A Google penalty has a negative impact on your website’s ranking. Penalties could be due to updates to Google’s algorithms or manual review. A telltale sign that your site has been penalized is a sudden drop in your rankings and traffic.
How to identify a Google penalty
It’s impossible to know that your site has been penalized simply by looking at it – you need to use other ways. One of the ways is to use Google Webmaster Tools. The tools are free and useful when monitoring and optimizing your website. You must enter your website and if a penalty is imposed on your website, you will see a notification.
Another way is to use Google Analytics. Just like webmaster tools, it is free and helps you know the health of your website. It also helps you easily track changes in your organic traffic. You must log into your analytics account and identify the date when most of your web traffic was lost. You should find out if a Google update was released on the same day. If so, your site has been affected by the update and you should take steps to exit it.
You can also identify if your website has been penalized by searching your domain name and see if it will rank first. If this doesn’t happen, you will definitely be penalized. In addition to using these methods, there are many third-party tools you can use. Some of the tools are free while others require you to pay. Find the one that is right for your application.
Taking a look at the different penalties and their effects
Google Panda: This is the most common penalty and targets sites with low-quality content. If your site has been penalized by Panda, you will experience a sharp but gradual decline in web traffic. Your pages will also have ranking issues regardless of the number of links you add to them.
Google Penguin: This is another common penalty that targets sites with unnatural links. When your website is affected by the penguin, you will find that your keyword or a group of keywords has dropped a lot in the rankings. In most cases, the page or pages containing the keywords can be deindexed.
This is what you need to know about Google penalties. To prevent your website from being penalized you must strictly follow the rules provided by the search engine.