How can an SEO expert help you identify and fix any penalties your website may have incurred? 

A Google penalty can wreak havoc on your website, sending traffic plummeting and potentially killing revenue. It’s important to understand how the different types of penalties work and how to fix them to restore your rankings. 

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In the age of RankBrain and BERT, one might think that SEO has become a bit more algorithmic and that there is less need for human reviewers, but this is far from true. Google has plenty of employees that are part of their webspam team who can manually take action against domains and websites if they violate guidelines. Additionally, there are plenty of algorithm updates that can penalize websites as well. Algorithmic penalties are a lot more common than manual penalties, but both can be very painful. 

How Can an SEO Expert Help You Identify and Fix Any Penalties Your Website Has? 

There are many ways that your website can be hit with a penalty, including a variety of content marketing tactics that may be seen as spammy. Fortunately, most penalties are easy to identify, and it’s often just a matter of fixing things to bring your website back into good standing with Google. 

Typically, if your website has been hit with a penalty, it will be listed under “Security and Manual Actions” in Google Search Console. In some cases, the issue is clearly outlined and it’s just a matter of removing the offending content or links. However, there are other times that it can be more complicated and you’ll need to use a penalty checker tool to find out what is wrong with your site. 

Some examples of possible SEO practices that might get you penalized include keyword stuffing, hiding text, and hidden keywords. The best way to avoid this is to focus on creating high-quality content that provides value for users and follows the general guidelines set out by Google. 

Another reason that your website might be hit with a penalty is if it has structured data issues. Google has some very specific guidelines when it comes to this, and if your website falls short, you could be punished. 

Finally, if your website has been affected by an algorithm update, it’s important to know what caused the update before you can address it. The easiest way to do this is by checking Moz’s very helpful page that lists every Google update as it happens. You can then see if any of these updates match up with the time that your website’s performance dropped. 

Once you know what the problem is, it’s just a matter of working to fix it and waiting for the reconsideration request to go through. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the severity of the penalty and how quickly you’re able to make changes. If you don’t feel confident or comfortable doing this yourself, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional to handle the process for you. If you are successful in getting your penalty lifted, you can move on to focusing on improving other aspects of your SEO strategy.