Google warns permanent removal now likely for repeat offenders

Posted by Rebecca Appleton on 21 Sep, 2015
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In a new blog post published on its Google Webmaster Central blog, the search engine announced a hard line against repeat offenders.

It is targeting those sites with a manual or automated action taken against them, and suggests that repeat offenders could be barred from the search engine results pages (SERPs) permanently.

Google has warned webmasters to be wary of continued poor practices, stating that repeat violations of its policies are likely to find it much harder to gain a foothold in its indexes. It says that that those who continue to spam, build poor quality links and try to trick its algorithms with false reconsideration requests after receiving a manual action penalty will no longer find it quite so easy to reverse the effects of a penalty.

The posts, which was authored anonymously, lifts the lid on what is thought to be a growing problem. Currently, Google will issue an automated or manual action penalty against sites that are found to be in violation of Webmaster Guidelines. Webmaster receiving a manual action can see which part of their site triggered the problem by logging into the Search Console. As well as flagging up the offending part of the site, Search Console will also offer insight as to why the penalty was levied. A Manual Action is often triggered due to poor links so webmasters can issue a reconsideration request to Google after disavowing the link or requesting its removal.

The example Google gave was of a site receiving a manual action due to an unnatural link to another site. In order to be reinstated, the link is made nofollow and then a reconsideration request filed. The search engine has now discovered that in many cases, once the reconsideration request is successful, the no follow is removed from the link. Google sees this as a repeated violation and an attempt to spam its indexes. In the post it said,

Such repeated violations may make a successful reconsideration process more difficult to achieve. Especially when the repeated violation is done with a clear intention to spam, further action may be taken on the site.

“In order to avoid such situations, we recommend that webmasters avoid violating our Webmaster Guidelines, let alone repeating it. We, the Search Quality Team, will continue to protect users by removing spam from our search results.”

So what does this mean in practice? Reading between the lines, the meaning is clear; if you try and trick Google and they catch you, don’t expect your next reconsideration request to be approved. Your site will be blocked from the search engine.

Is this too harsh or a just penalty for repeat offenders trying to get ahead with black hat methods? Let us know what you think in the comments.


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