Google doesn’t reveal too much about how its algorithm works but within the Webmaster Guidelines that the company has issued, but two statements do stand out – “make pages primarily for users, not for search engines” and “avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.”
Some ‘tricks’ or banned practices include automatically generated content, link schemes, pages without original content, hidden text and links, and loading pages with irrelevant keywords.
According to Google Inside Search’s “Fighting Spam” page, the most common type of spam is “pure spam,” resulting in nearly 200,000 actions per month. Pure spam is defined as a site that aggressively utilizes multiple spamming techniques at once.
Google is specifically referring to the actions issued manually by Google Search Quality representatives, and not algorithmic actions that occur automatically through Penguin and Panda. After fixing their sites, webmasters are free to send reconsideration requests, with many manual actions ultimately being revoked.
However, webmasters that received a Manual Action notification based on an unnatural link to another site may nofollow the link, then delete the nofollow after successfully being reconsidered. A Google Webmaster Central blog post commented this morning, “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.”
Google hasn’t been explicit about the consequences for such violators, but possibilities include having to wait longer to get out of the penalties, drops in PageRank, or removal from the indexed search results altogether.
Has your website experienced a drop sudden drop in rankings? It may be due to a Google penalty. Contact us for a free website audit and we’ll see if we can help.