How To Check For Google Penalties? (3 Ways)

Is your website penalized by Google? Learn the different methods you can use to identify a Google penalty and create a recovery plan.

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63 Comments

      • Chandan Kumar says

        Hello sir, I went through each and every line of this article. And I found that the information you provided about Google penalty is matching with my site.

        My site is just 9 months old and I got 300-400 daily organic traffic.
        But suddenly the ranking position of all my articles went down, ultimately the traffic too.

        But I did nothing spammy. I know, user experience with my site was not that good because of hosting and design. The session duration of my site is nearly 30-40 seconds.

        Could you please tell me whether this can be the reason for Google penalising my site?

        I’m totally panic as everything was going well with me site, and ranking was increasing. But suddenly the ranking went down totally.

        Should I stop focusing on this site?

        I don’t know what to do next. I improved the design a little, and soon will manage the hosting.

        But I’m worrying if Google trusted my site anymore?

        Please reply me, I’ll be waiting for your reply.
        Thank you very much.

  1. Sumit Thakur says

    Hello Alex, I like your tips very much. You told me about manual action in Google webmaster that is really great Actually I never noticed it. So it is good that you made e aware about it.
    Thanks fr mind blowing content.

    • Alex says

      Hi Sumit

      Thank you Sumit. Checking your website status in Google is always a good practice. You many never know when you need it.

      Thanks
      Alex

  2. Zeshan Ahmer says

    Hey Alex,

    Thumbs Up. Great info indeed. However It would be great if you would have mentioned any tool to search for Algorithmic Penalty other than looking the data in Google Analytics.

    However very informative post. Sharing with my followers!

    Thanks
    Zeshan

    • Alex says

      Thank you Zeehan. I am sure that there are very nice tools to help you identify if your website is penalised by Google. The data is Analytics and webmaster tools is a good place to get started and then if needed you can do deeper investigation using different tools or online services.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Pinki says

    Thanks Alex Sir. I am looking for this type of post. From the Help of your post I can check my website is penalized or not.

  4. ashish says

    Hi Alex,
    I followed all the steps … but couldnt find the problem … my traffic just went down from last week ….my site’s position in SERP is still there … but traffic went down ….could you help me please?
    thnx

    • Alex Chris says

      Hi Ashish

      If your rankings are the same then the loss of traffic may not be because of a Google penalty but because of seasonality. In certain niches traffic is not the same for all months. Also make sure that you check only your organic traffic and not direct traffic or referrals since it can sometimes be misleading and lead you to wrong conclusions.

      Hope this helps,
      Alex

  5. J Laurus says

    Hi Alex,
    Thank you for this great resource. I have a new site and I am not ranking for a long tail keyword I am targeting for the past few weeks. I checked the site and it seems ok in analytics and seach console. What are the other tools i need to thoroughly check out if my site has indeed been penalized in its previous life? Thank you.

    • Alex Chris says

      Hi J,

      Check https://archive.org/ to see what kind of content your website had in its previous life. Maybe this way you will understand where the problem is (for example if you see thin content with many links you know that you were hit by Panda or Penguin).

      Hope this helps
      Alex

  6. Shilpa Malhotra says

    Hello Alex,

    From Few Days I Can’t Found Why My website Get Penalized. But After read your informative post I found. Glad Thanks for Sharing These Helpful Information.

  7. Gaurrav Singh says

    Hey Alex,
    Thank you so much for sharing this article and tell me one thing my nofollow backlinks is 93% its risky for me?

    • Alex Chris says

      Hi Gaurrav

      There is no value of ‘follow’ and ‘nofollow’. If you got all the links naturally and it’s 93% then there is no risk. It is normal anyway to have more nofollow links these days than follow links.

      Hope this helps
      Alex

  8. Safi says

    Hey Alex,
    Great article…my question is, however, if google values content so much then what happens to shopping sites?
    I run an online store and yes there are many pages as there is one for each product but most of these products have very similar description and short.
    What can I do to help my site improve with Google?

    Thanks,
    Safi

    • Alex Chris says

      Hi Safi

      It is true that shopping sites have the issue of similar content. Google was officially asked in a webmasters hangout about this and their reply was that ecommerce websites should try to differentiate their content as much as possible from other websites and from pages on the same website. They suggested addings reviews, comparisons, real user comments and anything else that will make the content of each and every page interesting and unique. It is tough to do but those that manage to do it, are more likely to get better results.

      Hope this helps
      Alex

  9. Ana Gomes says

    Thank you so much for sharing this information
    I had followed your instructions and I’m happy that my website isn’t penalized

  10. Emily says

    I made a huge mistake when I set my website up. I copied all of my blogs from my last website onto my new website. My husband was not happy with me and did a redirect from my old site to my new site, hoping that this would prevent the issue. But I don’t think that it did. I’ve paid over $8000 on SEO services to help my website to show up earlier in the search results for “counseling” in my local area, and I’m still not noticeable (like I get to page 7 of the results and I get so sick of looking for my site that I give up and know that potential clients are giving up too). I don’t know what to do anymore. My SEO company said that they can’t find any penalty, but yet I feel like after 8 months of SEO, with the super stellar content I have on my site compared to most of the other counseling websites in my area there has to be something wrong. Do you have any advice?

  11. uthman saheed says

    Thanks for this post… I need to look towards this in order to know the major reason for the sudden fall in my organic traffic.

  12. Fakhrul Alam says

    Hello Alex your article is read good to understand better about Google.

    My question is that my website is my own personal website and i have not published any blog post since Jan 2014, now I am thinking whether should I continue writing new blog post or start with new domain, cause I never bought any paid backlinks and so one, but I might have done social Bookmarking.

    Does previous social Bookmarking links will effect now?

    I believe we have to test it, if I get ranking for my new blog post then I believe I am out from Google penalties.

    Any suggestions will be good. Thanks

  13. joe says

    Great article, thank you for writing this.

    About 3 months ago my server was hacked, it caused me lots of aggravation for over a month trying to get rid of the hack, which was a htaccess hack that was based in a sub domain of one of my clients hosted websites (didn’t update a WP plugin).

    Anyway, I used to rank page 1 position 3 to 8 for at least 8 keyword phrases, all with simply using good seo practice, and have avoided using any black hat tricks of any kind. But because of the hack though I am now positioned around 17 to 40, basically bottom of page 2 to nonexistent.

    What is frustrating is that we never did anything wrong, we where the victims, and yet we are now also the victims of Googles algorithm – any thoughts what we can do about this? We have told Google about the hack, they even had a ‘This site may have been hacked’ waning against our site for a while. My guess from looking at the historical data is that the hack has made our site look spammy, and we are now being penalized by Googles algorithm.

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    J

  14. Epipla says

    Thank you very much! That was really good advice about google and possible penalty. I will be more careful from now on.

  15. Hitesh says

    Thank you Alex for this post, I was going to try some black hat seo trick but after reading this I will stay away form that. Any ways great content.

  16. Prosperity Kenneth says

    Wow Alex this is wonderful.

    I just got more useful insights on things that can cause a website’s penalty.

    Thanks alot 🙂

  17. alex says

    Great advices, but scarry. Got to you site to understand why my blog traffic plumited to allmost zero in the last moths. Reading this article got my paniked and I feel like I don;t know where to start. I see no messages in the webmaster tool but most probably I did something wrong that I didn’t know of. Starting from zero with a 8 years old blog is really hard. I am considering just giving up.
    Is there any online tool that can check the site for errors and mistakes like the ones you wrote about? Thank you for you article, very informative .

    • Alex Chris says

      Hi Alex

      I use SEMRUSH for both backlink analysis and SEO. Among other things, it can tell you which links to remove from Google.

      Thanks
      Alex

  18. Avsheak says

    I also done a complete SEO for my website.But after one month I see that me website has got penalty by Google.I found No reason for that.But I got one hint”s witch is In my website I give 10 affiliate link.Is this reason I think I got penalty.Is it true?

  19. Anita Johnson says

    I was in search of an article which describes me everything about google penalty. Yeah, finally i got it on your website. Thank you and keep up the hard work.

  20. Ebube Jude says

    Thanks for this. I once think I was hit by Google. But later found out it was because of a move from HTTP TO HTTPS.

  21. Zara says

    Thnks Alex, Its an interesting article and I have one doubt that you mentioned “avoid keyword anchor text when linking out” as per my understanding I am getting that we cant give anchor text for a keyword?? For example “Fitness” is the keyword & we cant link our website on this keyword (anchor text) while posting any ads or post over another website. Please correct me if I misunderstood.

  22. ledgen says

    hello i have a new blog that is 3 month old now, i have been wrighting good content with proper seo but for this 3 months i have only gotten one organic traffic. and any post i make i found out that it will be in page 4 or 5 of google, pls what should i do, i have check and i do not have any manual penalty and i don even have any organic traffic to check google analystics for the second method please help me.

  23. Eric says

    We just discovered why one of our sites seemed to not rank no matter what we did. We picked this site up from another SEO company. The structure of the robots.txt file had blocked access to a lot of content and resources. We just noticed this by checking the GWM tool Blocked Resources feature.

  24. Tori says

    Hello, one of my keyword had just lost from google search pages, after i move from HTTP to HTTPS, but for other keywords are stil there…i thought it because of google penalty, but why only just 1 or 2 keywords of all?
    Can you help me n what i should do to get it back as before?
    Anyway thanks for your good article

  25. Hans says

    Thank you for a very nice article! I searched google to find why a great part of my traffic has been lost. But I don’t see any big drops. It has just gone down by about 22-25% over the past 1.5 years. It’s an online store, where I have a 14 year old domain that has been used for the webshop all the time..

    I used to have #1 rankings on almost all my large keywords. The shop has sold the same 1200 products for years now. And I have not done much other than adding some new products each year.

    Any suggestions on a good way to work my way back to my #1 rankings?

    • Alex Chris says

      Hi Hans

      Besides penalties, your traffic might be lost not because you did something wrong but because the competition did something better. Rankings are not static and websites that do on-going SEO work, are the ones that survive at the end.

      What I suggest, is to check your Performance Report in Google Search Console and use the historical data to find out when and for which pages / keywords you lost rankings that resulted in loss of traffic. Then use tools like SEMRUSH to analyse those pages and improve them, taking a closer look what competitors are doing better.

      Hope this helps
      Alex

  26. renavo says

    It is a Great way of explanation to know How to find the Penalty. But still I have few Questions “Is there any Tool available” Officially from Google to show which is got Penalized. ?

    At what extent i can Trust Moz Spam score ?

    What is the score i should follow.

  27. Desmond says

    Another good article Alex. Its always a good idea to double check ones online properties after an algorithm update. If the webmaster/SEO was doing their job right there should be no problems.

  28. Rahul says

    Google penalties are always really tough to deal. One cannot keep calm when they see google penalty. They feel like everything has gone. I can imagine when I got penalized by google, it really felt so horrible.

  29. Ejaz Abbasi says

    Really helpful article. After searching a lot about this at last here I have found a great answer.
    Inform also if there is no algo update during the period I lost traffic then what can be the reason?

  30. Brussels girl says

    Thanks for sharing this useful information! I think I am hit by an algorithm penalty. I will merge some articles together to I have less thin content. Hopefully it will get me out of troubles. Keep up the good work :)!

  31. Kevin Pauls says

    Thanks for the write up. Penalties are getting more common place with Google’s algo changes and in many cases people can’t pinpoint causes with out using search console. Your insight is much appreciated!

  32. Dennis says

    Thanks for sharing this informative article. Google sometimes back penalized my website because i was aggregating YouTube videos to my site and so i was caught unaware.

  33. David says

    Hello,
    And it is possible that someone buyed thousends of spam links and that penalized you?.

    This month i sensed a big dump in my adsense revenues, made some research and found that, thousands of spam links to my site ..
    Now my adsense revenues are ridicolous …

    Regards.

  34. Freddy says

    Informative and easy read article Alex.. my blog is about 4 months old, it got to PR1 then went to PR zero… lol what I have found is that different PR checkers can give different results

  35. Wayne Wicky says

    Thanks a lot for this info. I lost my traffic and have been wondering how to find out if it was as a result of google penalty. After checking, I have found out that it was indeed a penalty affecting my site. Once again, thanks a lot!

  36. Arpit says

    Thanks you for amazing tips. I found my site has algorithm penalty using this article. Thanks again and keep it up.

  37. Mo Idrees says

    Hi, thanks for this article. Is there any tool to use to check if a website has been penalized by Google aside from GSC?

  38. Joy says

    My website is all ok, no penalty, no spam links, and no error. But in the last two months my website scrape from search ranking by 1 to 50-60 position only for 3-4 days/ more and again after 4-5 days it comes at 1st position. It has happened 6-7 times this trend. Why is this happening and what is the solution ?

  39. Shoaib says

    Thanks a lot of information about Google panalty, I am a new website designer unfortunately I am worry with my website because it’s not seen by targeting keywords.

  40. Syed says

    Very good and helpful. I found an expired domain to build a blog. It has a neat and clean anchor and few authority links from WordPress.

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