Many people believe that if you get a Google penalty, it’s curtains for you. There is no coming back from when the mighty search engine hammers you with a penalty. This blog will talk about Google penalty checker tools and how you can revive – yes, you can revive – after being hit by a Google penalty.
Before we go into how you can check, avoid, and get rid of Google penalty, we need to look at how you get there.
What can irk Google so much that it slaps website with penalties – some of which might take years to get off your back, while other take websites into oblivion from where they never come back.
What is Google penalty in SEO?
See, Google has certain parameters that websites – which are ranking on Google – should adhere to. These parameters are called ‘guidelines’.
Google’s guidelines are a set of rules that every webmaster should follow to optimize their website for Google bots to crawl and index it.
These guidelines include general guidelines, webmaster guidelines, content-specific guidelines, and quality guidelines.
Optimizing websites according to Google’s guidelines give every website a level playing field to get ranked.
It is like, they all prepared for an exam from the same curriculum; now who will come out on top will be determined by who worked the hardest and who got all the basics covered.
It maintains equality and makes the internet a happy place – where we all go to find answers and come back contended.
But, when in this world had anything been so copacetic?
Some people try to manipulate the search engine to gain undue advantage. They do things that Google specifically asks them not to do.
These tricksters manage to trick the algorithms – because there are 4.45 billion webpages on Google – and rank above other pages. It’s as simple as topping the class through cheating.
But Google is smart. It keeps updating its algorithms to sniff these humbugs out. So, when they are caught trying to fool Google, they are slapped with penalties.
There is an important distinction to make here. There are two ways for Google to penalize you. The first one is the manual action report, and the second is an algorithmic penalty.
An algorithmic penalty is when your SERP rankings drop because Google’s algorithms find your webpage is not relevant for a search query. It usually happens after Google’s core algorithmic updates.
The algorithmic penalty is hard to ascertain. There are no explicit warnings. However, you can determine if your website is hit because of algorithmic updates by coinciding the timeline of updates with your ranking and traffic graph.
If you find that your organic traffic has decreased after an update, it means you are hit by the update.
A manual action report is when Google itself tells you that your website is penalized. It also lists the reason for the penalty. These reports are received in the Google Search Console of your website.
These manual actions can affect your entire website or just a part of it. Once you identify and fix those issues, you can request reconsideration.
Identify the Penalty
Identifying the penalty, you’ve been given is essential before starting the process of fixing it. Several Google penalty checker tools can identify the nature of the penalty, pinpoint the source, and give solutions to fix it.
SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO tool that helps you completely optimize your website.
SEMrush Sensor monitors the change in SERP rankings of the websites. It then rates the volatility out of ten and classifies it into low, normal, high, and very high.
It also tracks the change in rankings of websites in different categories. For example, sometimes, rankings of art and entertainment websites might witness more fluctuation than health websites.
You can add your domain to check the change in your SERP rankings. If the change is ‘high’ or ‘very high’, your website is hit by algorithmic updates.
RankRanger is a customized SEO and Digital Marketing software that tracks all your SEO analytics. It creates a customized SEO outlook to help you understand what is working and what’s not working on your site.
It has two tools to check Google penalties: Rank Risk Index and Google Algorithm Updates.
The Rank Risk Index tracks the SERP fluctuations and classifies them as very high, high, normal, and low.
With this daily tracker, you don’t have to wait for an algorithmic update to find you whether you have been hit or not. If the fluctuation is high, you know beforehand that some changes are being made by Google.
The second tool by RankRanger is Google Algorithm Updates. This tool helps you keep track of all the algorithm updates – when were they made, what changed after them – and correspond it with the fluctuation in your website’s SERP.
Panguin is a tool to check Google penalties designed by Barracuda. It is simple and easy to use. If your website has a Google Analytics account linked to it, you can sign into Panguin and see your penalty graph in seconds.
It also maintains a timeline of core Google updates. It helps you investigate whether these updates have impacted you or not.
- Moz Algorithm Change History
Moz Algorithm Change History is a timeline of all Google updates – minor or major – from 2000 to this date.
This page also tells you how an update might affect your site. This page is updated as soon as an update is announced, or some major changes are witnessed in SERP trends.
You can start with this tool if you think your website SERP rankings dropped significantly and see if there is a recent update that might have caused it.
Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker is another one of those tools that use popping graphs to tell you if your website is impacted.
It breaks down traffic data and provides insights to tell whether the traffic drop is caused by penalties or not.
However, it requires Goggle Analytics’ data for up to six months and 5000+ monthly visits to give you accurate information.
After gathering the data, it presents it in a graphical form that is easily understood. It also gives you a predictive list of tasks you should work on.
Fruition has both free and paid versions. It is ideal for you if you have a buzzing website that attracts thousands of viewers every month.
Algoroo is a Google algorithm tracking tool developed by DEJAN. It tracks up to 17,000 keywords and looks for fluctuations in their rankings.
It gives you data for up to two years. You can adjust the duration of which you want the data. The red denotes a high ‘roo’ value, which means that the rankings for these keywords fluctuated the most in this duration.
It is an effective tool to find out how these changes correspond to algorithmic updates.
How do I recover my Google penalty?
All these tools are effective in finding out of your website has been hit by a Google algorithmic update. In the case of algorithmic updates, you have to track these updates and see what changes they caused.
If you see a considerable fluctuation in your organic traffic and SERP ranking, then your website is affected by these updates.
The best way to do so is to stay informed on all Google algorithm updates. Follow Google Search Liaison Officer on Twitter to know what updates are being rolled out.
If you have outsourced your SEO to an SEO company, you can ask them about these changes and how they had impacted websites all over the internet.
Once you have updated your content – sometimes there is no need to do so – in lines with recent updates, then you just have to wait for Google to index your page again and recover your rankings.
Manual action reports are easier to get done with as they specifically mention what the problem is.
Once you have fixed the violation pointed out by Google, you will have to file a “Reconsideration Request” with Google to review your site. According to Google, a good request should:
- Explain the issue on the site
- Describe all the steps taken to fix the issue
- Tell what the outcomes of the changes are
Reconsideration reviews take days and weeks to be taken up. However, you will be notified when your request is received, is in progress, and when there is a decision on it.
Google penalty can hit you blind or after telling you that it is going to hit you. The best you can do, after being penalized, is to review the causes of the penalty.
Even in the case of algorithmic updates, you must assess the changes intended by Google with these updates and how you can improve your site to fit in those parameters.
If you haven’t done anything wrong, then you need not worry at all. If you receive a threatening ‘penalty’ notification in your Google Search Console, don’t freak out. Take a deep breath, and drink water.
Read the notice with a cool mind and understand what it says and what it wants you to do to remove the penalty. Once you’ve done that, gracefully ask Google to review the changes.
If you did it right, you can be back up and running in no time.