Google penalty is one of the worst things for a webmaster.
Websites penalized by Google cannot receive traffic and higher rank in the search result because your entire website does not appear in Google search results or some pages of your website are removed from the Google index.
If your website traffic has suddenly dropped, this may be due to a Google penalty.
If you are wondering if your site has been penalized by Google and how to check it, then you are in the right place.
In this article, I’ll discuss in detail how to identify if your site is blocked or penalized by Google and ways to fix Google penalty.
So let’s get started…
What is Google Penalty
When a site or URLs is completely removed from the Google index, it means that the website has been affected by the Google penalty.
A Google penalty leads to a sudden drop in the rankings of the entire site or just some pages. But there can be several reasons for this unexpected situation:
- Your keyword’s search volume has reduced.
- Some of your backlinks may have been removed.
- You have redesigned your website.
If none of these issues is here, make sure your website has received Google’s penalty. You need to act fast so you can recover your traffic and search rankings.
How to Check if Your Website is Penalized
First, you need to check whether your site is penalized by Google or not.
To check if website is blocked by Google, here is the search term you should enter into Google.com to know whether your website is banned by Google or not.
Search ‘site: yourdomain.com’ (replace yourdomain.com with your domain name) in Google search. If you do not get a search result for your website, it means that your site has been penalized by Google and the entire website has been removed from the Google index.
But if you are able to see some results, you are not blocked by Google.
If your website traffic has decreased, you may have done something against the Google guidelines and your website has been penalized by Google search algorithm updates.
Top 7 Google Penalty Checker Tools
If you are looking for Google penalty checker tool to check Google penalty for your site, then here are some of them that can help you.
SEMrush Sensor is Google’s rank and algorithm tracking tool. This tool measures volatility in search results, tracking down 20+ categories on mobile and desktop and highlighting possible Google Updates.
Panguin Tool is a free SEO tool that helps you analyse whether you’ve been impacted by Google’s algorithm updates.
It uses Google Analytics to report if your site got hit by a Google update.
This tool breaks traffic information and gives you graphical insights and reports which Google updates have affected your website ranking or traffic.
With the free version of this tool, you can connect up to two domains, but you can unlock more features by upgrading to premium.
MOZ is a well-known website for SEO. It provides various tools that can help you in increasing website traffic. One of those tools is Algorithm Change History.
This tool lists all Google updates with dates, and detailed information. If you see a sudden traffic drop overnight, you should immediately visit Algorithm Change History.
5. Rank Ranger Rank Risk Index
RankRanger gives you all the necessary information regarding Google algorithm. It shows everything with color-coded, making it easy to understand and address issues.
Blue means you are completely safe, green tells you that you are ok but you can improve things, and red means you are in the danger zone, and you need to fix things quickly.
6. Fe international Website Penalty Indicator
It is easy to use and does not require signups. Just you need to enter your domain, and it reports your past years of traffic, visually combined with major updates.
7. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the most essential tools that should use every website owner. It gives you information about how your website performing in Google, also errors and ways to fix them.
If your Website Is Penalized by Google, Google Search Console is the easiest way to know whether your site is hit with a Google penalty.
You just need to click on Security & Manual Actions >> Manual Actions from the sidebar.
Google will display a message “No Issues Detected” that means your website is safe from algorithm updates or manual penalty.
But if you have been penalized by Google it will show the type of penalty along with proper instructions as to how you can get rid of the applied penalty.
So you can either use Google penalty checker tools or check with Google search strings to see if your website is a penalized by Google.
12 Reasons Google can Penalize Your Website
Here are some possible reasons that lead your website to a Google penalty:
1. Toxic Links
Having too many toxic links or linking from spam sites can cause you a penalty from Google.
If you did any of these things: buying links, exchanging links, submitting your website to thousands of spammy directories, you will probably get a Google penalty.
To recover, ask webmasters to remove the links or you can use Google disavow tool. How to use Google disavow tool to get rid of toxic links, I will tell you later.
2. Broken Links
If your website has too many broken links, then you are sending a bad signal to Google. And also Google will reduce crawling your site.
Google hates the 404 error page. Also, affects the user experience of your website visitors. Here is a detailed guide on How to Find and Fix Broken Links on Your Website
3. Thin Content
If your website has many pages that have too short and does not provide any value then either delete them or merge them together (try to add useful unique and original information).
4. Duplicate Content
Google prefer to content that is unique. If you are constantly copying content from other websites, you’ll never get good results and Google may soon penalize or ban your site.
5. Malware or Suspicious Code on Your Website
If your website is infected with malware or has been hacked completely, Google stops sending visitors to your website to prevent them from getting infected.
Google informs website owners about possible malware attacks on their website through Google Search Console accounts. If you receive such a notification, fix it as soon as possible.
6. Hidden Links and Text
These tactics are used by hackers to hide link and text on the website or to manipulate Google. In case of any hidden link or text, it can be considered suspicious (against Google guidelines).
Google has become very smart and they can easily read hidden text or links on your website, even if you tried to hide it through a CSS trick.
7. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is when someone repeating the same keyword many times to manipulate their position in the search results.
A few years ago, some marketers used keyword stuffing to increase their website rankings. But now keyword stuffing is against Google’s quality guidelines and lead to Google penalties.
8. Slow Loading Speed
No one likes to visit a slow loading website. Google always wants to provide the fastest experience to its users. Therefore it uses speed as a ranking factor.
If you are seeing a traffic drop on your site, it may be due to slow loading speed. There are lots of tools to check website loading speed. But I recommend you use PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom and GTmetrix tools.
Here are quick tips to improve the website loading speed:
- Upgrade to PHP 7.2.
- Optimize your image size.
- Optimize your Database
- Keep only useful plugins.
- Delete unwanted media.
- Minify CSS and JS Files.
- Use the best cache plugin.
- Minimize Redirects.
- Use a lightweight theme.
- Use CDN.
- Use a good web host.
9. High Bounce Rate
But having a high bounce rate, your ranking will be lower in search engines (SERPs). This means that pages are less useful and users are not interested in your content. You have to change your strategy.
10. Lost Backlinks
Backlinks are still the most important ranking factor in SEO, losing backlinks can have a huge impact on your ranking.
You can use the Majestic, SEMrush or Ahrefs tool to check your site’s backlinks. These tools give you real-time information about your backlinks profile.
Furthermore, type ‘link: yourdomain.com’ on Google search. Google will show a backlink for your website. If you do not get any results, then your website is banned or completely deindexed by Google.
Check out these link building strategies:
- 18 Top Blog Submission Sites List
- How to Create Quality Backlinks
- Internal Linking for SEO: Why and How
- 650+ High Domain Authority Sites to Get Dofollow Backlinks
- Dofollow and Nofollow Links in SEO
11. Affiliate Links
People who are running affiliate websites to earn money, most of the time, they only copy and paste the content of those products from affiliated websites. Search engines easily detect the quality of such content and start to penalize and ban them.
12. Server Issue
If your website is down for some time, it does not cause any problems. But if your website remains down for several days, you will see a drop in your website ranking.
How to Get Rid of Toxic Links to Avoid Google Penalty
What you can do if you notice that someone has started negative SEO activities (create low-quality links) against your website. Don’t worry, you can identify and disavow toxic backlinks from your site before getting Google penalty.
- Find all your toxic backlinks (bad backlinks) using Backlink Audit Tool.
- After finding you can use Google Disavow tool to remove all the toxic backlinks.
Create a List of Bad Backlinks
Here I will use three tools to find bad backlinks:
- Google Search Console Tool
- Moz Explorer
Using Google Search Console Tool
It is a manual and time consuming process.
Log in to Google Search Console, click on the Link >> Top linking sites >> More. You will see such sites which are linked to your site and giving you backlinks.
Then click on the Download button to download list.
Now you have to check it yourself whether it has any spam link or not. If you find spam, unrelated or unnatural links, write in notepad.
Using Moz Explorer
Visit Moz Link Explorer site and sign up or sign in.
- Add the URL address of the site and click on the search icon.
- Now click on Spam Score in the left side.
Now, you will be able to see the list of spam backlinks. Free account will show few links. You must upgrade it to see all the links.
Now, click on Export CSV to download the result.
- Visit SEMrush Backlink Audit.
- Add the URL of your site. It will check your site backlink.
- Next click on “Audit”.
- It will show Toxic backlinks with Score (60-100 – domain is Toxic, 45-59 – domain is Potentially Toxic). Just select the toxic backlink.
Now navigate to Disavow tab and click on Export to TXT.
Your disavow file will start downloading.
Now we have a list of spammy backlinks, so let’s start to remove them…
Now Disavow Bad Links From Your Site
Go to the Google Disavow tool page and select your domain from the drop-down, then click on Disavow Links.
Next page, again click on the Disavow links.
Just upload your spam link’s text file and click on Submit button.
Now you will see a message “You successfully uploaded a disavow links file” like this.
After uploading the file, wait 1-2 weeks to see its effect, because Google will reindex and crawl those pages again.
FAQs About Google Penalties
Here I have shared some important and frequently asked questions about Google Penalty:
How to know if your website has been penalized by Google
To check whether your site is affected by Google penalty, check your website traffic, overall search ranking, conversion. If you have lost a lot of traffic in a short period of time, it may be due to a Google algorithm update.
What are the best Google penalty checker tools that can help with Google penalty recovery?
Here are some great tools that audit your site and can help you find and fix Google penalty issues.
- SEMrush (highly recommended tool)
- Moz Link Explorer
- Google search console (notify for any issue)
If you have lost traffic to your websites, make sure what is causing the traffic drop on your website?
However, website traffic drops due to technical issues. So, Firstly, investigate everything on your site then take steps.
Once you find out that your site has been affected by Google updates, you can fix the issues to overcome the penalty.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comment box. And now it’s your turn! Find this article helpful? Don’t forget to share!
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