Nancy Roblewsky
April 13, 2022

No Website Penalty Notices For Owners

Website penalty notices are not sent out by Google so how do business owners know if their site has been hit?  The answer is simple. They don’t.

This post refers to automatic algorithmic penalties and shouldn’t be confused with manual actions issued by a human reviewer at Google. The difference is that Manual Actions have a report with a description and list of affected pages that’s viewable in your Search Console message center.

Automatic algorithm penalties

Google is continually making changes to its algorithm, but they don’t tell us what those changes are. It’s a big secret.  Sure, they give us hints about what elements are important.  They provide tools to use and tests to run to see if your website passes their standards. 

While these are useful, I propose it would be even better if you received website penalty notices.  Receiving an alert that your website was docked with a list of the offending items would be wonderful. You’d be aware that there were issues to be fixed.

Houston, we have a problem

That doesn’t happen though.  No alarms go off.  No emails saying “Alert. Google has penalized your website.”  Most business owners have no idea there’s anything wrong. Traffic may drop though you may not notice if you don’t look at your web traffic reports. 

Experience has taught me even when owners receive website analytical reports, most don’t look at them.  In other cases, they may not have access to that information if analytics are not installed on their site.

What’s an owner to do?

Everything is always updating from apps to devices to browsers, it’s non-stop.  With your hectic schedule, it’s unrealistic for you to keep with all of those and algorithm revisions.  

Major and minor adjustments are being made constantly.  Announcements for major changes usually include a date for the rollout but minor changes are done all the time without any warning. 

Any (or all) of these may affect your website, it just depends on what was done.  Don’t feel bad, it’s not your fault that updates are made without any warning.

More complex than you think

Say SEO and most people think of keywords but it’s so much more than that. Search engine optimization encompasses ALL the elements of a website from aesthetics to content to technical aspects like coding.  It’s all intertwined. 

For example, you may think how a site looks has nothing to do with SEO but that’s not the case.  If a site looks bad, users bounce right away.  A high bounce rate signals to Google that it didn’t provide a good user experience. 

Maybe it had great content, but the bad design scared off users before they found it.  The content might be outdated, or just not helpful. Either way, the result is the same. Google docks your website.

Penalty remedies require skill

Even if you did know of all the changes and what specific elements were affected, you’re not a coder. Unless you have a SEO or web design background, you likely lack the expertise to develop and implement a strategy for dealing with it.

It takes years to familiarize yourself with everything.  Even those most skilled in SEO recognize they don’t know everything.  Seems like the more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know.  While true of most industries, it seems especially true for fast evolving web and technical fields.

Hire a professional for best results

Website penalty notices would be great, but since they are nonexistent the next best thing is to hire a professional.  Isn’t that what you tell prospective customers if they said they were going the DIY route instead of hiring your company? 

You know it’s better is spend a little more to have something done right the first time rather than paying to do it over. If that’s true for your own business, shouldn’t it be the same for website services?

It’s time to recognize the value of your website.  This means investing resources to keep it updated to Google’s latest standards and avoid being hit with penalties. Contact Sleepy Dog to improve the performance of your website.

Published: April 13, 2022 • Last Updated: April 13, 2022