A Google penalty is the negative impact on a website’s search rankings based on updates to Google’s search algorithms and/or manual review. The penalty can be an unfortunate by-product of an algorithm update or an intentional penalization for various black-hat SEO techniques.
Penalties Broken Down
|Manual review||Algorithmic penalty / filtering|
|Penalty causes:||Manual penalties are usually related to off-site over-optimization, i.e. aggressive link building campaigns||Algorithmic filtering usually takes place with on-site over-optimization.|
|Penalty symptoms:||Ranking changes effect the whole site (though it can be also the sign of automatic one).||Only a few of site keyword rankings were effected.|
|Penalty removal (after the penalty flag is cleared):||A manual penalty might only be removed in slow steps.||An algorithmic penalty is often removed automatically; it can also be removed with no apparent reason “except that a lot of time passed.”|
- Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012 (impacting around 3.1% of queries)
- Penguin 2 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
- Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012 (impacting around 0.3% of queries)
- Penguin 4 (AKA Penguin 2.0) on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
- Penguin 5 (AKA Penguin 2.1) on October 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
- Penguin 6 (AKA Penguin 3.0) on October 17, 2014 (impacting less than 1% English queries).