Well Penalty is Google’s way to maintain some decorum in the way the sites behave. It’s a sort of a punishment for what Google considers ‘Hacking the Algorithm’ to get better rankings. You might have not done it on purpose or might not even be aware of any of your or your agencies actions might have caused the site to get penalized. It’s an arduous task to identify and fix the issues leading to penalties. Following is a step by step guide on how you can find if you are being penalized and what you can do to recover.

There are 2 Main reasons why Google Penalize your System:

  • One is Unnatural Links towards your site
  • Another is Algorithm Update

Manual Penalties:

Manual penalties are implied when Google’s spam algorithm is indicated by something on your site, and Google decides to apply a manual penalty to your site’s rankings. Manual penalties are usually deducted by a message within your Google Webmaster Tool. Thus, manual penalties are easier to spot.

Algorithm Updates:

Penalties may occur when Google updates its algorithm. A frequent small change or many of changes in Google’s algorithm can cause your website traffic to drop down. Penalties associated with algorithm updates are often much harder to detect because they don’t come with a notification in Webmaster Tools. Google likes to name its Algorithmic updates after some of the cute animals and birds. It’s akin to their policy of naming the android updates on Candies and Chocolates. Its imperative to know what algorithm update has caught you in the mix.

Is it Penguin or Panda Algorithm?

The Penguin algorithm hits site’s with unnatural link profiles and over-optimized anchor text. So it is always advisable not to use only one Anchor Text while creating a backlink. If you have been using a lot of Anchor Text and have an unnatural meaning out of context links you might get yourself into trouble.

The Panda algorithm focuses on low quality duplicate content that hampers the user experience. And User Experience is one of the top priority for Google.

Unfortunately, Many times Google does not give a warning message about the penalties. But knowing what has been done in the past with your website and whats each algorithm update implies to, arms you with information and tools to fix things.

Here I am going to show how you can know about penalty.

Start it from Webmaster Tool Account

The very first thing you need to do is to login to your WMT and check to find out if you have got any manual actions. To check, click on “Search Traffic” and then “Manual Actions” in it. See in the following image:



If the site is manually reviewed by Google and found any error then you can find that error into manual action tab.

Mostly the manual & algorithmic penalties are the result of low quality content or unnatural links redirecting to your website.

Secondly, you can also know this penalty from Google Analytics. If the ranking and web traffic of your site dropped down suddenly, then it means that your site is penalized. See the following image, the graph of traffic has gone down suddenly.



Hit by Google Penguin Algorithm? Remove the Low Quality Links and here is how:

As these low quality Links are very harmful to your website according to penguin updates, it’s one of the most important tasks to remove all the links pointing to your site.

You can download all the links that are pointing to your website from WMT. Go to “Search Traffic” and then “Links to Your Site”. Here you can get all the links that are linking to your site.



You can also get all your backlinks from Ahrefs create your account and login into it.  Once logged in, put your Domain name in given search box. Your backlink report will be generated along with the anchor Text and URL of your site.

If your site’s anchor text distributions have only one exact match keywords and all the backlinks redirecting to your homepage that is over-optimizing of your homepage, there is big chance of getting penalized by Google Penguin. So you need to take care while creating a backlink that anchor text should also be different and its link should not go on only one URL of your site. Best practice is make a back link is to create it with different anchor text and connect it to different page of your website.

Once you have your backlink list on your desk, start contacting each website with the removal request.  Few of the sites will allow you to remove it and few will not response to your request. Create another list of url that are not responding you and submit it to Google Disvow Tool.



How to Recover from Google Panda Penalty ?

Google Panda Algorithm keeps its hold on Low –Quality Websites with on page issues like too many ads, no enough content on the page, duplicate content, low page speed (Speed can be check on pingdom) and Hard up navigation structure.

You can check your duplicate or low quality page content from WMT

Login to Webmaster Tool:

  • Click on “Search appearance ”
  • Then Click on “HTML Improvements”


If you get such Improvement instruction on this page, make sure to either delete or no – follow those pages. You can also use Canonical URL to let Google knows the importance of the page.


This is a free online tool that helps you to indentify your on page problem such as duplicate content, broken link, page speed.

Screaming Frog:

This is also a very good tool to capture duplicate content and other on page problems.

Google Index:

Another way to check your duplication of URL is from webmaster Tool. Go to “Google Index” and then to “Index Status”. Here, if the pages indexed by Google are more than the pages on your sitemap, it means there are duplicate dynamic URL are created.

Make a list of duplicate content and then perform one of the following-

  • Canonical URL
  • Redirect to 301
  • No Index or No Follow
  • Delete the Content

 So to tl:dr it 

If you are hit by Penguin, Look into your backlinks and also the anchor text and your website URL. If you are hit by Panda, Look the content of your page and on – page issues.


From the above process we can identify what type of Penalty is claimed on your website and also how can we recover from it. It is always advisable to always perform a link building with different Anchor Text and Link it to different page of the website. Always try to consider to build Natural Link through Content marketing Strategies. The best practice to rank on Google is always give a meaningful and good content to your website with fine quality of generic keywords and anchor text.