Manual Penalty Actions Reported in Google Webmaster Tools
Editor’s note: As of May 2015, Google’s webmaster tools suite is called Google Search Console.
Gone is the mystery of blackbox manual action penalties levied by Google against your site. Today Google announced a new section in Google Webmaster Tools called “Manual Actions.”
If you go to the Search Traffic navigation and click on “Manual Actions” you’ll see a listing of site-wide matches (spam found across a whole domain) and partial matches (spam flagged on “specific pages, sections or links”) of your site.
Here is this new WMT result being shown for a client of ours:
In Google’s Webmaster Central blog post, the example screenshot shows a manual action listed as “User-generated spam. Pages from this site appear to contain spammy user-generated content.” There appear to be four types of reported webspam:
- User-generated spam (comment spam)
- Thin content
- Unnatural links
- Hidden text / keyword stuffing
If the user viewing the Google WMT report has administrative access (as opposed to viewable access only), a red “Request a Review” button is shown below the spam listing — a very handy means of submitting a reconsideration request. Here is another example of this new alert for a client of ours, this one with a review button:
“This new tab eliminates any confusion with clients that want to deny a Google Manual Penalty,” said Ty Carson, a lead SEO analyst here at BCI. “Knowing a site’s full history has always been important, and this new alert eliminates the uncertainty.”
There’s a new page on Manual Actions in Google Webmaster Support, and the Google Webmaster Help channel on YouTube was updated with 7 videos of Matt Cutts explaining the types of spam now reported and how to fix them. Click on the listing below to go to the video on YouTube.