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How to Survive a Google Penalty

Google constantly evaluates our web pages in order to develop its particular classification, rewarding those that it considers have done a good job. However, sometimes the browser detects bad practices or suspicious behavior on some pages and penalizes them. This means that it relegates them to the bottom of its ranking or even makes them disappear from its search engine. That is why it is so vital that we know what to do if we have been penalized by Google.


In the event that it is a manual penalty, that is, one imposed by a Google editor, we will receive a notice from Webmaster Tools (Search Console), exposing the reason, whether due to spam, low-quality or duplicate content, suspicious links, etc…

These penalties may seem easier to resolve because we will know what it is due to, however, it is the Google editor itself that will have to decide whether to lift or maintain the penalty, which can complicate things.

Regarding algorithmic penalties, there are a number of indicators that can warn us about a possible penalty. For example, if we usually have high traffic from search engines and suddenly this figure drops considerably, it is quite possible that we have been penalized.

In the same way, if when inserting the keywords for which we have positioned ourselves in the search engine, we realize that we have dropped many positions or that we have disappeared from the list, that may also be due.

Although, we have to be cautious in this matter and not think every time we drop a position or our web traffic decreases that Google has penalized us, given that the competition may simply be carrying out a better SEO strategy than ours.

In this sense, it is advisable to be alert and see if these situations have coincided with one of the google updates, which would confirm that we have suffered a penalty.


There are countless reasons why a web page can be penalized and it is not always due to bad practices. In fact, if Google perceives that a web page that has just been created has risen too many positions too quickly, it can penalize it only as a preventive measure by leaving it in the Sandboxing, which means that the web page will not be positioned among the first results of the search engine until a certain time has passed and Google verifies that it is reliable.

Likewise, the excessive use of positioning techniques or negative SEO (that which other people carry out against us with the aim of harming our web positioning), can also cause a penalty.


As we said, if the penalty we have suffered is manual, it is easier to know how to act. If Google tells us that our content is of poor quality, we will have to remove it or improve it so that add value to our users. In the same way, if the problem is the links, we must review them to suppress or disavow those that come from sites with dubious reputation.

If, on the other hand, the penalty has been algorithmic, things get a bit more complicated, because we have to find out what it has been. the reason for the penalty. At this point, Google updates can be of great help to us, since each of them is focused on one aspect. Google Panda penalizes low-quality content while Google Penguin penalizes suspicious links, for example. However, Google is currently including these updates within its core, which means that it will no longer notify us when they occur, as they are constant.

Despite this there are some tools like mozcast, which shows the general fluctuations in the SERPS, which can help us know if there have been any changes in the algorithm. Also, it is vital consult blogs of SEO experts, who report all changes that occur in the search engine.

So the key to surviving a Google penalty is detect what aspect is the one that has caused it, in order to carry out all the changes that are necessary on our website.

Thus, the next time the search engine or the update goes through our site, it will see that we have solved the errors that we presented and it is possible that it will return us to our initial position in the ranking.

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