What to do if you suspect search engine sanctions

Search engine sanctions are among the worst nightmares of site owners and search marketers. Yandex and Google filters can at one moment put an end to the months of hard work, hundreds of thousands of rubles spent on promoting rubles and other monetary units, and business hopes to attract customers through Internet channels. In short, search engine penalties are similar to a penalty kick one minute before the final whistle on the goal of your favorite team.

From this article you will learn when you need to suspect the sanctions of search engines. You will also find out what the owner of the site that got under the filters should do.

When to suspect sanctions

The site owner can find out about Google’s manual sanctions using the webmaster panel. To do this, select the menu "Search traffic - Measures taken manually."

When the site falls under the algorithmic sanctions, search engines do not notify the owner of this. Therefore, marketers should know what changes they say about the possible hit of the site under the filters of search engines.

Search engine sanctions are combined into two groups. The first one includes automatic or algorithmic filters. They are determined by the algorithms of the search engines and are entered without the direct participation of their employees. The second group includes manual sanctions. Noticing a policy violation, search engine engineers manually punish the offending site.

Resource owners should think about penalties in such cases:

  • Significant and sharp decline in organic search traffic. If attendance of a resource has suddenly decreased, eliminate technical and market reasons for this. Make sure that the site is available, the analytics code is installed and is not on the calendar on January 1. When technical reasons are excluded, think about search engine sanctions. An important sign of getting under the filter is a decrease in traffic from one search engine.
  • The absence of a site or individual pages in the index of search engines. Site owners can monitor the number of pages in the index using the Google Webmaster Tools and Yandex.Webmaster services.
  • The sharp drop in the position of the site in issue. Sometimes, search engines do not exclude a resource or its individual pages from the index, but are limited to "expelling" beyond the top of the organic issue.

How to check for sanctions

Having found the symptoms that are characteristic of being hit by a filter, you should get the search system to cancel the sanctions as quickly as possible. However, first of all you need to confirm the presence of a penalty and find out the reasons for this situation.

To confirm Google’s sanctions, follow these steps:

  • Check for manual sanctions in Webmaster Tools.
  • Use the services of checking the availability of sanctions, for example, a set of tools of the studio Pixelgroove or a service of Fruition. The latest service can be linked to your Google Analytics account. Then you can evaluate the impact of changes in Google’s algorithms on various indicators of your site’s performance. Also, the service records the presence of a Google penalty.
  • Check your site's pagerank score. In some cases, getting the site under the filter is accompanied by a sharp drop in this indicator.
  • If you don’t know for sure if your site has come under the algorithmic sanctions of Google, send a request to re-check the resource. Before this, make sure that the site does not violate the guidelines for creating quality sites. The world's largest search engine recommends sending a request to re-check if the owner can not determine the reasons for the unsatisfactory results of the site and is sure that it complies with the requirements of Google.

To confirm the Yandex sanctions, follow these steps:

  • If your site has completely disappeared from the index, use the service "Report a new site." You will receive a corresponding message if the largest search engine of the RuNet has "banned" your resource.
  • Contact Yandex customer support. To do this, use the "Ask a question about the support service site" in the Yandex.Webmaster service. Describe the problems found and ask them to report their causes. If your site really fell under the filters of “Yandex”, the support staff will point out violations that you have committed.

What steps to take to lift Google sanctions

After confirming the existence of Google sanctions, start working on the bugs. If the world's largest search engine used a manual filter, read the notification in the panel for webmasters. It indicates the reasons for the penalty and recommendations for the lifting of sanctions.

If your resource has fallen under the algorithmic filter, determine its type. The most common types of Google sanctions are:

  • Sanctions for the manipulation of search results using artificial links. In this case, Google can punish the site manually. The Penguin algorithm also penalizes link manipulating sites. To eliminate the causes of a penalty, you should try to remove all artificial links to your site. If this cannot be done, you need to use the link rejection tool. However, using this tool without deleting links is not always enough to lift the sanctions.
  • Sanctions for poor-quality or non-unique content, a large number of advertisements, the lack of easy navigation, slow loading pages. Penalties for these shortcomings are provided by the Panda algorithm. To eliminate the causes of sanctions, remove content from colleagues and competitors from the site. Create and regularly publish useful materials for the audience. Do not abuse advertising: there should not be more than two banners or contextual blocks on one page. Pay attention to the download speed of the site and its usability.
  • Sanctions "- 950" or "-30". This type of penalty applies to resources that cause gross violations of Google’s rules, including the use of cloaking, doorways, hidden text and links. Please note that the resources abusing keywordstuffing - by stuffing texts with key phrases - often suffer from the "- 30" filter.
  • Sanctions for using keywords in the domain name (EMDpenalty). This filter includes sites that contain the popular key request in the domain name in the direct entry, but do not provide users with valuable content that is relevant to the key.

After elimination of violations apply for re-checking the site. In the cover letter describe the actions you have taken to improve the quality of the site. Confirm them with specific examples.

What to do to cancel the sanctions "Yandex"

As noted above, contacting the Yandex support service allows you to confirm the existence of sanctions. Usually, Yandex employees report the reasons for the penalty, which makes it possible to eliminate them quickly.

Most often, resource owners encounter such Yandex filters:

  • AGS - sanctions for the low quality of the content, the publication of a large number of links, the theft of other people's publications. The recipe for removing this filter is simple: make the site valuable to the user by filling it with high-quality unique content. Do not forget to remove commercial links. Use canonical URLs to exclude duplicate pages from the index. Pay attention to the usability of the resource.
  • Filter for re-optimization of content. "Yandex" lowers the output of the page, the texts of which contain an excessive amount of keys. To cancel sanctions, create and publish content for people.
  • Affiliate Filter You may encounter it if you own two or more sites on the same subject. Of the two pages of these sites relevant to the general query, “Yandex” leaves one in the index. Read more about affiliate filter here.
  • Sanctions for manipulating the issue with unnatural links. To remedy the situation, it is enough to refuse to buy links. A good reason for this is the possible refusal of “Yandex” to take into account the influence of links when determining the positions of sites in the issue.
  • Penalty for cheating behavioral factors. The role of this filter will grow if Yandex really refuses to include links and will give even more attention to behavioral factors. To cancel this sanction, it is necessary to abandon manipulations.

Eliminate violations, write a message to the support service. Describe the steps taken and confirm them with specific examples.

How to reflect the penalty

If you are faced with a sharp drop in organic traffic, exclusion of the site from the index or a decrease in the position in the issue, check for sanctions from the search engines. To do this, use special services or write a request to the support service. After confirming the sanctions, eliminate the errors and submit an application to re-check the site. If you managed to bring the resource into compliance with the requirements of search engines, you can count on removing the filters.

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