Google Penalties

Search Engine Optimization

Our SEO Toronto Team noticed over the years Google has taken various steps to maintain the quality of the content which is being provided through its platform.

These actions taken by Google were targeted towards the removal of unethical SEO Search Engine Optimization practices like sneaky redirects and duplicate content so that Google can provide its users with high-quality content. This is why every website owner has to follow a set of rules which are mentioned in Google Webmaster Guidelines. If those rules are broken they may face a penalty that can lower their website rankings and in some cases, the websites may even get entirely removed from the SERP’s.

Types Of Google Penalties

Google has come up with two different types of google penalties called manual actions and algorithmic penalties. These two penalties target websites breaking different kinds of rules e.g. manual action targets spam and low quality and Algorithmic penalty targets issues like link schemes and keyword stuffing. 

1)     Manual Actions: Google has hired reviewers who go through sites and search for any material which violates the Webmaster Guidelines. Various reasons manual google penalty actions can be applied on your website are:         

  • Cloaking
  • Thin content
  • User-Generated spam
  • Keyword stuffing and hidden content

Manual penalties are made to target any misleading or spammy material. These penalties are harder to remove if compared to algorithmic penalties.

What Is Cloaking?

Showing search engine crawlers something different than what you present to users is called “Cloaking,” and it can potentially be used to trick users into visiting irrelevant or harmful pages. Cloaking is the act of showing different pages to users than are shown to Google.

What Is Considered Thin Content Or Scraped Content ?

Some website owners use content taken (“scraped”) from other, more reputable sites on the assumption that increasing the volume of pages on their site is a good long-term strategy regardless of the relevance or uniqueness of that content. Purely scraped content, even from high-quality sources, may not provide any added value to your users without additional useful services or content provided by your site; it may also constitute copyright infringement in some cases. It’s worthwhile to take the time to create original content that sets your site apart. This will keep your visitors coming back and will provide more useful results for users searching on Google.

Some examples of scraping include:

  • Sites that copy and republish content from other sites without adding any original content or value
  • Sites that copy content from other sites, modify it slightly (for example, by substituting synonyms or using Automated Techniques), and republish it
  • Sites that reproduce content feeds from other sites without providing some type of unique organization or benefit to the user
  • Sites dedicated to embedding content such as video, images, or other media from other sites without substantial added value to the user

What Is User Generated Spam?

User-generated spam tends to be an issue for large, user-driven sites. If this penalty is applied, that generally indicates that the affected site is being exploited by spammers and black hats. Here, Google is essentially asking the site owner to get their own house in order — or else.

The message usually includes a sample URL where user-generated spam has been detected. Accordingly, the penalty’s impact, a removal from Google Search results, is limited to the exact URL or directory mentioned.

Unnatural Links

Google condemns the use of unnatural links to Increase Backlinks ( Off Page SEO Strategy ). Hiring a link seller for link building purposes who sends non- social links to a webmasters site to unfairly boost their rankings is against the Google Webmasters Guideline. This is because, when Google spots someone using unnatural backlinks, they de-rank their website in the SERP’s.

2)     Algorithmic penalties: Google has created ‘Google’s Core Algorithmic Updates’ which include Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin, etc. These algorithmic updates are created to target websites violating specific kinds of Webmaster Guidelines. For example:

  • Penguin refers to the ‘Link Penalty’ which is created to target websites that are involved in creating link schemes and keyword stuffing.
  • Panda: refers to the ‘Content penalty’ which is created to search for low-quality content such as duplicates and content farming. Google releases new algorithm updates when they discover something which they don’t like. These updates are like warnings for webmasters. They warn and encourage webmasters to Create Quality Content that meets the new requirements and standards of Google.

One difference between the two penalties is that a website hit with a manual action penalty receives a report by Google. was not involved in the creation of this content. Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

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