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Google Search Engine Penalties

Have you noticed a significant decrease in the amount of your website’s traffic? Have you seen that there are much less website surfers coming from the Google Search Engine?

This may be a temporary thing as search engine rankings fluctuate on a daily basis. If the problem continues, you may have been hit with a search engine penalty. You can tell that you have been hit with a penalty because besides your loss of position in the SERPs, you won’t rank for your own domain name and your PR will drop significantly.

You can get hit with a Search Engine Penalty for a number of reasons but most reasons are for doing something bad to trick the search engines or maniuplate your rankings using blackhat tactics.

Here are a list of some of the common search engine penalties with a brief description:

Google -50 Penalty
What is the Google -50 penalty? A website or page suddenly drops 50 places in the
Google results,  hence the term “-50 penalty”.

Google 950 penalty
What is the Google 950 penalty? A website or page suddenly drops to the last
page of Google results, a loss of approximately 950 places, hence the term
“950 penalty”.

Search Engine Banning
Exclusion from the Search Engine.

Now that you know what search engine penalties are, below are the things you might be doing that can get a dreaded penalty on your website:

  • Duplicate Content.
  • Buying and selling links (sitewide links).
  • Issues such as linking to banned/bad websites.
  • Hidden links and text on your website.
  • Too high a density for an anchored keyword.
  • Shared ip address with a spammer.
  • Incorrect Redirects.
  • Doorway pages.
  • Blog and Guestbook Spam.

The good news is most of Google’s penalties are automatic, and once you remove the offending factors, the penalties will be automatically lifted. You’ll just have to wait until the penalty is lifted. If you’ve learned from the error of your ways and want to get the penalty lifted, CLEAN UP YOUR ACT. Once you’re sure you’ve done this, request reinclusion in the Google Index at http://www.google.com/support/bin/request.py. Let Google know that you’ve fixed the problem(s) and don’t plan on doing it again.

Good luck!


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August 5th, 2008 at 7:26 am

One Response to “Google Search Engine Penalties”

  1. seo company guy Says:

    Thanks for the tip, I never knew the penalty actually had a name, learned something today - thanks! So here are a few other obvious ones for readers to read…

    Google Search Engine Penalties
    Over-Optimization Penalties
    Many webmasters think that the engines can penalize some sites which “try too hard”. The theory is that if you’ve got your money phrase all over the place — in the < B >, and < I > tags, ALT and TITLE parameters, domain, subdomain, directory name, and filename, and it’s repeated several times throughout the page, and it’s the only link text that other sites use in their links to you, then the engine figures you’re making a blatant attempt to cheat and they wind up pushing your site further down, rather than further up. And while the engines rank pages, not sites, it’s believed that some penalties apply to a whole domain, not just to a specific naughty page.

    Duplicate Content penalty,
    Stop copying content! Most of my customers do not realize how much they plagarize. I tell them, if you have copied it, then Google already knows about it, and you have already been dinged for it!

    Meta Keywords,
    No longer than important, so don’t overuse and don’t repeat certain words to many times!

    Changing hosting companies or IP addresses
    I run into this one often, users are unaware of it. If you change hosting, you are basically starting over. In some cases you can preserve your PR, but often not possible if you actually change hosting companies.

    Happy SEO efforts

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