What is an SEO algorithmic penalty? A complete guide

An SEO algorithmic penalty is a sanction that a web page receives from the search engine algorithms, especially Google. This type of penalty occurs when the website does not comply with the guidelines established by Google algorithms, which can result in a significant decrease in its visibility in search results.

Algorithmic SEO penalties are automatic , meaning there is no manual review by Google. Instead, Google’s algorithms use different signals to determine whether a website meets quality guidelines. If the website does not comply with these guidelines, an algorithmic penalty may occur.

It is important to note that an algorithmic SEO penalty is not the same as a manual penalty, which is carried out by a human Google reviewer. Although both penalties can have a negative impact on the visibility of a web page, algorithmic penalties are more difficult to detect and correct than manual ones.

Types of SEO Penalties

SEO penalties are a reality in the world of web positioning. These penalties can be manual or algorithmic and aim to penalize those sites that do not comply with Google guidelines.

Manual Penalty

Manual penalty is an action taken by a Google quality reviewer who detects that a website is violating Google quality guidelines. In this case, the quality reviewer makes the decision to apply a sanction to the website in question.

Manual actions can be a result of various practices that go against Google guidelines, such as comment spam, link buying, creating duplicate content, among others.

Algorithmic Penalty

Algorithmic penalty is a penalty applied to a website as a result of a change in Google’s algorithm. These penalties are applied automatically and can affect a large number of websites.

Changes to Google’s algorithm can have a significant impact on a website’s ranking. For example, in 2012, Google released its algorithm update called “Penguin,” which penalized websites that used link spam techniques.

In summary, SEO penalties can be manual or algorithmic and aim to penalize those websites that do not comply with Google’s quality guidelines. It is important to follow Google’s guidelines to avoid being penalized and maintain a good positioning in the SERPs.

Penalty Factors

When it comes to Google algorithmic penalties , there are several factors that can affect a website’s ranking in search results. Below are some of the most common factors that can lead to a penalty:

Black Hat SEO

Using Black Hat SEO techniques such as creating duplicate content, plagiarism, or spinning can lead to an algorithmic penalty. These techniques are considered deceptive and against Google’s webmaster guidelines.


Overoptimization, also known as keyword stuffing, is another technique that can lead to an algorithmic penalty. This occurs when a keyword is used too many times on a web page in an attempt to improve ranking in search results. Google considers this a deceptive practice and may penalize the website.

Duplicate and Hidden Content

Duplicate and hidden content can also lead to an algorithmic penalty. Duplicate content refers to the literal copying of content from another website, while hidden content refers to the inclusion of hidden text or links on a web page. Both practices go against Google’s webmaster guidelines and can lead to a penalty.

Low Quality Links

A website’s link profile can also affect its ranking in search results. If a website has many low-quality or spam links, Google may consider this a deceptive practice and penalize the website.

In short, to avoid an algorithmic penalty from Google, it is important to follow Google’s webmaster guidelines and avoid using Black Hat SEO techniques, over-optimization, duplicate and hidden content, and low-quality links.

How to Identify an SEO Penalty

To identify an SEO penalty , it is important to pay attention to certain indicators. Below are some of the most common signs of an algorithmic SEO penalty:

Google Analytics and Search Console

One of the most effective ways to detect an SEO penalty is through the analysis of Google Analytics and Google Search Console. If there is a significant decrease in organic web traffic, a penalty has likely occurred. Additionally, if there is a drop in SERP ranking, a penalty may also have occurred.

Drop in Organic Traffic

The drop in organic traffic is one of the clearest indicators of an SEO penalty. If organic traffic drops significantly and suddenly, a penalty has likely occurred. In this case, it is important to investigate the possible causes of the penalty and take measures to solve the problem.

Decrease in Google Positions

Another indicator of an SEO penalty is a decrease in Google rankings. If the positions for relevant keywords decrease significantly, a penalty may have occurred. In this case, it is important to investigate the possible causes of the penalty and take measures to solve the problem.

In summary, to identify an SEO penalty, it is important to pay attention to organic traffic indicators, Google positions and analysis from Google Analytics and Google Search Console. If a penalty is detected, it is important to investigate the possible causes and take steps to resolve the problem.

How to Recover from an SEO Penalty

If a website has been penalized by Google , recovery can be a long and difficult process. However, there are some measures that can be taken to recover from an SEO penalty.

SEO audit

Before beginning any recovery work, it is important to perform an SEO audit to identify the issues that caused the penalty. An SEO consultant can perform a complete website audit to identify issues such as keyword stuffing, redirects, 404 errors, semantic issues, H1 tag issues, and other indexing issues.

Correction of Identified Problems

Once problems have been identified, it is important to correct them. This may include removing duplicate content, removing unnatural inbound links, removing irrelevant keywords, and correcting semantics issues.

It is important to note that correcting problems can take time and effort. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the same mistakes are not made in the future to avoid future penalties.

Google Reconsideration Request

After correcting the identified issues, a reconsideration request may need to be submitted to Google. This request must include a detailed description of the problems identified and the actions taken to correct them.

It is important to note that the reconsideration request may take several weeks to process. Additionally, Google may not approve the request immediately and more work must be done to comply with Google policies.

In short, recovering from an SEO penalty can be a long and difficult process. However, by taking the proper steps, such as performing a full SEO audit, correcting any identified issues, and submitting a reconsideration request to Google, it is possible to recover from a Google penalty.

What to do to prevent an SEO penalty?

To avoid an algorithmic SEO penalty, it is important to follow Google’s guidelines and maintain a white SEO strategy. Below are some best practices to prevent SEO penalties:

White SEO Practices

White SEO is an ethical practice recommended by Google to improve web positioning. Some white SEO practices include using relevant keywords and creating quality content.

Creation of Quality Content

The quality of the content is a key factor in web positioning. It is important to create original and relevant content for users. Avoid thin content and duplicate content, as this can negatively affect your search engine rankings.

Load Time Optimization

The loading speed of your website is an important factor in improving user experience and SEO. Make sure your website is optimized for fast loading and that images and videos are compressed.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on attracting users through relevant and quality content. This strategy can help improve web positioning and prevent SEO penalties.

In summary, to prevent algorithmic SEO penalties, it is important to follow Google’s guidelines, use white SEO practices, create quality content, optimize loading time, and use inbound marketing strategies.

What to do if my website suffers an algorithmic penalty?

At our SEO agency, we are experts in detecting and solving algorithmic penalties. Below I am attaching a link to a recent success story from one of our clients who came to us under this circumstance. Algorithmic penalty exit success story .

Frequent questions

How does an algorithmic penalty affect my website’s SEO?

An algorithmic penalty can negatively affect your website’s ranking in Google search results. This means that your website may appear lower in search results or even be removed from Google SERPs. This can have a significant impact on your website traffic and visibility.

What can I do to avoid an algorithmic penalty on my website?

To avoid an algorithmic penalty on your website, it is important to follow Google’s webmaster guidelines. This includes avoiding misleading or manipulative SEO techniques, such as overusing keywords, creating duplicate content, or link sharing. Instead, you should focus on creating high-quality, relevant content for your users, and ensuring your website is easy to navigate and optimized for mobile devices.

What are the signs that my website has been algorithmically penalized?

Some signs that may indicate that your website has been algorithmically penalized include a decrease in organic traffic, a drop in keyword rankings, a decrease in your website’s visibility in search results, and a decrease in number of pages indexed on Google.

What does Google’s algorithm check to detect penalties?

Google’s algorithm reviews a variety of factors to detect penalties, including content quality, keyword relevance, inbound link quality, website loading speed, and user experience on the website.

How can I recover my ranking after an algorithmic penalty?

To recover your ranking after an algorithmic penalty, it is important to identify the cause of the penalty and take steps to correct the problem. This may include removing duplicate content, removing low-quality links, improving content quality, and optimizing the website for mobile devices. It may also be helpful to submit a reconsideration request to Google once the necessary fixes have been made.

How common are algorithmic penalties in SEO?

Algorithmic penalties are relatively common in SEO, especially for those who use deceptive or manipulative SEO techniques. However, by following Google’s webmaster guidelines and focusing on creating high-quality, user-relevant content, you can significantly reduce the risk of an algorithmic penalty.

     2023 © Roilab.es | All rights reserved.