Google Penalties : Manual vs Algorithmic

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If you need to keep track of all latest news, rumors and (educated) theories behind Google penalties, you should frequent WebmasterWorld forum of course.

I do not encourage you to trust everything you read there as this will most likely make you paranoid (you might want to go ahead and see the poll results to get an idea how much penalty discussions worry webmasters) – but watching others share their experience and comparing it with yours is a good way to avoid Google disasters in practice.

The most recent thread there lists a few penalty related observations worth discussing here, I guess. Is it possible to tell a manual penalty from an automatic one and how can they be different? Of course, no one knows the exact answer but the thread participants’ observations should be paid attention to:

Manual review Algorithmic penalty / filtering
Penalty causes:Manual penalties are usually related to off-site over-optimization, i.e. aggressive link building campaignsAlgorithmic filtering usually takes place with on-site over-optimization.
Penalty symptoms:Ranking changes effect the whole site (though it can be also the sign of automatic one).Only a few of site keyword rankings were effected.
Penalty removal (after the penalty flag is cleared):A manual penalty might only be removed in slow steps.An algorithmic penalty is often removed automatically; it can also be removed with no apparent reason “except that a lot of time passed.”

One more good point to consider (for new sites): if you are sure everything is ok and you have never broken any rules but still suspect you were penalized, don’t rush to submit a reconsideration request – which might basically mean that you admit you were guilty of spamming even though you agree to be good from now on. Just give it some time (a couple of months probably) and you will see increased ranking again.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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  • watching others share their experience and comparing it with yours is indeed a good way to avoid Google disasters in practice.~~Thank you very much.Keep sharing 🙂

  • doc

    ‘Don’t be evil?’ You should see what Google’s doing on YouTube today. Video’s with URL’s in the description or channels are being *ALTERED* with spaces randomly inserted – *Rendering the URL INCOMPLETE and websites UNREACHABLE if a viewer clicks on them.*

    I just got a Google Alert on one of my channel’s videos – and even the alert picked up on the incomplete URL.

    Imagine the power Google wields: they could parse and munge the URL’s of every YouTube video and Channel – and keep MILLIONS of people from leaving YouTube to another reachable site.

    It ain’t just my video’s either. It’s happening to videos across the system….

  • This is great information!

    I agree about taking your time before making changes. When a new client comes to us with a Google penality, I normally recommend that we take our time, think it through and don’t rush to contact Google…sometimes it can make it worst!

  • So, we should not get caught in algorithmic penalty. Manual review should be reasonable and can be escaped if the aggressive link building was done by competitor.

  • Don’t rush to submit a reinclusion request? I disagree. I’ve found a couple sites for clients had penalties. Once I found out why – I cleaned them up and resubmitted immediately. Google had us indexed in less than a week in 3 cases. I say, once you fixed the problem(s) – rush – rush!

  • whats confusing is when this happens and you haven’t done anything.

  • Hi, it’s a great info, I just checked my site with it.