How to detect Google penalties
Fruiition's Google penalty checker is the fastest way, and with a high degree of statistical confidence to detect algorithmic penalties. Using statistical analysis Fruition's Google Penalty Checker
provides a clear understanding into which Google updates have the most significant impact on your website. Then, Google Penalty Checker's recommendation engine tells you What To Work On Next™ ("WTWON
") to boost your traffic, and to recover from a Google hit, while also maintaining long-term website health.
We created the Google Penalty Checker to prove sites weren't penalized
Since 2008, our in-house math and statistics team leveraged our SEO knowledge and straight-up text book statistics to determine which Google algorithm changes impacted your website. We created this to prove, with a high degree of statistical confidence, that sites weren't penalized.
Why we created the Google penalty checker
We have a client that thought they were penalized (specifically their in-house seo analyst thought they were). We disagreed. We were certain that the dip in organic traffic that we were seeing was primarily seasonality and an adjustment made with the sites content because of a tweak in their business model. We told the client we'd prove it with statistics. We built out that model first in R and then later in python. We were able to show with a high degree of confidence that the site wasn't penalized and the seo analyst agreed. It was a win win. Because we were able to focus on the right SEO efforts with less guess work. That is how Fruition's Google Penalty Checker was created. And yes, the original client that we created GPC for is still a client going strong after 18 years!
Use GPC to understand which Google algorithm updates impacted your website
Site traffic is affected by site downtime, changing seasons, and other factors. GPC cuts through the noise to help you better understand your site’s health. By combining data from hundreds of thousands of other websites, GPC can determine when an algorithm has affected your site.
How do you sign up for GPC?
Because of Google's rate limiting, Fruition's Google Penalty Checker tool is only available to existing clients.
How do you manually check for Google Penalties?
If you don't want to use Fruition's Google Penalty Checker tool then you can use the following steps to help narrow down if your site was penalized.
1. Dig into Google Analytics. If you notice a sudden drop in organic traffic, which is probably why you're reading this blog post, this could be a sign that you have been penalized by Google. Do a comparison of Google organic traffic from about two days before the known Google update and two days after with a range of at least 21 days. Sometimes Google updates roll out in waves so you may need to compare a larger time period. This will help you narrow down if there was an organic drop or not.
1 a. Compare individual pages Using the same time period above compare the organic performance of individual pages. This will help you understand which pages have drops. You can then compare the pages that improved or stayed strong with the ones that dropped. If you're getting less organic traffic across all of your pages you might have a bigger technical problem.
2. Check your website's rankings. Checking rankings in Google Search Console is a way to cross reference your organic visits. However, with so much SEO personalization going on with individual keyword positions along with localization it's difficult to check individual keyword rankings with a high degree of confidence. However, if you notice your website has dropped in rankings for keywords that you previously ranked well for, this could be a sign of a penalty.
3. Look for new messages in Google Search Console.
This should probably be number one on the list but it's a pretty boring recommendation. If you see any new messages from Google, it may contain information on a penalty or other issue. If you have received a manual penalty from Google, it will be listed in the Manual Actions section of your Search Console account. If you're not setup in Google Search Console you can contact as and we'll help you get setup. This is what the message looks like.
4. Check if any pages or content have been removed from Google.
If you find any pages or content have been removed from Google's index, this could be a sign of a penalty or an issue with your site. Ensure that pages or sites aren't noindexed. We've even seen websites hacked and the only change was noindexing the site! You can use a Chrome extension that we developed to called Noindex Alerter. The extension creates a Google Chrome Notification if you visit a website that is issuing a noindex directive through an X-Robots-Tag, a robots.txt disallow, and or a meta tag noindex. This extension is meant for QA'ing websites and not for using for regular browsing. You can easily turn it on and off. We encourage our team to use it after deploying changes to a site or any major upgrades.