Does Your Webmaster Tools Message Mean You've Been Penalized?

Aug 2, 2013 • 8:39 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsA WebmasterWorld thread has an SEO asking if all messages sent to webmasters via Google Webmaster Tools necessarily mean the site was indeed penalized.

You know, when you get one of those messages from Google about problems with your site, such as link issues or similar issues. The message may not specifically say you've had a manual action applied to your site. Even if it does and it says you have bad links to your site and you have a manual action. Does it mean your site's ranking is downgraded in Google?

Often, you will see a 'manual action' lifted and no rebound in rankings is noticed with that.

Often, you will see a message from Google that you have a manual action and no decline in ranking is noticed.

Google can go very granular with Google penalties, which may explain some of it. Also, the links Google penalized you for may have not counted before or after - thus rankings wouldn't change.

Typically, major ranking drops - from what I've seen - happen due to algorithm changes. Most of them are not due to manual actions.

Do you disagree?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Google Business Photos Broken?


Martin Oxby

08/02/2013 12:51 pm

Given that the majority of websites shouldn't have a penalty, I'd hope most people who notice drops are hit by algorithm instead. That being said, we gained a client fairly recently who came to us *with a penalty* and I agree that Google can go very granular, because we know some of the rankings/traffic we are focussing on are fine and indeed improving, except for one keyword which the client is very relevant for but just isn't ranking, so we suspect the penalty is just targeted at that keyword. We are working to remove the penalty of course, but it's definitely not site-wide or downgrading other pages.


08/02/2013 02:36 pm

One of my websites was going pretty well until i changed the title of the index page and since then its nowhere to be seen on the keyword it targets in the title, yet its 5-6 years old and has tons of links (good and less good) pointing to it. Since then I am waiting for a "friendly" email from google but nothing happens. So despite their efforts I guess everything is just so fragile, random and still as intransparent as it gets.

Alex Miller

08/02/2013 09:02 pm

This is definitely a no. I've received a message for numerous sites that had a scary title: "Dramatic change in traffic to your website's top URL". In the text of the message, however, it says traffic to the top URL INCREASED dramatically! That seems like a positive message to me.

jitendra vaswani

08/03/2013 05:37 am

I didnt get any message till now. But i had seen ranking of my blogs gone down.

Stephen Moyers

08/05/2013 09:45 am

No, I definitely agree that so many messages which webmasters have got are really not at all actually showing any effect for manual actions. One my friend has got the message in webmaster tools that spam actions revoked (as he made efforts to remove unwanted links after manual penalty) before 2 months but yet no improvement has been observed in rankings. Sometime we can not judge that why Google has fired such messages.

blog comments powered by Disqus