Understanding & Unraveling Google’s 9 Most Commonly Played Penalties
To say that 2014 was a rocky year for webmasters would be a gross understatement. Google sent sites on a roller coaster ride of super highs and stomach dropping lows with moments of sheer terror experienced by many. If you've been a loyal SEN subscriber, hopefully we've helped you to better navigate these uncertain times.
Regardless, in our passion to keep you armed with the knowledge and tools you need to slip past all of Google's changes and newly adjusted filters, we've pulled apart Google's most commonly applied penalties so that we could show you how to recover from them sooner rather than later. Now, if you're lucky enough to not yet been hit with a penalty then be sure to read the first part of this article series: The Ultimate Guide to Avoiding Google Penalties.
It's not a matter of "if" but "when" you or your clients will be impacted by a Google algorithmic or manual penalty. But as with everything, knowledge is power. Here's what YOU need to know to prepare, fight and defeat even the worst that Google may throw at you.
1. Panda Content Penalties (Algorithmic)
First introduced by Google in February 2011, Panda is an algorithmic penalty that continues to be rerun or "refreshed" against the index at irregular intervals (usually once a month). Sites hit by Panda experience ranking drops anywhere from 10-50 spaces with some pages being completely unranked in search results.
There have been 20+ updates or "refreshes" of the algorithm as of the publication of this article (the most recent public update was pushed out in late October 2014). This penalty is almost uniformly on-site metric based with triggers such as
- low-quality or thin and spun content
- high bounce rates
- low average site visits