Why is my Website Penalized

Reasons for Google's Penalty

What is Google's Penalty

Google automatically check a website's quality and if it is substandard according to the Google's famous algorithm, then it will penalize the site. Most low-quality sites get penalized but sometimes some very high quality sites that meet the general standards also get penalized just because the quality-check is automated and as bots or crawlers don't have eyes they will flag a quality site. So webmasters avoid even the slightest of all mistakes. See the reasons for penalty below and make sure you are not guilty of anything.

Reasons for the Penalty and how to avoid it

Below I am mentioning some major reasons why some sites get penalized. You can easily avoid these penalties also. Ways to avoid certain penalties are given with them. Please note that it is quite easy to avoid certain penalties just by not doing what causes you the penalty. So, while reading this article please keep in mind that this article is not only about the reasons of penalty but also tells you ways to avoid Google's Penalty.

Linking to Adult and Gambling Sites

You can't place a link to an adult or gambling site on your website or blog no matter how necessary it is. You can't do it even if the adult/gambling site is willing to pay you tons of money. If you did this, it will not only bring you a penalty from Google but also from other search engines and you will lose some faithful readers for sure. Always avoid doing this.

And don't get worried if some adult or gambling site has a link to your site on theirs. According to Google's Matt Cutts it is alright if such site is linking to you as one can't help it if someone links back to them. Almost a couple of years back I saw traffic coming to a site of mine from an adult site. When I checked they had placed a link to my site, but it did not affect my rankings. So, don't worry if an adult or gambling site is linking to you from their site, just make sure you don't link to them.

Trying to Optimize too Quickly

If your site is new and you are trying to get too many back-links to your site a bit too early, stop doing that rite now. As Google don't like back-links being generated too quickly for new sites. And this might be a reason if your site is new and already penalized. You can always start slow on building links and slowly pick up speed.


Search Engines, especially Google do not like spamming at all. Even if you haven't done any spamming, Google might think you were spamming. So make sure you don't look spammy while optimizing your site. Auto-submissions and even manual submission with same text can be seen as spam.

Here are some tips you can follow to avoid looking spammy...

1) Use atleast 5 different title tags while submitting your site to link directories.

2) Never use auto-submission services or bots for submitting your site to search engines or directories.

3) Similarly use different titles for comments.

4) Make sure you don't add comments with your site's url in them too often. 5 comments in a day is more than enough.

5) Never use softwares for submitting comments in bulk. Do it manually and very carefully as webmasters will flag you by emailing Google.

6) Write something different and related to the topic in the body of the comment, every time you post a comment with your website's url.

7) Don't post your site's link more than often on forums.

Link Farms

By definition a link farm is any group of web sites that all hyperlink to every other site in the group. If you want to get your site penalized forever, go for link farms. Google and other big search engines hate link farms. Don't join them or anything like them. I have seen link farms coming up under different names, so beware of them. Its easy to get genuine backlinks without joining a link farm. Here are some ways to get free and easy backlinks.

Copied Content

Copied or duplicate content will take you nowhere. Only direction it will take you is downwards. Ultimately your site will be nowhere in the SERPS which means it will get the penalty. If you can't generate content of your own, then get it done by someone else. Hire someone or outsource. You can also get freelance writers to write for your blog through different freelance sites.


If someone suggested you to fill your page with high paying keywords and make their font color same as the backgrounfd color of the page only because they don't match the theme of your site or you cant write an article on them so you are told to go for the easy way, don't take such suggestion. You can do this if you want to ruin your site. There are other forms of deception too like adding plain images which match the background and those images link to some other site. To be on a safer side try to avoid anything that decepts.

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Comments 46 comments

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Good tips! Thanks for these reminders.

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

I am glad you have liked it VioletSun.

katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Good points, but google is not the only one to answer to, self comes first, so if there are reasons you want to break their rules, do it and if necessary, face the penalty.

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

Thanx a lot for the comment Katyzzz. You are right in a way but I wonder there is nothing one would like to do from the reasons of penalty given above. No good webmaster will want to link to a porn website or copy someone else's content. No sane person will like to deceive others nor they will want to spam. See Google's algorithms are mostly based on the principals of nature.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Thank you, UH for answering my question. The last thing I want to do is to get kicked out of Google Adsense. Not like their paying all my bills right now, but I don't want to jeopardize myself from earning any money from anyone if I can avoid it. Although I write hubs for fun, it sure doesn't hurt to get paid for it, even if it's for a little bit of money:)

Dale Mazurek profile image

Dale Mazurek 7 years ago from Canada

Google has come a long way from a few years ago. It wasnt that long ago when peoples accounts were getting closed down all the time.

Their technology has gotten much better and their bots are programmed to know there is a human on the other side of what they are indexing.

Lots of good points.

Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 7 years ago from Australia

If you don't have a privacy page page on your site, they will downgrade your site too. :)

Ultimate Hubber, What you say is pretty right, excep that Google will NOT downgrade your site if you have duplicate content. This is a MYTH, spread around by everyone and his dog.

Yes, I know that this will seem like you are a kid who is being told that there is no Santa Claus.

Here's what Google have to say about it:

"Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results. If your site suffers from duplicate content issues, and you don't follow the advice listed above, we do a good job of choosing a version of the content to show in our search results."

Read Google's full statement on Duplicate content at:




Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

Thank you Dohn once again for your comment. Your comments are always meaningful and add a lot to my hubs. As you know this article was about Google's slap which definitely decreases one's income. I might also write about Adsense some day.

Thanx for your kind comment Dale.

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

Thanx Eric for this useful comment which adds a lot to this hub. I understand some people call it a myth. But there are certain things that Google say and do not implement them, like the case of 'nofollow' links which actually adds to the PR and rankings of a site.

I can not contradict your statement due to the vast amount of experience you have of SEO but there is no harm in writing original content instead of copying it. And EVEN IF Google does not penalize due to it now, they will start doing it soon.

rb11 profile image

rb11 7 years ago from Las Vegas

With the popularity of article marketing and people re-publishing these articles, it makes sense for Google not to penalize a re-published article if it fits the context. From my understanding the original source will rank higher then the re-published site, thus duplicate content will score lower than the original copy as long as it fits the context. It seems there still is some value again, as long as it fits the context.


Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

Oh you are rite rb11. That is a different form of copying though. You give link to their site which is acceptable and copying from article directories is acceptable for Google as it does not have any kind of legal problem.

Did you see that option Google gives webmaster to complain them in case someone has copied their content without prior consent?

Thanx a lot for your comment. Your comments add good information which is also related to the context to my hubs. Thanx again.

Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 7 years ago from Australia

See http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/18684

Where there's more info about the topic of duplicate content.

Cheers, Eric G.

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

Thanx Eric for adding this link. It will help.

Plants and Oils profile image

Plants and Oils 7 years ago from England

An interesting hub, thanks. How can one tell if a site has been penalised by google or not?

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

I am glad you like it P&O. And thanx for the comment.

Here is the link to a hub in which I have mentioned a few ways to check if a site is penalized: http://hubpages.com/business/Googles-Penalty

Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 7 years ago from Florida

Thanks for the info and the links.

Newyork204 profile image

Newyork204 7 years ago from Anchorage, AK

Good information. The only one that has messed me up and I had to learn the hard way was building back links to quick. I messed up a premium lingerie and home improvement site by doing that. Live and learn I guess. Great refresher course though.

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

Thank you for your nice comments Patti and Newyork204. I am glad you liked it.

I agree Newyork204 to the live and learn thing.

Plants and Oils profile image

Plants and Oils 7 years ago from England

Thanks for the link, heading there now!

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

My Pleasure. :-)

RosiesToyBox profile image

RosiesToyBox 7 years ago

I am very new to this, and the last thing I want is to be penalized! Thank you for posting, Very helpful!

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

I am glad RTB that you found it helpful. Your website won't be penalized if you follow these DON'Ts given above.

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Namratalouver 7 years ago

hey thanks m new to this SEO field this might help me a lot .......i ll take care of such things..................

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

I will recommend you some SEO research and if you do the things right you can earn reasonable amount of money online in no time.

creativeMind profile image

creativeMind 7 years ago from Cochin

Link farms are big NO NO

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Great hub and tips! I often wonder if you can get penalised if another site copies your text or articles. You haven't caused duplicate content but other people have! I get this happening a lot with hubs that are copied and pasted on blogs and forums and it is very hard to get them removed!

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

No, you won't get penalized if another site copies your content. As your site will already be in Google's cache so they will know you are not the one copying.

There is in fact no harm in copying content from others IF, and that is a big big if, you give credits to that site. If you have copied content from a site, you should place a link without the nofollow tag to that site in your article and you will minimize the chances of being penalized due to duplicate content.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

That is good news for me because I cannot find the time to be chasing people with repeat emails asking can they remove articles of mine. A recent one is about Gurdjieff and there is a credit for me and link back to my hub so if Google will not penalise me for that then all is well.

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

There is no point in you gettig penalized if someone else copies your content. Penalty is for the one who copies your content. As now he has given credit to you and an outbound link to you as well, so he has avoided the penalty for himself.

KIMTEJEDA profile image

KIMTEJEDA 7 years ago

What about promoting in forums is that illegal?

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

No its not illegal... Just make sure you don't try to get a lot of forum links too early. Do it slowly. But if your site is a bit old like 2 to 3 years old, then a lot of quick links won't hurt it much.

jiberish profile image

jiberish 7 years ago from florida

Good info, thank you. I'm fairly new at this, can use all the help.

Michele Arrvinte profile image

Michele Arrvinte 7 years ago

I would add that even an old site would be penalized for too many incoming links created in a short period of time. Especially if there were no links before you started link building.

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

You might be right Michele. Google's algorithm keep on updating. Yes, ff the site don't already have any good backlinks and get loads of them in a short period of time, then it might get penalized.

muratos profile image

muratos 7 years ago from Moscow

very essential list to check out. good informative hub for website owners and SEO specialists

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Bostonian Banter 7 years ago

Thanks for the info. I wish I knew how to BackLink. But alas, I am a newbie to HubPages. In time...

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago Author

Bostanian, just try to get the link to your website placed on other websites. Read my hub titled: "Get Free and Easy Backlinks" to learn a few ways of getting backlinks.

FindYourSearch profile image

FindYourSearch 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

These are good tips. To add one final point to the duplicate content discussion: Some people use software to submit the same content - content which they themselves have written - across multiple sites. For instance, some post the same content to Posterous, Hubpages, and Blogspot, or to Twitter, Identica, and Facebook with the hope of getting SEO benefit from all of them. Google will only index one version of the content, so there's no SEO benefit whatsoever to posting it to all these sites.

Just thought I'd throw that in there, too!

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 6 years ago Author

Good one. Thanks FYS!

Zainejaz profile image

Zainejaz 5 years ago from Quetta

In my recent campaigns following things not worked for me:

Submitting an article to more than 2 directories (Before ALgo update I used to submit on 10 directoires and get significant increase in kewyords ranking);

Major Actual High PR pages, putting negative impact on keywords;

Creating profiles on irrelevant sites is not as much juicy as it is before Algo update;

Link Exchange, especially irrelevant domains are getting less productive.

Squidoo, Hubpaes, Ezine links are also become less juicy.


All in all I need to put more efforts to get keywords on top. ANd positive change is that On-page SEO is become more productive but It doesn't mean you exploit Meta and content density :)

Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 5 years ago Author

Good tips Zain!!

Thanks for sharing them!

Umar 5 years ago

As you explained above regarding "copied content" what is the best solution of it ,is google penalizes the website forever or just temporary??i think i am facing this type of error ..please suggest

Zainejaz profile image

Zainejaz 5 years ago from Quetta

Umer there maybe two situations:

1) On-site Copied content; for that you need to use Canonical attribute

2) OF-site copied content; for that you need to remove the content immediately. If your keywords disappears from SEPRs, then first you need to remove the content and then submit your site for reconsideration to Google.

Sujit Sant 5 years ago


Thanks Wonderful Tips! I knew that google doesn't like repetitive words or sentences. But still while submitting to directories one tends to sound repetitive, which may look like spamming, even if you are not intending any. So very good tips to be careful about. Thanks!

aaron 5 years ago

very helpful stuff... thanks for sharing

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