What Are Google Search Engine Penalties And Why You Should Care

Tips from BCCO

by Matt Sells | Google+

Before I dive into this post, I would like to say thank you to Shop Local Raleigh for letting me write on all things internet marketing. If you have a special request, tweet your suggestions to @thebcco. I will try to get to all of them if they pertain to the subject at hand.

Due to the volume of penalty related emails I have been receiving, I chose to write about this topic. This serves as a warning, not a “How To”.

Most businesses rely heavily on their online presence for new customers and revenue. Weekly, business owners contact me from around the world in a panic because their website has encountered a major drop in rank. Most of the time, this is affecting their income and some companies have to lay off employees. In most cases, this loss is due to a penalty from a search engine.

Google Penalties


The Panda algorithm searches for websites with poor quality, thin or duplicate content. The reason being, Google wants users to have a good experience on the web. This algorithm can affect the rank of one page of your website or the entire website.


The Penguin algorithm targets webspam and “Black Hat” Techniques. It looks for unnatural links, paid links and (or) links from adult websites.

Manual Unnatural Link Penalty

Unlike algorithms, a manual penalty is handed to you from a real person at Google. Someone located suspicious links on your website and notified them. They review the report that was submitted and if your SEO tactics are going against their guidelines, you usually receive an unnatural link notification in your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard.

The Cause

A lot of internet marketers resale poor quality services from vendors. You have to be careful with services like link building, guest blogging and article marketing. Poor quality SEOs usually use software that automatically generates blog posts linking back to your website. Most of the time, this content is garbage. Using these methods can lead to duplicate content and (or) unnatural links.

Ask to see all of the links and blog posts your marketer has published on your behalf. High quality link builders will share their work with you. High quality guest bloggers will do the same. If a marketer or SEO will not show you these items chances are it is webspam. Recovery from a penalty is possible but playing it safe is the best plan for future success.