The Most Common Reasons For Google Manual Penalties For Websites – Research


The SEMrush team shared the results of a study designed to find out what factors most often lead to Google’s manual action for links.

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The company’s specialists analyzed 830 link profiles of those sites that fell under manual sanctions for unnatural links.

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The results showed that the top 3 factors leading to such sanctions include sponsored or paid links (53%); guest posts and press releases (45%); PBN and link networks (27%).

Google Manual Penalties

Key findings of the study:

  • In most cases, one bad link is not enough to impose manual sanctions. Usually, this is a combination of 2-3 or more types of manipulative behaviour on the site.
  • Google can classify as bad even links from reputable sites if they seem unnatural or paid.
  • Sites and resources are subject to sanctions more often than individual pages and sections of sites.
  • In almost 50% of cases, the cause of the sanctions was the so-called “money anchor” or “money anchor”.
  • In most cases, Google does not provide examples of artificial links.
  • To get rid of sanctions, you need to spend an average of 2-3 requests to review the site.
  • Even very old links can lead to manual actions.


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