One of the things that happens to may Google webmasters in the SEO world is that one day you are up there and the next day you are not. The problem could be anything related to your SEO strategy, you could have low content quality or bad site quality because you don’t know better or you could have hired an SEO firm that does spammy SEO.

The important thing is to constantly monitor your organic search traffic to understand what you need to do to avoid a Google penalty and get your site back on track.


There are two major ways to diagnose that you have an issue. The first problem will be that your organic search traffic would plummet really hard. In fact, it can reach an all-time low where you might be getting no traffic at all.

The other method to diagnose that you have a problem is that the Google Search Console will have a message describing the problem.

Google manual penalty: An overview

When you receive a message on the Google Search Console, it is called a manual penalty. What it implies is that your site was analyzed manually by a Google employee and they have assesses a Google penalty to your site.

The message in the Search Console will briefly explain the problem. The most common manual penalties include:

  1. Site-wide link penalties
  2. Partial link penalties
  3. Thin content penalties

What to do when you have a manual penalty?

Step 1: Pinpoint the specific cause for receiving the penalty.

Step 2: Find a solution for the problem.

Step 3: Submit a Reconsideration Request to Google asking them to remove the penalty.

Google algorithm penalty: An overview

Google algorithms can often cause Google to rank your site lower. The most popular Google algorithms are:

Panda algorithm: Focuses on content quality.

Penguin algorithm: Finds low quality links.

Search quality: A not very well-known algorithm that assesses site and page quality.

Payday loans (Spammy sites): Identifies spammy SEO techniques that are usually present on payday loan sites.

While the Google Panda Update in itself is not a penalty, it has caused penalties. What will happen is that your traffic will be affected. If you have not received a message from Google, most likely an algorithm update is hurting your traffic. This will need you to understand how these algorithms work and compare it to your site’s performance.

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