Traffic-Crushing Google Penalties and How to Prevent Them


Google has a PR problem, and it’s standing right outside the corporate offices waving signs and wearing Google ID badges. The optics of thousands of Google employees worldwide stepping out to protest for any reason will generate challenging headlines. The fact that what these employees are protesting connects directly to a prevailing cultural trend guarantees widespread media attention. 

Frank Hamilton, Blogger

It might be really frustrating once there is a drop in traffic, especially when it comes to a sudden and significant drop. If such a thing happens, it would usually mean that Google has applied some restrictions or penalties to the website. Read this article to know more about Google penalties and how to avoid them.

Types of Google penalties

There are two types of penalties applied by Google: automatic and manual. Both of them are unwanted because they result in a significant drop in search rankings. Luckily, there is a range of tools described at that help to determine the reason of the traffic drop.

Automatic Google penalties

This kind of penalty refers to the punishment applied by Google algorithms such as Penguin or Panda. Both of them use artificial intelligence to detect the characteristics of the website, such as keyword stuffing or an excessive amount of inbound links, that does not match established Google guidelines. When those algorithms get updated or improved, a website can get penalized automatically because it does not already match some requirements.

The Panda algorithm is designed to scan and analyze the content of websites. It pays attention to the quality of content and keyword stuffing, determines whether there are any duplicate articles present. Once Panda gets updated, it scans content according to new rules, so your website might get penalized when it contains a great amount of repetitions of the same keyword, for example.

The Penguin algorithm is aimed at detecting malicious link building activity also known as grey-hat or black-hat SEO techniques. For instance, if there are many inbound links from spam comments on forums or non-credible websites, the algorithm will detect that.

Manual Google penalties

When a website clearly shows some unusual behavior, a human reviewer in Google takes it for examination. This usually happens when a website with weak content, for example, appears at the very top while other more relevant websites are left behind. Also, Penguin  detects some unusual activity when there are too many unnatural incoming links.

Unlike algorithmic penalties, the manual action is much easier to detect. You should open Google Webmaster Tool and the notification about manual penalty will be right there. Also, the review provides a clear explanation of what should be improved on the website in order to get better rankings and avoid further penalties.

How to prevent Google penalties?

As any other sphere of operation, the online environment is governed by certain regulations. When it particularly comes to search engines, there are guidelines established by each search engine that webmasters should follow. When violating Google guidelines, for instance, the penalties might arrive as a result.

In order to prevent those penalties, you should take into consideration several crucial aspects. Those refer to the content quality, backlink profile, and any kind of dodgy activities such as sneaky redirects or spammy structured markups.


One of the most powerful SEO techniques implies the creation of a strong backlink profile. You can create backlinks fast by referring to specialized services helping you to find the right online resources that would host a backlink to your website. Once there are plenty of inbound links coming from credible websites, its rankings get higher.

When working on your backlink profile, considering the quality of links is of high importance. They should preferably come from the websites of companies that operate in adjacent industries. The language of those websites should be the same as yours, otherwise, it would look suspicious when the website in French has a link to the one in Swedish. 

You should avoid backlinks from suspicious or spammy websites. Also, links generated automatically are immediately recognized by search engines so that penalties could be applied right away in such cases.


The quality of the text provided on the website has much value both to users and search engines. Google can easily detect when the content is excellent and when it needs improvement. Owing to artificial intelligence, Google algorithms perceive content as humans do, so it reacts accordingly.

To prevent any penalties, you should create natural content according to the most recent guidelines. Make sure that the article is not stuffed with keywords and the length of the text is sufficient. It is also very important to produce unique content that is not copied from any other website.

Frank HamiltonAbout the Author: Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.