The term “manual action” refers to penalties imposed by search engines on websites that violate their quality guidelines. Understanding what these are and how to address them is crucial for maintaining a healthy online presence.
These are penalties manually applied by human reviewers at search engines like Google. Unlike algorithmic penalties, which are automated, these are the result of a manual review of a website’s content and backlink profile.
- Unnatural Links: Penalties related to unnatural links point to manipulative link-building practices that violate Google’s guidelines.
- Thin Content: Websites with thin, low-quality, or duplicate content may face penalties for providing poor user experience.
- User-Generated Spam: Penalties for user-generated spam target websites with spammy user-generated content, such as forum spam or comment spam.
- Cloaking: Cloaking penalties are issued when a website serves different content to search engine crawlers than to human visitors.
- Keyword Stuffing: Websites that excessively use keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings may receive penalties for keyword stuffing.
Impact of Manual Action:
These can have severe consequences for a website’s search engine rankings and organic traffic. They can result in decreased visibility, lower rankings, and even removal from search engine results pages (SERPs) if not addressed promptly.
Webmasters can check for manual actions in Google Search Console under the “Manual Actions” section. Google sends notifications to site owners if a manual action is taken against their site, providing details about the issue and steps to resolve it.
- Understanding the Issue: Webmasters should carefully read the manual action notification and understand the specific violation identified by Google.
- Addressing the Problem: Taking corrective actions, such as removing unnatural links, improving content quality, or fixing technical issues, is essential to resolve the manual action.
- Submitting a Reconsideration Request: After fixing the issues, webmasters can submit a reconsideration request through Google Search Console, explaining the steps taken to address the manual action.
- Demonstrating Compliance: In the reconsideration request, it’s crucial to demonstrate compliance with Google’s guidelines and provide evidence of the corrective measures implemented.
To prevent manual actions, website owners should adhere to search engine guidelines, focus on providing high-quality content, and employ ethical SEO practices. Regular monitoring of backlink profiles and website content can help identify potential issues before they escalate into penalties.