Google Penalties Won’t Necessarily Kill Your Rankings

    September 28, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

According to Google, just because your site is manually penalized, it does not mean that your site will vanish from the rankings. In fact, it may not hurt it much at all in some cases. A lot of that depends on you, the webmaster, and the other signals you’ve managed to send the search engine.

In a Google Webmaster Central forum thread (via Search Engine Roundtable), a webmaster discussed being denied his 4th reconsideration request, and Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller had some interesting words. For that guy’s specific story, you can view the thread, but that’s not really the point. Here’s what Mueller said:

The primary manual action that is affecting your site is that these unnatural links are being ignored. This is more or less in line with the spreadsheet that you have submitted, and would generally not be affecting the other links to your site. That said, while these things may have been counting for your site in the past, they no longer are — so it’s possible that you’d see some effect in your site’s crawling, indexing, and ranking. Past that, keep in mind that the manual action here might not be the strongest element affecting your site’s performance, we use over 200 factors in our crawling, indexing, and ranking, and regularly announce updates (such as http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ch/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality.html ). My recommendation would be to not focus so much on this specific manual action, but instead to work to make sure that your site (and how it interacts with users and the rest of the web) is the best it can possibly be. Emphasis added.

The manual action is just one thing Google is taking into consideration. If you have enough other positive signals going your way (or can at least gain some), it’s possible that Google’s manual penalty will have little effect on your site’s rankings.

Speaking of signals, Google is about due to put out its monthly (at least it used to be monthly) list of algorithm changes. We have yet to see August’s changes, and September is almost over. Last time, they released two months’ worth of lists at the same time. Perhaps we’ll see them do that again. It seems likely at this point. Or who knows, maybe they’ll wait and give 3 months’ worth next time.

  • http://www.greyolltwit.com/ Grey Olltwit

    What makes me laugh is one day Google says speed is everything and you should reduce java scripts etc., on your site to be more appealing to their search bot. Next thing they want you to add Google plus one codes to your pages, lots of extra, spammy links back to their pathetic effort of social networking, Google+, in addition to their Google analytics script.

    I have taken their advice and removed everything Google from my site and the speed is much more impressive. So they do get some things right!

  • Joe Lewis

    This is true for those hit by the August message but not for those with the April Penguin warning. I’ve seen big brands lose everything from the original Penguin hits while the latest were ‘more targeted.

  • http://www.jnsconsultancy.co.uk JNS Consultancy

    We’re really new to the SEO game – done all our own research from scratch in developing our site http://www.jnsconsultancy.co.uk – google states that it uses over 200 factors when indexing and crawling sites – How is a novice not only to keep up with these, but moreover how do we know if we are in breach of the rules and subject to penalties?
    As a small business startup the budget just isn’t there to employ professionals, but at the same time – efforts and time spent researching are detrimental to the growth of the business potential as it’s such a vast mine field

  • http://Ironstruck.com Ray

    Our site was doing so well with 600-800 visitors per day on average and then one day in about late August it all went onto the tank and we lost about 100 visitors a day for four days running and our visitor count is now stuck at 200-250 and has not budged.

    None of my posts are being indexed by Google as they used to as with many past posts and over 300 pages on the site have also lost page rankings they had for years.

    At a loss as to why this happened or what to do.

    Almost eight years worth of good, sound information all my own writing and it has come to this.

    Very dis-heartening