Google Throws Down the Gauntlet on Spam with Manual Actions

Recently, right after Google updated its spam-fighting strategies in March 2024, it didn’t hesitate to swing the hammer, dishing out penalties to sites stepping outside the line. For the juicy details, Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land gives us the lowdown on how some sites wound up in the digital doghouse, losing their spot in Google’s search results.

What does it mean?

Think of Google’s manual actions as a red card in soccer. If your site’s caught bending the rules—think cloaking, spammy content, or other no-gos by Google’s playbook—you’re likely to get one. This isn’t just about an algorithm deciding your fate; actual humans at Google are reviewing sites to ensure they play by the rules. The key difference? You get notified about these penalties in Google’s Search Console, guiding you on what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Is there anything you should do about it?

Absolutely. If Google flags your site, it’s not game over. You have the chance to clean up your act. Start by understanding the penalty, seeing how it affects your pages, and then rolling up your sleeves to make things right. Whether it’s spammy SEO tactics that need dusting off or ensuring your content’s not leading users on a merry dance, addressing these issues is crucial. And remember, fixing just a piece of the problem won’t get you back in the game. It’s all or nothing.

Don’t forget, getting back in Google’s good graces takes time. It’s not just about making changes but also about submitting a thorough reconsideration request, detailing what went wrong and how you’ve corrected your course.

In this high-stakes digital arena, staying informed and proactive is your best defense. If you’ve never glanced at your site’s manual actions tab in Google Search Console, now might be a good time to start. And for those dipping their toes in the vast ocean of site optimization or in need of a technical tune-up, considering a professional SEO agency or a website development agency might not be a bad idea.

Bottom line? Keep your site clean, play by the rules, and you won’t have to worry about waking up to find your site’s traffic has vanished overnight.

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Erez Kanaan Founder & CEO
Erez Kanaan is passionate about the latest tech in advertising as he is about family game nights. As a dad, husband, and the brains behind Kanaan & Co., he’s all about mixing innovation with personalization.