Do manual actions affect how you rank in organic search? Discover how this manual penalty Google may affect your website (and if it is permanent).
A manual action can have a significant impact on how Google displays a page.
It has the power to completely remove content from the search index and to downrank the content of a website in search results. Read on this blog provided by SEO Agency.
Do manual activities now count as a ranking factor?
No, not quite.
A ranking factor is a signal used by Google to determine how and where to rank a webpage in search results.
Through Google’s routine web scanning, these signals are detected.
That definition excludes manual actions since they are ones that Google implements independently.
Given that manual action can instantly remove a website from Google’s index, it may be accurate to claim that it takes precedence over all other ranking considerations.
Problematic content is automatically removed from search results by Google’s algorithms.
Google occasionally runs into a situation where it needs to directly intervene and take immediate action.
The effects of manual actions on search rankings are discussed in more detail below.
How True are That Manual Actions a Ranking Factor?
Because a manual action refers to changing a website’s visibility in search results, it is categorized under ranking factors.
The action entails degrading or deleting a website or particular pages from Google Search, to be more precise.
It is misleading to refer to a manual action as a “ranking factor” because it suggests that it is included in the algorithm or is at least taken into account.
In actuality, it’s the harshest punishment Google can impose on websites.
More information on the types of infractions that would prompt Google to manually take action is provided in the next section, which can assist you in preventing one of your own.
Manual actions are not a ranking factor; they are a penalty
Google gives detailed instructions on what manual actions are, how to tell whether they have affected your site, and how to recover from them after they have been given.
Quoting from the text:
“When a human reviewer at Google determines that a site’s pages do not comply with Google’s webmaster quality requirements, Google takes manual action against the site. The majority of manual interventions target tries to trick our search index.”
Google reserves the right to remove information if forced to do so by law, in addition to taking action against websites using deceptive SEO techniques.
In a video with former Google employee Matt Cutts, which was first released in 2012, all of this is discussed in detail.
Manual Actions Types
Here is a list of offenses for which Google will take manual action:
1) Third-party spam:
The site contains a considerable quantity of spam generated by third parties.
User-generated spam is spam that website visitors have uploaded.
2) Structured data:
This website manipulates structured data in some way.
3) Unnatural inbound links:
There is a pattern of links leading to a site that has been put deliberately.
4) Unnatural external links:
A site tends to have links placed deliberately pointing outside of it.
5) Thin content:
The website has low-quality pages that add little to nothing.
6) Cloaking and cunning redirects:
A website is displaying to users different pages than it does to Google, or it is sending users to a different page than Google saw.
7) Pure spam:
A website repeatedly or flagrantly violates Google’s quality standards by utilizing aggressive spam strategies.
8) Photos that are hidden:
Some images on a website may appear differently in Google search results than they do when seen on the website.
9) Hidden text and keyword stuffing:
Some pages on a website may include hidden text or keyword stuffing, which are prohibited practices according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
10) Mismatched AMP content:
The AMP version and its canonical web page have different content.
11) Sly mobile redirect:
Some web pages on a site lead users on mobile devices to content that search engine crawlers cannot access.
12) Google News and/or Discover content policies:
They have been broken by the website.
How To Determine If A Manual Action Has An Impact On Your Website
In contrast to algorithmic changes to search rankings, Google informs websites in a straightforward manner when a manual action has been taken against them.
Google will occasionally give you a chance to fix the issue before imposing a penalty, so you might be informed before the manual action is carried out.
Google Search Console serves as the conduit for all of this communication, making it a crucial SEO tool.
Google will notify a site directly via Search Console if and when a manual action has an impact on it.
The reason for the move, which pages are affected and to what extent, and instructions for regaining Google’s favor will all be included in the notice.
The Search Console Manual Action report contains more details regarding any manual measures taken against your website.
The Best Way To Undo A Manual Action
All manual actions can be undone, provided the proper precautions are taken.
Google will never completely remove a website from its index. Although recovering from some penalties may be more difficult than from others, it is always possible.
In order to reverse a manual action, all issues found by Google must be resolved on all impacted pages. Site owners must submit a reconsideration request when issues are rectified.
Reconsideration requests are precisely what they sound like—they ask Google to rethink the penalty it has imposed on a website.
If Google determines the issues have been remedied, it will examine the request and undo the manual action.
Although a site’s rankings might not immediately return to their previous levels, nothing is stopping it from climbing the SERPs once more.