Cutts On Determining If You Were Hit By An Algorithmic Penalty

Cutts On Determining If You Were Hit By An Algorithmic Penalty

By Chris Crum March 24, 2014

If you’ve ever lost your search engine rankings to a competing site, you may have wondered if you were suffering from an algorithmic penalty from Google or if your content simply wasn’t as good as your competitors’. You’re not the …

Matt Cutts Opens Up About Google Penalties

Not long ago, another installment of the wacky car race known as the LeMons was held.  Rule-breakers are penalized by being forced to do things like paint Bob Ross landscapes on their hoods and participate in conga lines.  Google’s punishment system isn’t quite as obvious, though, so Matt Cutts discussed the matter at SMX Advanced.

Exploring The Google Penalty Box

Pick a number between 6 and 950 and you’ll likely find evidence, or at least the antecedent number, for a Google ranking penalty. Webmasters and SEOers are in general agreement Google penalizes, and have dubbed them according to their numeric reprimand: -6, -30, -60, -950, and so on. Google inadvertently in cases has acknowledged such penalties exist, but has yet to present any hard and fast rules.

A Position 6 Penalty?
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It could be said pretty fairly that webmasters and SEOers, if dropped a rank or two, automatically assume they’ve been penalized. A recent development, involving the "position 6" penalty, proved to be a reality.

It’s not clear why it was a reality, other than a Google glitch.

Webmasters reported worries about sites that historically had ranked in the top two results for certain keywords had dropped to the sixth position. Dropping to below the top five, or below the fold (below where a person may have to scroll), could mean sudden death in the exposure game.

The Irony of Mahalo Traffic Growth

A couple of weeks ago, Heather Hopkins at Hitwise noted that the human-powered Mahalo search engine has been showing a very strong curve of increasing traffic:

The Horror of Search Engine Penalties & Filters

There are two words that are guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of any website proprietor: penalties and filters.

They damage rankings and ultimately may result in banishment from the search engines. However, before panic sets in, let us guide you through the basics of penalties and filters.

A penalty is caused by significant violations of a search engine’s website guidelines, such as:

Downloading Penalties Violate First Amendment

People who have believed downloading copyrighted content did not pose any kind of legal problem have faced plenty of legal troubles, but the real trouble comes as enforcement against illegal downloading makes people fear legal downloading.

Tech Company Censorship Penalties Coming

Forbes reports:

PageRank Update Another Message To Link Sellers?

Either the Google PageRank in your toolbar is officially meaningless, or Google just sent another message to link sellers. Once again, Google isn’t talking and we’re left to speculate.

Penalties of Spamming Wikipedia
Spam Wikipedia, and you will end up in one of the most dreaded places in the World Wide Web. Imagine a place where your site appears in the ‘Spammer Blacklist’ and Yahoo! And Google give you the cold shoulder.

Google (Finally) Responds to Directory Question

The recent slap a handful of directories experienced was unaccompanied by an explanation from Google, though the general consensus (maybe) was that Google’s webspam team was sending a message. Weeks later, WebProNews has wrangled a response from Google’s Webmaster Central team – sort of.

Finking On Paid Linking?
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It’s been a couple of weeks since it became apparent that Google was penalizing link directories – at least a few of them – knocking them out of the SERPs even for their own business names. There’s still no official word from Google on this, but there is plenty speculation that it wasn’t algorithmic.

China Cartoons Remind Surfers To Behave
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Tooling around the Internet from a Chinese connection could be interrupted by a pair of cartoon cops who tell people to back away from questionable content.

Google Penalties: Getting Them Removed
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Jane stared at the computer screen with a mixture of disbelief and horror. Her website had disappeared from the Google listings, and her Google toolbar showed a grey line. After thinking back for a moment, Jane remembered what might have incurred Google’s wrath. Her fly by night alleged search engine optimization (SEO) expert had added violated Google’s webmaster guidelines, and used her site to do it. The doorway pages, cloaked sections, and hidden text, he had assured her, would give her site much higher search rankings than ever before.

IRS Penalties, Interest and ‘Love Letters’

Sorry to crash your party, but as we bring in the New Year, it’s also time to bring in a New Tax Season.