Google has recently provided insight into how long it takes to recover from its search engine algorithmic penalty, shedding light on a topic that has long been a source of confusion and frustration for content marketers and website owners.
The search giant revealed that the recovery time can vary, depending on the type of severity of the violation and the type of penalty imposed on your website.
Google states that recovering from manual penalties can take a few weeks to several months. Manual penalties are usually issued when your website violates Google’s search guidelines. Once you fix the issues that caused the penalty, you can submit a Request review, where the reconsideration can take “several days or weeks“. Algorithmic penalties, on the hand, can take much longer to recover from. They are issued automatically by the search engine’s algorithms and vary depending on the type of violation. For less severe violations, your website can recover within months. But more severe cases can even take more than a year.
What Causes a Website to be Penalized by Google?
According to Google, the best way to recover from a penalty is to address the issue that resulted in a violation. Some of the issues that result in your website getting penalized include:
Low-quality or spammy content
Poor website structure and navigation
Website that’s not optimized for mobile devices
One of the possible penalties of a violation is having your website removed from the Search index and your ads disabled.
The company advised that making drastic changes to your website during the recovery process can be counterproductive. It said that this can only prolong the recovery period.
Google’s Search advocate John Mueller said, “I think it’s a lot trickier when it comes to things around quality in general where assessing the overall quality and relevance of a website is not very easy. It takes a lot of time for us to understand how a website fits in with regards to the rest of the Internet.”
Recovering from a Google Search Penalty
The information, given out by Google during its Google SEO office-hours, is crucial to web developers, content marketers, and eCommerce business owners. Penalties can significantly impact your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) ranking and ultimately, organic traffic. When your search engine ranking nosedives, you risk losing organic traffic and lead generation opportunities.
In order to avoid penalties and ensure a smooth recovery process, it’s important to understand the guidelines set by Google and to take steps to comply with them.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to avoid using any manipulative techniques to boost search engine rankings. This includes buying links, using automated software to generate content, and keyword stuffing. Google’s algorithms are designed to detect these types of manipulative tactics and will penalize websites that use them.
Another important aspect of SEO is to focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to the user. Google’s algorithms are designed to prioritize websites that provide high-quality, informative content that is relevant to the user’s search query. This means that in order to rank well in search engine results, it’s important to create content that is well-researched, well-written, and engaging.
It’s also important to optimize your website for mobile devices. With the increasing use of mobile devices to access the internet, Google has made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor. This means that websites that are optimized for mobile devices will be given a higher ranking in search engine results than those that are not.
Additionally, there are a number of other best practices that can help to boost a website’s search engine rankings. These include optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags, building backlinks from other websites, and using social media to promote your content.
In a nutshell, avoid black hat SEO practices. These Google quality guidelines that will help you to avoid your website disappearing from SERPs.
Google’s New Office-Hours Format
Google’s SEO office-hours, a session where the company engages users and answers their questions and concerns, is also taking a new format. Unlike in the past where users could ask clarifying questions, the new format doesn’t allow for follow-up questions.
For example, it isn’t clear whether an algorithmic penalty results in your website completely disappearing from the search engine or just dropping down some positions. What’s clear is that it will take months for Google to evaluate site quality again after you’ve dealt with the issues that resulted in a penalty.
Staying in line
Google’s insights, while not clear on what crosses the line and what doesn’t, will go a long way in helping webmasters know the importance of avoiding Google penalties. No matter how small a violation may seem, recovering from it may take some time and even then the damage may already be done.
Google stressed that the best way to recover is to address the issue that caused the penalty in the first place, while also being patient during the recovery process. To avoid penalties and ensure a smooth recovery process, it’s important to understand the guidelines set by Google and to take steps to comply with them.