You start a website in order to promote your business. It is a tool for company and product promotion as it supports a business activity. This is why you deal with web design, SEO, webmasters, and everything related to online promotions. However, even with all of this effort, you may not get respected results. Part of the reason may be your standing with Google. It is the authority on searches, search results, ranking, and ultimately traffic. So, like it or the results of your effort are connected with google. Also, your results will depend on the penalties that Google might use. So, it is important to deal with them and resolve them as soon as possible. But first, you have to know just how to check if your website is penalized by Google.
These penalties issued by Google are not uncommon. They are issued almost on a daily basis and can be of different kinds and influences. Being hit by a Google penalty is always unpleasant, but that is not all. A penalty can influence part of your website or your whole domain. It can cause your website to be filtered out of search results and influence a drop in your domain’s rank. Ultimately, by committing you from search results it causes a significant drop in organic traffic to your website. This leads to your poor visibility and finally, a drop in your sales provides and profit.
So far from being merely unpleasant these penalties can crush the results of countless hours and money spent on SEO. In today’s world, they may even spell disaster for any company no matter how big. Ideally, it would be great not to get a penalty. However, with Google’s daily effort to provide quality content it makes continual changes to its ranking algorithms. Furthermore, it issues manual penalties where algorithm penalties fail.
How to know if you are penalized?
Well, there are numerous ways to do so. Basically, you will see and experience a decrease in traffic. Your website will suffer a rank drop and not be present at the top of search results. There are two main answers to the question of how to check if your website is penalized? They will depend on the nature of the penalties.
If you are hit by a manual penalty you will get a message from Google through your Google Search Console. You will also get the information on the issue detected and a list of actions you can take.
Algorithmic penalties happen automatically and can be caused by a Panda or Penguin update. Borth will result in a drop in traffic. These penalties don’t show in your console and are more difficult to find.
Both of these types of penalties can be also detected when you analyze your traffic and:
- Check your analytics
- Check your ranking
- and page rank
- Check robots.txt
- Check Google index
- Review your SEO
Check your analytics
The first tool to check is the Google Analytics console. After every algorithm update, you can review your traffic. If you conclude that you have a sudden drop in traffic after the update then you have been penalized. In addition, you can check Advanced segments and see which type of traffic got hurt the most. If mostly your search engine traffic is affected then you have been penalized through an algorithm update.
Check your ranking…
You can easily use some of the free tools to check your rankings. You can check if your website appears in the top 100 websites based on a search for a specific keyword. If your backlinks were devalued or if your website is penalized then you won’t show up in the top 100 at this check.
… And page rank
Also, try to check Page rank according to Google. Page rank will show the webpage’s popularity based on its backlinks. The higher the rank the better on a scale from 1 to 10.
Sometimes what seems to be a penalty can turn out not to be. Sometimes your websites can be set up in such a way to disallow search engine robots to crawl the site. In this case, as search engines are blocked by your website it is clear that it cant get the rank and traffic that it may deserve. So, check your Robots.txt to remedy this issue.
Check Google index
If you do a direct search in Google for your website you can easily check if you are penalized. If your webpage does not show up you are wiped from the Google index as a result of a penalty.
Review your SEO
Check your SEO effort and the way it is conducted. Check if your SEO was conducted in line with Google’s rules. Particularly check if you use software to get links, buy or exchange them, etc. Some of these activities can be considered black hat SEO by Google giving it the reason to penalize a site. So make sure that your SEO team or agency such as the Link Department is up to the task and in line with Google’s rules and dealing only with white hat SEO.
So, Google is an authority which is a major factor that determines your webpage traffic. As such it is good to follow its guidelines and play within rules. Any other activity can earn you a penalty. The first step in dealing with it and getting out of it is precisely defining what happened. For this, you need to know just how to check if your website is penalized. Once you know this and determine the type and cause of the penalty you can proceed to solve the issue. However, keep in mind that you have to be careful and try to play by the rules. Although you can get out of a penalty you will suffer permanent damage to your rank as a result of a penalty.