Weekly SEO news: 22 May 2018
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Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. How to recover from a Google penalty

Google penalties are bad. If Google penalizes your website, they have found out that you used spam methods to promote your site (see list below). It can be difficult to recover from a penalty. This article shows you how to do that.

recover from a Google penalty

Things that Google does not like

Google will penalize your website if you did something that Google does not like.

Google says that you should avoid automatically generated content. You should not participate in link schemes, you shouldn't create pages with little or no original content. Do not cloak your web pages and avoid sneaky redirects, hidden text or links, doorway pages and scraped content.

It's also not good if your website consists of affiliate links without without adding sufficient value. You also shouldn't load your web pages with irrelevant keywords and you should not use rich snippet markup that is not related to the page. Of course, creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware can also lead to a penalty.

A penalty is not the same as a filter

Before you start, you have to find out if Google really penalized your website. A penalty is a manual action from Google. Log in to Google Search Console to find out if your website has been penalized. If there isn't a message in GSC, your website hasn't been penalized.

If you see a massive ranking drop although your website hasn't been penalized, your website might have been hit by a ranking filter. Google's ranking algorithm contains sub-algorithms such as the Panda algorithm. If Google finds that a website has a low quality, they downrank that website.

According to Google's search quality evaluator guidelines, websites should have expertise, authoritativeness and trust (EAT).

Google won't notify your if your website has been affected by a filter. You have to monitor your rankings to find out if your rankings have dropped or not. The Ranking Monitor in SEOprofiler marks dates with confirmed Google algorithm updates so that you can compare ranking changes with the update dates:

Google updates history

In this example, the rankings of the website were not affected by Google's last three updates. The competitor website might have been hit.

There are two types of manual penalties

There are site-wide penalties that affect the entire website, and there are partial penalties that only apply to a section of a website. If you have received a manual penalty, the notification in your Google Search Console account will inform you about the reason for the penalty.

Usually, it's one of the following: Hacked site, user-generated spam, spammy freehosts, spammy structured markup, unnatural links to your site, thin content with little or no added value, cloaking and/or sneaky redirects, unnatural links from your site, pure spam, cloaked images, hidden text and/or keyword stuffing.

Further information about the different penalty types can be found here.

How to recover from a Google penalty

If your website has been penalized by Google, you should remove all elements that led to the penalty. The bottom of this page shows fixes for common manual actions.

Today, most manual penalties are for unnatural links. This happens when you are buying links or when you are creating link schemes on a large scale. Remove these unnatural links to recover your rankings. The Link Disinfection tool in SEOprofiler can help you to do that:

Link disinfection

How to improve your rankings after a Google filter

If your website rankings have dropped because of an algorithmic filter, you have to improve the quality of your web pages. It is also important to make sure that your web pages do not contain technical errors that keep search engine crawlers away. These technical errors can happen after a website redesign, after installing a new plugin, etc.

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler finds these technical errors on your web pages and it also shows you how to remove these errors. It is much easier to get high rankings with error-free web pages.

The Top 10 Optimizer tool, the readability-checker and the other optimization tools in SEOprofiler help you to improve the quality of your web pages. High-quality pages get better rankings than low-quality pages.


Do not spam! Don't use automated tools or shady schemes to get backlinks. Google's recent updates rewarded high-quality sites, i.e. this wasn't a ranking drop for low-quality sites, but a ranking boost for high-quality sites. Spam-websites will get a penalty, high-quality websites will be rewarded.

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to create high-quality website with website optimization methods that are spam-free. You can create your free account here:

Optimize your website

2. Internet marketing news of the week

John MuellerGoogle: how we choose pages for featured snippets

"In a webmaster hangout on YouTube, Google’s John Mueller shared useful information about the content Google uses for featured snippets. [...] Our analysis of many featured snippets show that the following things work."

Google: the effects of personalized search are very light

"On Twitter, Google’s Danny Sullivan said that personalized search does not change the search results very much. The location from which you search and the language in which you search matter much more."

GoogleDisambiguating search input based on context of input

"Google hears a query for “New York, New York.” Does it give directions, play a Frank Sinatra Song, or show tourist style search results? Likely that depends upon the context of that query. [...]

This recently granted Google patent looks at the context of queries to try to disambiguate user inputs to make results not ambiguous."

The average description length on Google’s result pages is back to 160 characters (even less for mobile)

"On Twitter, Google’s Danny Sullivan said that the snippets on Google’s result pages are no shorter on average than in recent weeks. Tests show that the average snippet length is about 160 characters for desktop search results and about 130 characters for mobile search results."

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Google removes 'don't be evil' clause from its code of conduct.
  • Google is being investigated in Australia over alleged collection of user data.
  • Google announces email notifications for reviews.
  • Facebook suspends 200 apps for possible misuse of data.
  • Bing Ads to disallow cryptocurrency advertising.
  • Amazon tests ad tool that rivals Google, Criteo.
  • Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP pages as "not secure".
  • What Google isn't telling us about its AI demo.
  • How did Google get so big?

3. Previous articles