Everything you need to know about Google penalties

Google’s webmaster guidelines are strict, and they reserve the right to penalize any site they find in violation. Webmasters know this as the manual penalty, which is different to a penalty that comes from an update to the algorithm. There are several levels of penalties, and in this article, we will look at penalties for on-page violations.

Major and pure spam problems

When a webmaster gets a notification for “major spam problems” this means that Google believes there is nothing of value on the page. Often, this penalty applies to sites that scrape or copy content from other sites. When you get a major spam notification, it is almost certain that your site will no longer be in the Google index.

There is a version of the notification that is worse, and that is when you get the “pure spam” notification. Google tends to send out the pure spam notification when a site is caught cloaking the user-agent. This means that the site is showing one version of content to search engine spiders and another for visitors.

User-generated spam

Spam generated by end-users is an issue for large sites where most content is from end-users. Sites like Reddit, message boards, forums, and others are examples of platforms that are easy for end-users to add content. Often, this just means that spammers are taking advantage of lax monitoring. Google will only block the offending URL, but if the site does not take measures to curb spam, a larger ban will follow.