Google can apply different types of penalties to a website. They can be algorithmic penalties or manual actions, and they normally occur when Google detects SEO practices contradicting what its guidelines recommend.
When a penalty is applied, the affected (banned) website will suffer a deterioration in its rankings, which in turn will affect its organic traffic. Depending on the type of penalty, this decrease in rankings will only affect some keywords, or it could become widespread for all keywords related to your content.
Likewise, depending on the type of Google penalty, ranking deterioration can register as a sudden drop in organic traffic, or a constant but gradual decline in visits coming from search engines.
Human Level will analyse all the possible causes that could be to blame for the ranking deterioration to perform a diagnosis and to define a plan for the solution of the applied penalty, to help the website recover its previous organic traffic and its rankings in the search results.
The main reasons that can lead to a penalty in search engines
Would you like to know more about website penalties in search engines?
Search engines constantly update their algorithms. For that reason, a website that used to enjoy very good rankings could be affected by a new update. For example:
- Google Panda: the Google Panda update enforced new requirements with regard to keyword density and introduced the possibility of penalty for over optimisation. Hummingbird directs search engines towards semantic search, which favours use of synonyms, reformulations, analogous expressions, etc. to avoid abuse of target keywords. This usually involves revising title generation patterns, descriptions, alternative image texts, heading texts, link texts, etc., to make sure we’re following the latest Google guidelines.
- Google Penguin: The update called Penguin has notably increased the search engine’s control over the legitimacy of inbound links, penalising those websites, which it suspects have manipulated their popularity by artificially augmenting the number of links they receive and using their anchor texts for the sole purpose of improving rankings.
Human Level will initially perform a comprehensive SEO audit to diagnose a possible penalty, offer recommendations for reconsideration, detect improvement opportunities and design a search engine optimization plan focussed on accomplishing organic traffic growth.
Our audit analyses whether a website is strictly following Google’s latest guidelines and is in compliance with the latest requirements of its algorithm, namely: Mayday, Caffeine, Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, Ads/Page Layout (detection of excessive advertising in the above-the-fold section), etc.
Hereinafter, Human Level will continue to guide the client through a permanent SEO consulting service and will offer immediate response to any question, usually for a period between 6 and 12 months after recovery.
First and foremost, Human Level will diagnose the causes justifying this penalty and will apply the appropriate strategy depending on the algorithm update that is responsible for the damage:
The Google algorithm called Penguin has notably increased control over the legitimacy of inbound links, penalising the rankings of a website it suspects have manipulated their popularity through a considerable increase in links and anchor texts optimised with target keywords.
We use tools like Google Search Console, Moz Analytics, Majestic, SEMRush, Sistrix, and Cognitive SEO, amongst others, to thoroughly review all inbound links, link acquisition speed, geolocation of links, detect potentially manipulative links, etc., and we propose improvements in the creation of anchor texts whenever possible (to increase branded links and reduce keyword density, etc.), request correction or elimination of links which could be dangerous, and disavowal of links we can’t control.
Human Level Communications reviews the origin of current links and mentions, and the evolution of your website’s popularity profile looking out for suspicious or toxic links, managing their suppression or disavowal, to prevent or resolve Google Penguin penalties.
The Panda update imposed new requirements regarding keyword density, which prompted the possibility of getting penalised for over optimisation. Hummingbird directs the search engine towards a semantic search, which encourages us to use synonyms, reformulations, analogous expressions, etc., so as to avoid abusing target keywords in our SEO strategy.
This usually implies revision of title generation patterns, as well as meta-descriptions, alt texts for both images and links, heading tags, etc. to make sure we’re complying with the latest Google guidelines.
Human Level reviews the information architecture of your website and proposes improvements which can be carried out to favour ranking of content with the highest traffic and conversion potential.
After this comprehensive audit we will determine a diagnosis and a specific improvement plan, which we will propose to develop in a later SEO campaign.