What are the indications of a Google Penalty?

November 26, 2014

Many companies rely on web search providers to bring internet traffic to their online business.  Without the web search providers, business would flow in much slower or even be non-existent, as people would be unable to find the business unless they already knew about.  Given that many web searchers are done by people looking for something without knowing the possible companies that can provide it, you can see why web search providers are so critical.

Given that web search providers like Google are incredibly big and direct a great deal of internet traffic, it makes sense that some people would try to game the system to have their website appear before others. The techniques for gaming the system change as the web search provider changes the algorithms used for generating results.  When sites like Google figure out that someone is gaming the system, or they believe someone is trying to game the system, then they will give a Google Penalty. Many times, it can be challenging to figure out whether or not Google has put a penalty on your website.  To that end, below are a few ways you can figure out if your website has been penalized by Google.

A Loss of Ranking

Google uses an algorithm called Penguin to find and rate various website results. Being the newest way for Google to give out penalties, it targets two things.  First, it looks for pages with very little to no content and down ranks them.  Second it searches for the number of links, and will penalize if links are coming from low content sites.  As a result of either of these, you may begin to see your ranking on Google’s front page slowly begin to suffer.  If your rank continues to gradually go down, and then settle in a small range of numbers, then this may be an indication of a Google penalty.  In addition, if you experience a dramatic loss in web traffic, then you may have also been recently penalized by Google.

Using Google Webmaster Tools

A more concrete way to tell if you have a Google penalty thanks to the Penguin algorithm is to make sure you have Google webmaster tools.  By going into the tools, you can see if someone at Google has penalized your website, as well as what corrective work you should do to remove the penalty.  Note, this only works if the penalty is a manual penalty.

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