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Are google algorithmic penalties temporary?

 9:59 pm on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think my site was penalized. My question is: are most algorithmic google penalties temporary now and do they automatically lapse after a certain period of time?

Does anyone have any experience with getting their sites back in rankings after a penalty?



 11:20 pm on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

In theory once the problem is gone the algo adjusts itself. But I've heard of a minimum, say, 90 days penalty and then remove--if the problem is fixed. How do you know it's algo based?


 12:44 am on Jun 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is a video on youtube by Matt Cutts about this from a few months back.

It seems to me (and I have watched that video several times) that if your site loses rankings due to the algorithm, then if you change your site so that it should rank better, then it will do so the next time googlebot crawls it and has time to reindex the SERPs.

If, on the other hand, you have a manual penalty (a google employee went to your site and saw something suspicious), then you would have to fix it and submit a reconsideration request.

The video didn't clearly state that there would be a fixed time length to the penalty even if you fixed your site.

Lots of people on this forum have experience with getting their sites back after a penalty (I don't personally, since I don't appear to have ever been penalized - knock on wood). You might search these forums for OOP or the words over optimization penalty

I think the more important question is WHY do you think you have been penalized?

If you search for a unique string of text on your page, is it showing up at number 1 in the serps? (Or at least very close to the top of the SERPs?)

Were you getting lots of inbound links? Doing any cloaking?


 3:50 am on Jun 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think it is algorithm based because this is not a commercial site I don't sell anything and I doubt google employees will waste their time manually imposing a penalty. It is really just for personal enjoyment.

I think I was penalized for paying for a few links.

Robert Charlton

 7:08 am on Jun 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

How do you know it's a penalty? Are you ranking for your domain name? Are you ranking for an exact text string (search in quotes) on your home page? Has your site dropped in the serps for every query, or just some of them? Where does your site now appear in the serps?

I think I was penalized for paying for a few links.

Why would you buy links for a non-commercial site?

Robert Charlton

 7:10 am on Jun 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here's the Matt Cutts video on YouTube....

When are penalties lifted?
TRT 2:54
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES01L4xjSXE [youtube.com]

Here's the WebmasterWorld thread with tedster's summary of the important points Matt makes in the video....

When are Penalties Lifted? Video answer from Matt Cutts
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4267166.htm [webmasterworld.com]


 8:58 am on Jun 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a bit of experience in this and my understanding from this is as follows:

If you think you have a manual penalty dont change anything and put in a reconsideration request. Within a week you should have a reply saying your site still violates the google guidelines. If you get this reply then I belive you can be fairly sure you have a manual penalty. The reasoning behind this is that when a reconsideration request is put in it will be automatically checked against a list of manual penalties if your site is on the list it will be passed onto a human or specific automated check for compliance with the rule break and replied to accordingly.

I have found that reconsideration requests for algo penalties tend to get ignored - no reply. Automated penalties mean check for the obvious stuff that an algo could pick up, keyword stuffing etc.

Assuming a manual panalty you could put in a second/third request wait another week for the reply to come back that it has been reviewed then cross reference your server logs to find the exact page google are looking at to give you some clues - this is a HUGE job and only works depending on your site setup. You might also find you annoy google and increase your penalty if no action has been taken each time (assuming a human and not specific automated check).

The second option for a manual penalty is to wait, these tend to be time based so your site should reapear within 30 to x number of days. However you then could have the penalty re-imposed.

From what I understand the reconsideration request only speeds up the process of getting back into the results if the violation has been fixed, otherwise you have to wait out the time penalty. Ie with a manual penalty you could never put a reconsideration request fix the problem then be back in the serps after 30 days when the penalty expires without any further problems. However with a reconsideration request if the problem was fixed on day 1 you could be back on day 7-10 so 20 days earlier.


 4:11 pm on Jun 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why would you buy links for a non-commercial site?

I would like to have more visitors. Even if your site doesn't sell anything, you still want it to be popular, don't you?

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