Several Kinds of Manual Actions
Hearing about penalties from Google can make a Webmaster’s blood run cold. Familiarizing yourself with the common warning signs and tactics — seen as risky behavior by search engines — can prevent a website from receiving a dreaded email notification. But what do you do when its too late and you suddenly find yourself amongst the four hundred thousand (or so) of website owners hit monthly with a new manual action?
Confirming the Problem
First, acknowledge that you have a problem by confirming that a manual action has actually taken place. Second, begin to educate yourself on the process to recover from a Google penalty. Next, work towards a reconsideration request.
As you begin digging into the penalty, you’ll find there’s a distinction between a site-wide and a partial manual action.
Where can I find a Manual Action Notification from Google?
To verify if your website has received any penalties from Google, check The Manual Actions page in Google Webmaster Tools. Here’s where you’ll find the Manual Action Notification itself as well as related penalty messages.
- Login to Google Webmaster Tools
- On the Webmaster Tools Dashboard, click Search Traffic.
- Click Manual Actions.
What exactly is a Manual Action?
Google depends on specific algorithms to assess and improve the quality of its search engine. There are over 200 factors considered in Google’s algorithm. If you aren’t consciously following Google’s quality guidelines, you’re playing Russian Roulette with your online presence.
While the algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for determining a precise result, there are some circumstances that lead Google to initiate a manual action while applying a penalty.
A Manual Action is an override of the Google Algorithm process that allows for human interaction to prevent your website from appearing in search results. There are two types of Manual Actions performed by Google, including both site wide and partial.
- Site Wide Manual Action – A “site wide” action applies to your entire website.
- Partial Manual Action – A “partial” action applies to specific URLs or a section within your website. The penalties applied to a website with a partial manual action are isolated to individual pages, sections, or links rather than its entirety.
Check back next week for Part 2 where I explain the different types of penalties from Google.
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