systems to get malicious links. Now, this is often cloaked and difficult to fix. So, how to recover from the Google penalty?

When the Google recognize this fault, you will instantly get a notification saying – “This site has been hacked.” This further leads to the demotion in the organic results.


What’s the Fix?

  • Contact your web host and then build a support team.
  • You can quarantine your site to prevent it from any further damage.
  • You can also search console to identify the hack type.
  • Also, you need to assess the damage if malware or spam.
  • Identify the vulnerability to figure out how the hacker steals the information.
  • Clean your site and then request a review. Further, ask Google to reconsider the hack labeling.

Keep in mind, it is really important to have a recent and clean backup of your website. Installing security features for the website is also a great idea to tackle hacks.


Cloaking: First Click Free Violation

This type of Google penalty is levied against the websites which show full content but restricts the viewable to the users. This specifically includes users from Google services in compliance with Google’s first click free policy. Remember, the website which is it does not allow the user to see the full content, and requires them to subscribe, register, or log in to read the full details.

This penalty also comes under two forms:

Partial matches which affect the portion of the website.

Site-wide matches which affect the website fully.


What’s the fix?

  • The content which is shown to the users should be the same for the Google users as shown to Google. You can make the necessary edits to come into the compliance.
  • Once done with the edits, then all you need to do is to submit a reconsideration request.


Hidden text and Keyword Stuffing

As the name suggests, this simply means that Google has found your website guilty for using keyword stuffing or hidden text. This type of Google penalty also comes in two forms, i.e. the partial matches and the site-wide matches.


What’s the Fix?

All those who are looking for ideas on how to fix Google penalty. Well, that’s simple. Read out to know details!

  • The first thing you can do is to navigate to the Google search Console then crawl, and then Fetch as Google and pages from the various affected portions.
  • Also, look for the text which is similar in color to the body of the web page.
  • Check the hidden text using positioning or CSS styling.
  • Restyle the hidden texts and then fix or remove the paragraphs with the repeated words.
  • Make sure you remove the instances of keyword stuffing.
  • Again, once everything is done, simply submit a reconsideration request.


Pure Spams

You cannot ignore things when it comes to this one. Basically, it is reserved for the websites that engage in the mix of spammy techniques such as – scraped content, cloaking, and automated gibberish.

This form of penalty comes in the two forms, i.e. Side-wide matches ( which affects the whole website) and the Partial matches ( which partially affects the website).


What’s the Fix?

  • In case, this is your first offense, then you can get your act together and comply them with Google’s webmaster guidelines.
  • After doing this, you can submit a reconsideration request after fixing the issue.


Thin Content with No or Little Added Value

Shallow or low-quality pages that come under this category are usually in the form of:

  • Thin affiliate pages with no unique information, no added value, just the OEM descriptions.
  • Spun or auto-generated content.
  • Doorway pages.
  • Scrapped content which comes from other websites.
  • Low-quality blog posts.


What’s the Fix?

  • You need to start off by identifying the auto-generated/spun content and then remove it.
  • Also, identify the affiliate pages which do not provide added value. Then eliminate those pages.
  • You can also use content detection software to check if the content found elsewhere. Then replace or remove the content. Make sure you identify the low word counts of the content and make them more informative and useful.
  • After that, remove the doorway pages.
  • Once all done, submit a reconsideration report.

Remember, to build your web presence, you need must know and understand the Google webmaster guidelines and how Google works.  Before you begin reaching out for the fixes, make sure you learn how to fix Google penalty.


Avatar photo

Rahul Vij

Co-founded WebSpero solutions about a decade ago. Having worked in web development- I realized the dream of transforming ideas sketched out on paper into fully functioning websites. Seeing how that affected the customers’ generation of leads and conversions, I wanted to delve deeper into the sphere of digital marketing. At Webspero Solutions, handling operations and heading the entire Digital Marketing Field – SEO, PPC, and Content are my core domains. And although we as a team have faced many challenges, we have come far learning along and excelling in this field and making a remarkable online reputation for our work. Having worked in building websites and understanding that sites are bare structures without quality content, the main focus was to branch into optimizing each website for search engines. Investing in original, quality content creation is essential to SEO success in the current search climate. Succeeding in this arena ensures the benefits of producing visitor-friendly content. Directing all our teams to zoom in on these factors has been a role that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing throughout these years. linkedin

Categorized as SEO, Tips