How To Know If Your Website Has Been Penalized By Google?

After all the ‘Panda’s and ‘Penguin’s, many websites have suffered ranking drop in their search ranking. The question is, “Is the site penalized?”, or it’s simply because old backlinks got devalued and hence ranking dropped?

In today’s post, I’ll show you a way to find out the answer.

Before I continue, it is important for newbie to know Google’s penalty for link building. If you are not sure, read this post.

Basically, what happen is if you want to rank ‘yourdomain.com/article1.htm’ for the search term ‘yeast infection cure’ and you build tons of backlinks and get caught, Google will impose a limit to ‘yourdomain.com/article1.htm’ for this search term. It could be -40, -50 or -100. Say if it’s -100, it means the best position this url can attain is position 101.

Imagine a case where you rank #3 in a search term and suddenly, your ranking drop flat. 2 things could have happened.

1) Google updated its algorithm and many of your previous backlinks were either de-indexed or discounted. Since the total value of your backlinks dropped, your ranking dropped.

2) Your site triggered Google’s manual review and the reviewer team decided that most of the backlinks are junk (and more importantly, your site is a junk site that doesn’t add much value to its users). Hence the Google team imposed a penalty on this url. In this case, your position may drop from #3 to #103, for example, because of a -100 penalty.

If the rank drop is due to scenario 1, it’s simple. Just build more quality backlinks. There is no need to remove old backlinks because Google has in a way removed those links, by either de-indexing or discounting them.

If the rank drop is due to scenario 2, then you will have to clean up all your backlinks and write to Google for a re-evaluation.

Now, how do you know if you are in scenario 1 or 2?

There isn’t an official way to find out. Here is my ‘speculated’ way.

If you want to find out if ‘yourdomain.com/article1.htm’ has been penalized for the search term ‘yeast infection cure’, do a google search for

site:yourdomain.com yeast infection cure

What you are doing is searching within ‘yourdomain.com’ for the webpage that best matches ‘yeast infection cure’.

Assuming yourdomain.com/article1.htm is well optimized (both onpage and offpage) for this search term, yourdomain.com/article1.htm should rank top.

If you can’t find yourdomain.com/article1.htm at the top or among the top, but found it on the last page or perhaps page 5 or page 11, then something is wrong. There is a high chance that this url has been penalized.

What happen is Google uses a similar algorithm to return results for internal search. Hence if a url is penalized, the penalty will be shown in the internal search as well.

93 thoughts to “How To Know If Your Website Has Been Penalized By Google?”

  1. Regarding backlinks it’s important to always have QUALITY over quantity. Way too many beginners go overboard by spamming 1000’s of links to their site and the Penguin update is all about devaluing those links. Do it the right way and you won’t get penalized.

  2. Google seem to keep changing the rule’s almost every month now?
    do you think this is a direct attempt to stop people doing any form of SEO and take out paid Google ad’s instead?

    thanks as always Kenneth for sharing great tips & content

    1. Google is ethical enough not to do such thing. All it wants is to maintain its authority in search engine market. Any form of SEO means people can take over its algorithm and rank any junk page #1 and that will only ruin their search quality.

    1. I don’t know the answer. But bear in mind that any form of penalty is human implemented and that means that person must have considered the quality of the page. This also implies that only sites with little values are penalized. Hence chances are the penalty is permanent.

  3. Ya I know my website got permantetly banned from google and the only reason I could think of at the time was that it took me to long to decide to start advertising on the google search I see now that other things could have come into play as well

  4. “The “98% Solution”
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  5. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that
    I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for
    me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  6. This is really true. Google did penalize many website ranking. A page rank 4 could be dropped to page rank 2 , 3 to 2 and 2 to 1.

    Today, YouTube also take serious attention on view counts. They can just remove spam views to its actual view. This is really awesome Technology.

    BTW, YouTube brings to us Olympics live channel, what I have to say…fantastic!

    Enjoy Olympic London 2012.
    Cheers!

  7. I have a friend who is a designer who I think has been penalized. Should I tell him or not? We more or less compete of course, so I wanted to know if he was banned or penalized. I think he is penalized.

    HIs problems:

    1) BAD links (said a dude from India takes care of that, that triggered an alarm).
    2) His main page points to another directory (domain.com/directory)
    3) He has changed item #2 so many damn times (version1, web, site, etc).

  8. Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will send this post to him. Pretty sure he’s
    going to have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  9. That’s a helpful tip thanks. I was worried about one of my other sites, but it “passed” your tip, so hopefully the problem was with some of the links I’d built before I knew better!

  10. If you have a few pages which clearly don’t rank for their keywords doing this method, would you suggest deleting the url and redoing it, or just change the content on the page and hope the next refresh fixes it?

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  12. Hi Kenneth,

    Now i am clear about “how Website Has Been Penalized By Google?”

    According to scenario 1, if my site lost to page rank due to changing Google algorithm. What i will do to regain my site to 3rd place..

    1. Focus on long term success, not short term gain. That means, focus on building site authority and quality site with great content. If you do that, you will see Google chasing after you, instead of you chasing after Google.

      For your info, building site authority means building backlinks from all kinds of sources using all kinds of anchor texts to different pages of your website.

  13. Yes there is a way to know if your website has been penalized by google or even banned the best way is to sign up for there free newwletters so this don’t happen and you can keep up on the latest news with google. But if there is a problem or you been banned you will get an email notification. Warning if you are banned for any reason by google you can NOT reactivate that account however you can still keep all your free things from google like your gmail, blogger and other accounts. I hope this was helpful.

    Jimmy

  14. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad forme.

  15. Somebody can help me, I am loosing my ranking in Keyword, I have checked everything start working but still facing the same problem, Can Anybody help me to get my ranking back

  16. Hi Kenneth,

    i have just checked my website with this search term ‘http://www.itelmobiledialer.com/’ ‘callback’ now my site page is on 2nd position but when i search “http://www.itelmobiledialer.com/” “callback” search term my page shows on 7th page. plz tell me what search term is ok or what about my page it panalized by google or not.

    Waiting for reply ASAP,

    Thanks
    Naveen Kadian

  17. way is to sign up for there free newwletters so this don’t happen and you can keep up on the latest news with google. But if there is a problem or you been banned you will get an email notification. Warning if you are banned for any reason by google you can NOT reactivate that account however you can still keep all your free things from google

  18. Yes I also have been hit hard on only one site but it was my big money maker. I just about was going to get out of the game until reading this post. So I do appreciate the info and really Google is going to be Google

  19. Kenneth im still not convinced that Google doesn’t just want us all to just take out paid ad’s!?

    i do agree there are a lot of bad SEO practioner’s and hopefully some of the changes will mean the old ‘get 10,000 backlinks a day by any means’ people will change what they do but do you in all honesty not think that Google being a business also make some of these changes in the hope that most will just relent and buy sponsored ad’s instead?

  20. Thanx for a very interesting web site. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such an ideal approach? I have a undertaking that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been at the look out for such information

  21. You have given a good article about the way of knowing whether Google has added up a penalty to our web page. A large number of people will be facing these kinds of problem with their sites and Web Pages. You have provided a great deal of help for them.

  22. I would suggest reading this article before advertising on google it will save you from the headaches that I put up with and keep you from getting penalized or even worse banned!

  23. Look for now and probably not ever I will not use google they penalized me and I don’t care. This is why I use other advertising servicessuch as facebook, godaddy and others.

  24. I’m glad this community and blog helps you. I love this blog too helps me get some great insite. I hope your son does well in his future judi bola :)

  25. It’s so interesting post which all marketer should be interesting,when your site is losing position in some space in Google, what minus have you site and when Google penalized your site, look and read careful.

  26. My better half and that i stumbled up here returning from a unique online page and thought I ought to check things out. i favor what I see therefore currently i’m following you. foresee to looking for concerning your online page repeatedly.

  27. Nice post. I learn one thing rather more difficult on distinctive blogs everyday. It’s progressing to the least bit times be stimulating to scan content from alternative writers and observe a trifle one thing from their store. I’d opt to create use of some exploitation the content on my journal whether or not you don’t mind. Naturally I’ll offer you with a link on your web journal. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Great post,one thing I’ve learned is that you really don’t need to waste too much time removing the links you think may have hurt your site. It’s not like google doesn’t know that you have poor quality backlinks. They basically just discount those backlinks and like you said the best thing to do is just generate higher quality backlinks to your site. Thanks for the informative article!

  29. Google’s ever-changing algorithms made rankings of websites go down. No matter how you look at it, websites are being penalized. That’s all there is to it. But, there are some effective ways to make up for those penalties. One of them is to write relevant articles and stop spamming.

  30. Look I just use All Enclusive Ads you can find it on my website and I’ve seen amazing results. Google banned me from using there services I think simply because I waited too long before making a decision to advertise through them so personally I feel if they don’t want my business fine!! And the funny part is I was just going to put up my ad campaign up right before they did that sorry about your loss. I also advertise through Microsoft which is yahoo and bing sometimes and through facebook too from time to time but google can kiss my ass I would love to advertise on google but don’t understand why they banned me from using my adwords account for don’t make any sense.

  31. Based on my experience, you will know that your website is penalized by Google if you receive some kind of notifications or warnings like DCMA or your Google Ads are all gone.

  32. Very well explained, was looking for information on the penalty from Google (Panda and Penguin) for a project. In my case all the links I perform a file copy in case you need to revise or delete them.
    Every day Google say that it becomes more intelligent.
    Thank you.
    A greeting

  33. Even though I don’t pay attention to what Google does these days with all their changes or why, this is most certainly an eye opener. thanks for the share Ken.

    All my best for a Merry Christmas to you and yours! :)

  34. If your website has reliable and quality content, it surely will be friendly to search engines such as google. It is always good to have the status of your website, and knowing whether your page has been penalized by google is very necessary. This is a great page, and by clicking on the link above you will know more about managing your website content.

  35. Great Post! I was only using the information of Manual Actions on the Webmaster Tools to look out for any Google Penalty. Also, sudden changes in the rankings of my page. Thanks for article, let me try this as well for my clients

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