website penaltiesThe SEO world can be challenging at times. One minute you love Google, because of the traffic the search engine brings your website, the next minute you hate it. When you rely on SEO for your traffic, your success is virtually in the hands of Google. And that’s great at times until the traffic takes a nose dive. There can be many reasons that your traffic has taken an abrupt turn for the worse. It’s possible that your analytical tools are on the fritz, but in most cases, the reason is that your website has been penalized by Google. When Google decides to penalize a site, it will either cause the website to lose partial rankings (partial penalty) or blow it completely out of search (full penalty). The severity of the penalty will usually depend on the reason Google decided to penalize your site in the first place.

Reasons that Google would decide to penalize a site:

Reasons that Google would decide to penalize a site are usually SEO related. Often, a penalty may be incurred as a result of buying links, building spammy links on forums and blogs, linking to low-quality sites, or over-optimization. Most of the time, you will know that your site has been penalized, either by a major drop in traffic or by receiving a notification from Google in Webmaster Tools.


When it comes to Google Penalties, there are two types:

Manual Penalty

A manual penalty is caused by an employee of Google analyzing your website and finding a problem. It may be an on-site problem or an off-site problem. An on-site problem may occur because your website isn’t user-friendly. This could be a result of duplicate content, poor quality content, or too many outbound links. An off-site problem may be caused by suspicious links linking to your website. Google may suspect that you bought these links in order to manipulate the algorithm. An off-site problem can also be caused by links that are of poor quality.

Algorithmic Penalty

An algorithmic penalty is caused by Google’s algorithm, which Google constantly updates and releases unexpectedly. If you are a member of SEO forums, you’ll likely be aware of a new algorithmic update, because the forums will be full of panic and frustration. An algorithmic penalty can be caused by the same factors as a manual penalty (bad links and a non-user friendly website), but instead of your site receiving a penalty manually, the algorithm evaluates all of search, and penalizes websites that are not up to Google’s standards.

Google searchAlthough a Google penalty can be extremely inconvenient, it’s not the end of the world. There are many actions that you can take to get into Google’s good books again. You may be able to correct the problems yourself, or you may need to hire a professional SEO to do the work for you. The best defense is protecting your website from these spontaneous penalties before it’s too late.

If your site has been penalized or just simply is not getting the results that it should for you, contact L4 Group. L4 Group specializes in local SEO services for small and medium-sized businesses all over the United States. By helping business owners and marketing executives develop effective solutions and programs, L4 Group’s marketing strategies will increase traffic, increase sales, and increase profitability.