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What if we told you that there was a way to ensure your website never suffered from the dreaded Google penalty? No more worrying about whether one wrong move could tank your search engine ranking for months – or even years.
Sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s not. In fact, it’s something anyone can do with the help of a little information and some careful planning. And we’re going to share all of that information with you today.
We know what you’re thinking: “There’s no such thing as a guaranteed Google ranking.” You’re right, there isn’t – but if you follow our advice, your site will be in much better shape than if you don’t. So read on to learn everything you need to know about manual actions from Google and how they can impact your SEO strategy.
What is a Manual Action?
A manual action is a penalty that Google imposes on a website that has violated one or more of its quality guidelines. In other words, it’s something that you could have avoided if you had followed the rules in the first place.
Manual actions can be issued for a number of different reasons, but some of the most common include:
Thin or low-quality content: If your pages don’t offer much value to users, Google may penalize your site. This is often referred to as “content scraping” and it’s something you want to avoid at all costs.
Keyword stuffing: Using too many keywords on a page is another surefire way to get hit with a manual action. Not only does it make your content difficult to read, but it also tells Google that you’re trying to game the system.
Hidden text or links: Hiding text or links in your content is another no-no. This includes using white text on a white background or hiding links by making them the same color as the surrounding text.
What are the consequences of a Manual Action?
If you receive a manual action, it will be reflected in your Google Search Console account. You can find it under “Manual Actions” in the left-hand sidebar. Once you click on that, you’ll see a list of any manual actions that have been applied to your site.
The consequences of a manual action can vary depending on the severity of the infraction. Minor offenses may only result in a temporary drop in your search ranking, while more serious violations could get your site completely removed from Google’s search results.
In either case, it’s important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse things will get.
How can you recover from a Manual Action?
If you receive a manual action, the first thing you need to do is figure out what went wrong. Take a look at the specific violation that was cited and see if you can identify the problem. Once you’ve done that, you can start working on a plan to fix it.
In some cases, fixing the problem may be as simple as removing a few offending keywords from your content or editing a couple of lines of code. But if the issue is more serious, you may need to completely overhaul your site.
Once you’ve made the necessary changes, you can submit a request for reconsideration through Google Search Console. This is where you’ll explain what you’ve done to fix the problem and why you think your site should be reinstated.
Google will then review your request and either approve or deny it. If they deny it, they’ll usually give you some feedback on what else you need to do to get your site reinstated.
Manual actions from Google can have a serious impact on your website’s traffic and search ranking. But if you take the time to understand the guidelines and follow them, you can avoid them altogether. And if you do receive a manual action, don’t panic – there are steps you can take to recover from it. Just be sure to act quickly and fix the problem as soon as possible.
Jamie Fallon is an SEO expert who lives life to the maximum, redlining every day on a rollercoaster straight to the grave.
In an SEO career of almost ten years, he’s seen it all, he’s done it all, and he’s not impressed: from white text on a white background to today, when you can have robots paint or write for you like some kind of sick science fiction come true.
No matter what life throws at him, Jamie always manages to come out on top. He’s an expert at seeing the silver lining in every cloud and making the best of every situation. His positive attitude and unshakable faith in himself have seen him through tough times. For some people, success goes to their heads; but Jamie never forgets what got him to wherever he thinks he is.
When he’s not busy gaming the system, you can find him writing angry thinkpieces on how Google is ruining everything good about the internet, or hanging out with his wife (pictured).