7 Google Manual Penalty Facts and Myths

A penalty notification from Google could ruin more than your whole day. Chances are, you’ve worked hard to develop your site’s SEO in the best way you know how. Unfortunately, sometimes old mistakes come back to haunt you. Even worse, you could make a blunder you don’t even know about. The best way to fight back and regain your PageRank is to know what’s true and what’s myth about automated and manual penalties.

manual penalty myths vs facts

1. Myth: You Must Remove All Paid Links

The reason the nofollow tag exists is to avoid punishment for paid links. Your website may appear on several high quality sites that drive traffic in your direction, and to remove all your paid links would be seriously detrimental to your business. Instead, concentrate on any links that might feature on unsavory sites and ask the great sites to indicate your links as nofollow.

2. Fact: Selling Links Can Harm Your Ranking

The manual penalties don’t only apply to those paying for links. If you don’t ensure your links don’t pass PageRank, your site could also experience penalties. In fact, Google says your PageRank could drop 30-50%. If you do offer paid links, be sure you make those who purchase aware they’ll receive nofollow designation. This way your site isn’t harmed, and their sites also don’t receive penalties.

3. Myth: You Must Remove Low-Authority Links

First, you could really harm your relationship with site owners if you request your links’ removal. To ask such might convince them you think very little of their website. A low authority link doesn't mean it's unnatural or irrelevant. A link from a super relevant source is far batter than a page with massive PR from a source that has nothing to do with your market.

4. Fact: Google Will Penalize Its Own Sites

Even Google itself is not exempt from manual penalties, as the company proved in January. A sponsored post campaign for Google Chrome was penalized and the site’s PageRank was lowered for sixty days. If Google will punish itself, your site will definitely be punished, too.

5. Myth: Automated Tools Will Fix the Problem

Automation makes everything easier to a point, but sometimes you just have to apply good old-fashioned elbow grease. Take the time to examine all your links, request nofollows from the paid sites you want to keep, run the automated program, and then take one more look to make sure you fixed the problems.

6. Fact: Site Rankings May Still Go Down After You've Been Absolved of Your Link-Building Sins

Your site may still suffer in PageRank even after you’ve worked to remove all unnatural links. The reason for this is the removal of all links. It’s only natural that you’ll lose even more in your ranking without links to help. To really rebuild your page, you should concentrate on consistently building good links to help restore your rankings in searches.

7. Myth: Google’s Disavow Tool Handles Everything

Many might even tell you not to use the Disavow Tool at all. After all, why would you do Google’s job for them? Others at the opposite end of the spectrum say this tool is the best possible solution to avoid manual penalties. We say: Yes, use the Disavow Tool, and no, don’t count on it to take care of everything. You have to show that you’re willing to do your part, too, by removing bad links and requesting nofollows from paid sites.

Did any of these myths or facts surprise you? Have you heard conflicting stories? We’d love to know what you think, so leave us a comment.