As a business owner, thinking of facing a Google penalty is like a bad dream!
Let’s understand first why and when Google may penalize your website.
If your website engages in unethical activity, you may likely face a Google penalty!
Spam, unnatural or poor links coming to your website or going from your website
You are copying content from other websites regularly
Your website is practising anything unlawful
If your website keeps misleading information to visitors
If your website or its pages are virus infected
Unethical search practices like keyword stuffing, low-quality content, doorway pages, hidden text & links etc.
If your website is not mobile friendly
If your website is hacked and used for spam
If your website is not secured with SSL (Secure socket layer)
Misuse of structure data
How did you come to know you were hit?
Broadly two ways with which you can identify a Google penalty.
Go to the Google search console and check manual actions. The section will show you if you are hit with a manual penalty by Google Ratters.
Next, you need to check and analyse the website traffic to find an algorithmic penalty. If you may see a sudden drop with no further traffic spikes, it means your unethical act got slapped with Google Algorithm Penalty.
And it can be Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Rank Brain, Fred etc.
Don’t worry; there are ways to recover from the penalty.
But recovering from the algorithmic or manual penalty is a challenge.